What's your best advice for winter driving in this area? I'm a recent transplant and nervous about getting on the road in the coming months!

likefunny
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Worth repeating, winter tires. Go to discount tire and buy a winter tire / wheel combo. My setup was $1,000 and Discount Tire completes the swap every year for free.

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Highlander, looked up my invoice it was 650 with install. Didn’t think about the fact that truck / large SUV tires are probably $$$

I have lived here 20 years. I own a place in the metro and another in the mountains. Ski 60 days a year primarily on weekends, and all over the state as the kids compete.

As far as metro driving the most important piece of advice is to stay home during storms and wait for the plows to clear the streets. We often get snow in the morning that is melted by afternoon. People will drive around on a sunny afternoon after an overnight snowfall and see cars in the ditch and think, “they couldn’t have waited until afternoon?” This is especially true in big spring storms.

As far as mountain driving you don’t need snow tires, but they sure help. I run them on all of my vehicles. The compound is softer so they freeze at a lower temperature making them grippier against the road in low temps. Just make sure to take them off in spring, as driving them in higher temps will melt them quickly and they won’t last long.

Be prepared when traveling in the mountains in the winter. Always have more than a half a tank of gas, extra windshield wiper fluid, sleeping bags and a shovel (we have backcountry avy shovels). Doesn’t matter what tires you have if I-70 closes down for a avalanche or wreck when it is full of cars. You are gonna sit there and may spend the night in your car.

Avoid peak times. 20 years ago you could meet your buddies at Golden park and ride on a Saturday at 7 and get to resort at open, ski a few hours and come home and go for a run. Those days are gone. Plan ahead.

Carpool to the resorts. There are a on of people who travel on their own to ski as they want the flexibility. It is killing us. If you don’t have friends that ski, meet them. If we would all drive to the resorts with a minimum of 3 people in a vehicle, it would work wonders on the traffic issues. Don’t be selfish, share the stoke!

likesmart

Yes- if driving up into the mountains, put gear in your trunk as if you plan to have your engine randomly fail (happens with newer and high-end cars too, that aren’t calibrated properly to run with less oxygen in the air!), & then have a freak five hours snow and sleet storm roll and while you’re stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck

Layers, food, water, ect. Cables, reserve cell phone battery, card deck, Silver foil emergency blankets, sleeping bags

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SNOW TIRES. Please don't drive to the mountains on all seasons.

likeuplifting

I’ve had all seasons on all of my cars AWD, FWD, 4WD and have never had any issues driving to Dillon during multiple snowstorms over the past 20 years.

Having said that and having seen some of the questionable driving in the past 5 - 10 years, I’m caving and buying a set of cheap wheels to mount good snow tires on this season. For my own safety and to account for the unpredictable driving of others.

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I agree with all of the above. Honestly, I would recommend finding an empty parking lot when it snows and practice. See how your car brakes, turns, and accelerates in the snow/ice. Getting a feel for it before you’re on the road with others will go a long way even if it feels silly!

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This is a really good suggestion.

Not sure why people are even suggesting all season tires - just because you haven’t crashed yet doesn’t mean it won’t happen. My AWD Rav4 had major issues in snow / slush until we switched to winter tires. I consider them absolutely mandatory in this area, and it freaks me out when I see cars without snow tires on I-70.

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Go slow and turn softly

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Yup snow tires (look at Michelin X or Bridgestone Blizzaks) it’ll be like 4-6 hundred for a full set but it will save your life. Plus if you’re timely about changing them out in may every year they should last 4-5 season.

Snow is fairly easy - just slow, don’t worry about what others are doing go very slowly.

Ice is impossible to plan for and frankly if the road is icy no one should be driving.

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This. Blizzak’s are great. Minor hassle changing your tires twice a year but the confidence and peace of mind you will get from having snow tires in winter is well worth it.

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Keep in mind with I70 traction laws, you'll need snow tires if you dont have AWD or 4WD. If you get pulled over/cause a wreck and you're in violation of traction law, you can get a ticket. Echoing everyone else, drive carefully and increase following distance and you'll be fine! I personally recommend/love snow tires for additional piece of mind

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Yeah I think they just have to be rated for suitability in snow, and that would include most all-season tires. If they have the snowflake logo on the sidewall, you’re good.

Buy winter tires. Expensive, but worth it.

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Allow down and give yourself plenty of room to stop. Be careful changing lanes

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Snow tires and don’t slow down just because there’s ice or snow. Too many accidents caused by people riding their brakes

likesmart

If you need to slow down on a snow/ice covered downhill slope, shift into a lower gear. It’s called an engine braking and is an effective way to slow down when brakes aren’t an option due to sliding or overheating.

likesmart

I live in the mountains and use my paddle shifters all the time. This is just good advice for driving downhill in the mountains period. You can always tell the novices by the fact that they ride their brakes the entire time down hill

likefunny

Adding to the snow tires argument. It makes a huge difference and is more important and practical than either 4wd or chains. The big thing for every day driving is it helps you stop!! Stopping and turning is even more important than being able to accelerate neither of which really gets impacted by 4wd and chains aren’t practical enough to have on every time you might hit some ice.

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LOW TEMPERATURE WINDSHIELD WIPER FLUID. If you haven’t replaced it since moving from the south, it will freeze in the distribution lines and you will either be driving completely blind or like Ace Ventura.

likefunny

Don’t oversteer, don’t slam on your brakes if you’re sliding. Staying calm and acting accordingly is like 80% of winter driving. Echoing other comments to get winter tires.

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You don’t have to get snow tires. All season tires work. Always take it slow, take extra time to break and slow down, and make sure let you have a full tank of gas for extra weight and safety to make it home. Do not drive a car the is rear drive only in the snow. Get all wheel drive if you can afford to.

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I’m denver, sure, but I’d you’re going up to a-basin to ski regularly in the winter you better have snow tires

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snow tires, or at the very least make sure the tires you purchase are 3 peak mountain snowflake rated (ex: falken wildpeak at trail)

have an energency kit with food snacks and blanket in the trunk

collapsable shovel & some kitty litter incase you get stuck

dont tailgate

good quality windshield wipers & cold weather windshield fluid

check brakepads and get replaced if they are low/worn

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I love that you asked!

Give lots of space with extra stopping and stealing time.
Avoid sudden changes- stops/starts/jerky wheel movements. Don’t slam on the breaks or gas.
Practice in an icy parking lot to get used to how your car moves.
Leave early and go slow.
Do not stop in the middle of an uphill climb on packed snow or ice. Give people space in front of you when going uphill so if they get stuck you dont have to stop too.
Turn signals. We’ll maintained car with freeze proof coolant, ice scraper, working defroster/heater.
Always have an exit plan- a different route, space to turn around or a plan for what to do if the skid/accident happens.
Don’t exit your vehicle in a chain reaction crash if other impacts may happen.
Have a safety kit org chains/jumper cables, ice melt, heat inserts, water, ice scraper, warm clothes.
Learn about black ice and know that elevated roadways freeze faster.
Know your routes so that you know basically where the roads/lanes are.
Snow/winter tires would be helpful but are not required.

They offer snow driving classes.

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Drive slow. Extra slow. In the right lane. Let everyone pass you (it’s fine). Keep your distance to the car in front you, if they brake hard make sure you have space left/right to stear away and not straight into them.

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Just going to again echo snow tires. I've lived in snowy climates my whole life (Chicago, Columbus, Maryland, Michigan) so I'm pretty comfortable with driving in the snow. My first winter here I bought snow tires for the first time because mountain driving and they are an absolute game changer. If you have a costco membership, they have excellent deals on tires.

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