(Colorado) – For those trying to squeeze in a few more trips to the mountains for outdoor fun or for an annual hunting trip, the Colorado State Patrol reminds those traveling to the Colorado high country the weather can change quickly in the mountains during any time of year and includes conditions like strong winds, heavy rains and snowfall. There have been 35 fatal crashes in southwest Colorado this year. Be prepared by knowing how to properly tow and checking the weather conditions.
While wind may not sound very hazardous, it can be a factor to consider especially when pulling a trailer, camper or another recreational vehicle. Space between mountains can sometimes serve as a tunnel for the wind and can cause a trailer or camper to sway or tip. Motorists should remember to keep both hands on the wheel to ensure that the vehicle and trailer are staying inside the lane.
Rain and snow can cause visibility issues as well as impact traction. Pulling a trailer becomes much more challenging with slick surfaces or forming ruts on unpaved roads. When traveling on scenic byways motorists should check the weather forecast and anticipate changing conditions with the elevation.
Hills, downgrades and changing weather make cruise control a poor choice for mountain driving. Cruise control is “auto-pilot.” It maintains the vehicle at one speed no matter what’s happening on the road. It can’t see curves or slippery conditions.
If you have ensured your vehicle is mechanically sound, the best approach in poor weather is to turn on your lights, take your time and give other vehicles plenty of space. Be prepared to turn around or take a longer way back to your destination if a road is flooded, washed out or closed.
Finally, check out the Super Cruising section of this website to not only see videos of your favorite scenic route but also links to weather conditions and how to properly distribute weight on your trailer.
ABOUT THE COLORADO STATE PATROL
Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs. In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more.