COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Southern Colorado has been seeing a lot of severe storms, so the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) offered some safety tips on Wednesday.
“Know the forecast, know the road conditions,” said Michelle Peulen, Southeast Colorado regional communications manager for CDOT.
Peulen said this is because these storms hit fast and hard.
“There is certainly an uptick in especially single-vehicle accidents when we get these monsoon type rains that are unexpected,” said Sgt. Jason Garrett with EPSO.
To keep yourself safe, CDOT recommended checking their website or the forecast before heading out.
“Sometimes we forget in the summer and there’s lots of things that can happen on the roadways and that can cause closures such as mudslides, rock slides, heavy rain, flooding,” Peulen said.
If you get caught in a storm, EPSO said to look out for puddles in the roadway.
“Even eight to ten inches of standing water can float a vehicle,” Sgt. Garrett said. “And just because you’ve got a jacked up 4×4 doesn’t mean you’re immune to it, especially our smaller cars. It kind of runs the gamut there.”
EPSO said hydroplaning isn’t anything to mess around with.
“I remember the year after I graduated high school a classmate hydroplaned off a bridge and perished unfortunately, so it happens and it’s very dangerous,” Sgt. Garrett said.
If you get caught in a heavy downpour, EPSO said the safest thing to do is pull over if you’re unable to see.
“If you can’t see, the other people in the road probably can’t see, turn on your flashers, pull off to the side of the road, just kind of wait it out,” Sgt. Garrett said.
But, most importantly, CDOT said to avoid distractions and make good choices.
“We’re only two or three months away from snow probably hitting and and snow creates kind of the same stuff just when we get inclement weather, wet roads, snowy roads, slow down, take it easy,” said Garrett. “It’s the speeds that are going to get you.”