Colorado Department of Transportaion and Colorado Department of Emergency Management offered winter driving tips recently.

“This time of year, winter weather can strike at any time, which means we all need to get our emergency kits and vehicles ready for winter travel,” CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt said.

As a first step, Hunt recommended that motorists keep an emergency kit in their vehicle in case they are stranded.

Anyone who becomes stranded should stay in your vehicle, turn on the vehicle flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.

An emergency kit should include the following:

  • Flares and reflectors to signal for help and warn other motorists.
  • Sturdy scraper, snow brush and snow shovel to clear snow.
  • Battery or crank-powered radio to listen to emergency broadcasts.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries or crank-powered flashlight.
  • Survival blanket or sleeping bag.
  • Chemical hand warmers.
  • Extra set of clothes, including coat, hat, mittens, boots, etc.
  • Water for each person and pet in the car.
  • Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars; canned fruit and a portable can opener.
  • First-aid kit and essential medications.
  • Tire chains and tow strap.
  • Nonclumping kitty litter or sand for traction.
  • Jumper cables.
  • Extra cloth or paper towels for cleanup if necessary.
  • Deck of cards or board game for entertainment.

In addition to having emergency kits, motorists should check their vehicles before any road trip to make sure they are in safe operating condition. Items to check include:

  • Windshield wiper fluid.
  • Heater and defroster.
  • Wiper blades.
  • Antifreeze.
  • Lights.
  • Fuel system and a full tank of gas.
  • Ignition.
  • Exhaust system.
  • Tire tread.
  • Battery.
  • Brakes.

Hunt said it is important for motorists to keep speeds down during inclement weather and give snow plows room to do their job.

Motorists also can plan ahead when traveling by calling 511 or visiting www.cotrip.org for real-time road information.

Winter weather awareness information and updates are also posted by the Office of Emergency Management at www.COEmergency.com or on Twitter at COEmergency using the #COwx hashtag.

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