Winter weather conditions are slowly but surely replacing the warm autumn days. On Thursday, October 10th, the weather proved a problem for Denver commuters as the first unexpected icy roads of the season made driving conditions more dangerous.
Police reported 193 accidents throughout the day, which caused mile-long backups and major closures on highways and interstates in the metro area.
As the winter months roll in and these conditions continue to worsen, there are some important things to remember when embarking on your daily commute.
Check the weather
Staying on top of weather forecasts can help you plan your travel time. If you have a flexible schedule, plan to travel before any severe weather or before rush hour starts. That way, you can avoid major traffic backups on your commute.
Leave room for braking
Even if the roads are dry, unexpected icy patches may form, especially on overpasses and bridges. Make sure you leave plenty of space between yourself and the car in front of you so you can brake in time, even if you hit an icy patch.
Adjust your speed
Driving too fast in icy or snowy weather is a major cause of winter accidents. Drivers may not be able to see you speeding past in blustery conditions, and hitting an icy patch at a high speed can cause serious accidents.
Stay updated on road closures
Over social media, Denver police kept drivers updated on any road closures and weather conditions, advising drivers to be careful on the commute home. Keeping an eye out on updates like this can help you figure out which routes might be slower or more dangerous.
Don’t pass snow plows
Especially when the weather is bad, it can be tempting to pass slower moving vehicles like snow plows. But leaving a snow plow behind you means that the roads ahead of you are snowier and more dangerous. It’s better to follow a plow at a slow pace than to risk an accident on a non-plowed road.
Winter weather can happen unexpectedly during this transitional season. Help keep Denver roads safe by preparing yourself for icy road conditions. It can help you and others avoid running the risk of a serious car accident on your daily commute.