Colorado Department of Transportation issues winter driving advice

Vail Daily Staff Report
For more information on road conditions and travel, go to

For winter driving and snow prep information, go to

The Colorado Department of Transportation is gearing up for the first winter storm of the fall season. The cold, unsettled weather is expected to impact much of the state through Friday.

Fall storms can catch motorists off guard, especially those preceded by warm temperatures. Storms this time of year typically have high moisture content, which could lead to roadways becoming very slick, very fast. This storm also is expected to have high winds bringing blowing snow to some areas of the state and red flag warnings to others.

This is also the first season for the state’s new traction law. During snowy and icy conditions, the new law increases the minimum tread depth for tires on all vehicles – including those with four-wheel drive – from an eighth of an inch to three-sixteenths of an inch. For more information, go to

State law also makes it illegal for drivers to pass a snowplow operating in tandem formation with one or more snowplows.  The snowplows have the right-of-way. In general, it’s best to stay safely behind plows. 

Travel over higher mountain passes in the central and northern mountains will be impacted through Thursday evening. Freezing temps will cause slick driving conditions. Motorists are encouraged to slow down, plan ahead and be prepared to drive in winter conditions.