Colorado Winter Driving Law: Chains and Snow Tires

Posted on: January 12th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Denver No Comments

Colorado winter driving law Snow is an unavoidable part of driving in Colorado. Even when conditions are sunny and clear, winter conditions can blow in out of nowhere and unless you are prepared will make for some seriously dangerous driving. Keeping your vehicle equipped with proper tires and chains is not only in your best interest, in some parts of the state it is required by the new Colorado Winter Driving Law. Our Denver auto body repair experts are here to give you some practical tips to keep your vehicle on the road here in Colorado as well as be compliant with the law.

Colorado Winter Driving Law – The Importance of Tires

When it comes to bad driving conditions, no part of your vehicle is more important to your survival (with perhaps the exception of brakes) than your tires. Before the season arrives, make sure to check your treads to see if they are worn down. And think seriously about investing in a pair of snow tires or studded snow tires – just because your current tires are rated for all season does not mean they will perform will in snowy conditions.

Additionally, under Colorado law, if a traction law (code 15) is put into effect by the Colorado Department of Transportation, you can face serious fines for not having enough tread. All tires are required to have a minimum of an eighth of an in inch of tread remaining. Having chains or a four wheel drive vehicle are another way to remain legal and in compliance with Colorado law. Just remember, by driving with worn down tires, you are not only endangering yourself, but everyone else on the road.

CO Winter Driving Law – Tire Chains

Chains are an excellent investment if you do not have the money to spend on a nice pair of new winter tires. Additionally, if conditions are exceptionally bad, a passenger vehicle chain law (Code 16) will be put into effect requiring all vehicles on the road to have chains.

Chains should be installed on the drive wheels of your vehicle for maximum traction. Ideally, however, chains should be installed on all four wheels to retain more normal handling.

4WD and AWD Vehicles

Although 4WD and AWD vehicles do perform much better in bad driving conditions, they are no substitute for proper tires and chains. Having a 4WD or AWD alone will not save you from fines if the CDOT Colorado Winter Driving Law goes into effect, especially if your tires are too worn down. While these types of vehicles may help you get going, it is your tires that will be the true determiner of your vehicle’s stopping ability.

4WD and AWD vehicles are not the same. If you would like to learn more about what sets them apart, please refer to our previous blog article ‘All Wheel Drive Vs. Four Wheel Drive.’

Driving in Colorado

For now, the CDOT only implements the traction law (Colorado Winter Driving Law) and passenger vehicle chain law on mountainous sections of the I-70 and connecting highways. However, in the years to come, plans are to expand these laws to encompass the rest of the state. Colorado laws aside, keeping yourself and your fellow drivers safe is the number one priority. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to make the investment in tires or chains which could end of saving your life.

How to Use This Information
At Accurate Auto Body, we can help you figure out if your tires are ready for the winter season and up to CDOT standards. If you are in need of new tires or would like to have your vehicle looked over before hitting the road, be sure to give Accurate Auto Body a call at 303-344-2122 or contact us through our website for more information and we will be happy help!

How do you keep safe while driving in snowy Colorado conditions?

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