(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Colorado State Patrol (CSP) is reminding the public to be careful when driving through Colorado’s mountain passes and roadways, especially during the fall season.
Here are some tips on safely navigating mountains, valleys and plains for fall driving and beyond:
Beware of Quickly Changing Temperatures
- Temperatures change with altitude. CSP says some mountain passes can bring you up and down thousands of feet within a short distance. When you start driving up through a mountain, it can be sunny with clear skies, but by the time you reach the peak, there can be blizzard conditions.
Colorful leaves may be pretty to look at, but leaves on the road can be dangerous when wet
- Driving on slippery leaves can be similar to driving on ice, states CSP. Leaves can also obstruct traffic lines, potholes or pavement markings. Drivers should use caution, drive slowly and keep a safe following distance.
Watch for deer and elk!
- Deer and elk accidents are common during the autumn months because it’s mating season, according to CSP. They are most active at dawn or dusk. Proceed with care if you see deer or elk because they often travel in groups.
Fog can be a huge issue
- Especially in the valleys, visibility can go from totally clear to extremely limited in seconds.
Don’t give in to tire pressure
- Temperatures can go from double digits in the afternoon to zero or lower at night or in the early morning during autumn. Fluctuating temperatures may cause your tires to expand and contract, which ultimately leads to a loss of tire pressure. It is best practice to monitor your tire pressure regularly so you don’t have to worry about it while on the road.
The days are becoming shorter which means visibility is reduced
- Drivers should watch for pedestrians walking or biking on the roadway at dawn, dusk, or night. Remember to check that all lights in the car are working correctly.
With the time change, the sun rises and sets at different times
- Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car for the road to reduce dangerous glare that can occur at the same time many vehicles are on the road.
Cool overnight temperatures bring morning frost
- Give yourself extra time to clear the windows of frost before you start driving. Keep a snow broom/ice remover and make sure your wipers and defrosters are working properly.
Don’t park where it says no parking
- No parking signs are usually related to safety or to protect the environment in the area, states CSP. Parking in restricted areas can compromise safety as the fall season is one of the busiest times of the year in the Rocky Mountains.