Avalanche survival: Tips for motorists



Avalanche danger is very high throughout the state in the backcountry and that danger could even hit the roadways and why having a plan B is vital during your travels. “This is where planning ahead makes a huge difference,” said Elise Thatcher with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

CDOT works with the Avalanche Mitigation Team to make sure the possibility of a driver being caught in an avalanche is very low, but if you are that statistic, here are some tips that could save a life including: saving the battery on your phone. Thatcher says, “Make sure you always have an emergency kit in your car with a blanket, flashlight. So, again, you’re not depending on your phone. Make sure you’ve got extra food and water especially, if you got kids or pets in the car.”

Other suggestions include staying in your vehicle, keeping the windows rolled up, and turning off your vehicle to prevent carbon monoxide from filling the air. When driving through inclement weather, Thatcher says to make sure your tires have a tread depth of at least 3/16 of inch to keep you on the road. “Even better if you chains or cables, or something that’s similar to an auto sock so that in addition to your tire tread, you have another tool to make sure to get you where you’re going and to make sure you’re not that person who’s sliding sideways down a hill,” said Thatcher.

And, finally, Thatcher says to check the conditions before you hit the road on cotrip.org for the latest road conditions and traffic alerts.

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