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Old 10-27-2009, 09:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
gyudaddy
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Default Driving under storm warning?

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask about driving. I'll be driving to summit county tomorrow during the day (from I-70 KS). It seems there's a major snow storm warning until Thursday. I've driven the east side of Denver a few times where things get very hilly. I don't know if it's a good idea to drive during that warning time or not.

From your experience, what are road conditions likely?

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Old 10-27-2009, 09:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I do this all the time. Driving a 4wd helps a lot since you'll do a lot of uphill climbs, FWD is fine as long as you go slow. If you have RWD, I wouldnt even dare (yes we tried this and almost died, lol) People around Summit are so used to driving in winter conditions its actually scary. Just be on the slow lane, drive slow and you should be fine. On sudden wind gusts, slow down even more, just be mindful of the car behind you all the time.

Have extra blankets and food "incase shit happens". Like what I always say, its wasn't you, it was the other guy
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You should be ok, at least until you hit the mountains. The storm isn't really supposed to hit Denver and plains until Wednesday night. If anything get a very early start so you can make most if not all of the drive during daylight hours. The mountains could be getting hit pretty hard late in the day, but 70 is a well plowed road up there. Then again, since all of the weather guys are calling for this to be a big storm, it'll probably end up being more like a fart in the sand...
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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+1

Once you get off I-70, the road conditions may change. The storm on Closing Weekend last season kept Berthoud Pass closed for 1.5 days. Let me tell you that powder was fine at WP. It lasted a long time too.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That makes me feel a lot better. If I canceled the trip, my son would have been heart-broken! I'll be extra-careful.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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When it gets super sketchy on any mountain roads, I just pop in some Marley, lean back, relax and drive 10 mph slower in the appropriate lane. Get there slower, but I would rather be 15 minutes late then have thousands of dollars in body damage to my car + getting stuck in a ditch. No reason to try to be like all the idiots going 90 mph in a blizzard down 70.

EDIT: One thing I will add though is if you are on a single lane road on a mountain pass with people behind you, pull the hell over and let them pass. Likewise, if you are going up a steep incline you need to keep your speed, because large trucks and FWD cars must accelerate to get up them. Nothing worse than someone going 15mph when they could safely be doing 30 mph in a 50mph and you are starting to stall out behind them.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Get 5 cars behind you = pull over. I usually pull over for three. If I get one really aggressive a-hole behind me, I pull over. Not worth the annoyance. If I see them stuck in the ditch later, I don't pull over. There can be lots of ding-dong aggresive drivers coming out of Denver and going over Berthoud. The cops in Empire and the ones on the bottom of Berthoud love'em.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I spend the summer months as a driving instructor for a couple of high performance driving schools and clubs. There are some general rules that are often over looked when driving in snow. Firstly; good snow tires are GREAT in the snow. If some one passes you going considerably faster in the snow it is usually because they have good snow tires. The car will not only go but it will corner and stop as well. Secondly; if your car has ABS, FORGET the old adage about pumping the brakes! Many accidents occur because people start pumping the brakes in ABS equipped cars. Press as hard as you can and let the ABS do its thing. The pedal will shake violently and make a racket but it is supposed to do that...press harder when it kicks in! Thirdly; AWD only allows you to get going. AWD cars, SUV & trucks DO NOT corner or stop better than front or rear wheel drive cars. Stopping and cornering is, largely, a function of the tires (other things like differential functioning, driven wheels and throttle input also have some effect). So if you have all season tires on your AWD Subi or Audi you may be able to get going but stopping will be a bitch! At the same time a rear wheel drive car with good snow tires will actually do pretty well with all three aspects of vehicle dynamics (starting cornering and stopping).

HTH

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Old 10-27-2009, 02:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shutupandride View Post
I spend the summer months as a driving instructor for a couple of high performance driving schools and clubs. There are some general rules that are often over looked when driving in snow.

HTH

BE safe!
Avalanches trump everything. Avalanche sends travelers tumbling - USATODAY.com I talked to Dave Boon on a lift at WP exactly one year later to the day. The cars didn't fare too well.


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Old 10-27-2009, 02:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is true. I have a FWD it feels liek a tank in the snow with some blizzaks on there. Getting going needs some finess of the clutch/gas but turns and braking feel real solid. If it gets really crazy, I always have a set of chains in the trunk but laws vary by state on using them. They are a cheap investment compared to the headache you could have if stranded.
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