Winter driving in the Colorado Rockies can be tricky. The Colorado Dept of
Transportation uses the newest equipment and methods to clear snow, and the
passes are kept open 365 days a year. Berthoud Pass has recently undergone
a major widening and straightening project to improve safety and driving ease.
Still, we advise caution and suggest following the following tips
courtesy of Firestone and Bridgestone tires.
Drive slowly and remember that posted speed limits identify the maximum
speed allowed when weather conditions are ideal. Law enforcement agencies can
write citation to motorists driving the posted speed limit if weather
conditions warrant a slower speed.
Be more alert to the actions of other drivers. Anticipate cars coming from
side streets and put extra distance between your vehicle and the one in front
of you. If someone is too close behind you, don't speed up; slow down or let
them go around you.
To make sure other drivers see you, always drive with your lights on. At
night, in fog and heavy snow conditions, low beams may be more effective than
Avoid driving with one wheel on the shoulder of the road unless you are
going very slowly. The difference in tread resistance can cause you to lose
control at higher speeds.
Keep a light touch on the brakes. Even with anti-lock braking systems
(sometimes called ABS), you should apply light pressure to avoid locking the
brakes and causing a skid. Pumping the brake pedal should be smooth action,
going from light to firm in a gradual move. Tip toe to slow is a good motto
for winter drivers.
Keep both hands on the wheel and keep the wheel pointed where you want
your car to go. While it may sound overly-simple, it could help you in a skid.
While manual transmissions may provide greater control to assist with
braking, be careful when using downshifting as a way to slow the vehicle. Gear
changes, particularly abrupt ones, can upset a vehicle's balance and cause a
skid to occur, especially in turns.