Commuting safely this winter

Sabrina HarrisPost IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent Photo/Kelley Cox

Winter is a tough time of the year for traveling in Colorado. Weather conditions can change from sunny to blowing snow within a matter of an hour or two. No matter what your mode of transportation is, please exercise caution while commuting to your destination. Below are some helpful tips to help keep you safe on your wintry commute. Carpoolers: Be prepared. Have a scraper, snow brush, coat, hat, gloves, blanket, first aid kit, flashlight, tire chains, matches and nonperishable food in your car. Make sure to invest in appropriate tires with tread that is at least 1⁄8-inch deep. Always keep the top half of your gas tank full – this gives you better traction and a larger margin of error if you get stuck. Turn your lights on to increase your visibility to other motorists. Always allow plenty of extra time to get to your destination. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. Remember that four-wheel drive does not mean four-wheel stop. Even roads that have been treated with liquid de-icers may be slippery. Bus riders: Know your bus schedule and arrive at your bus stop early. Call 925-8484 on snow days to find out if your bus is running late. Dress for the weather and carry gear (such as a flashlight) that makes you visible to bus drivers who may not see you in poor conditions. Stand back from the curb when the bus approaches. Wait for the bus to stop completely before approaching the bus. Never cross in front of the bus. Proceed with caution when boarding and exiting. Bus aisles and steps along with curbs and sidewalks will likely be slippery.Walkers/bikers: Dress appropriately in layers and wear shoes with good traction. For more stability, consider a pair of strap on treads such as Stabilicers or Yaktrax. Wear reflective/bright clothing or otherwise make sure you are visible to drivers. Wearing a scarf or mask over your faces will lessen the shock of cold air entering your lungs.Try to stick to selected routes that are clear of snow and ice and if possible, sanded or salted ones. And when walking on the roads or crossing the street, be even more cautious than usual, as drivers may have more difficulty seeing you and may be unable to stop in icy conditions. For information about bus schedules, purchasing bus passes, registering to find carpool partners, bike and trail maps or other alternative transportation options, please call 384-6437 or e-mail Harris is transportation manager for the city of Glenwood Springs.

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