Top ten driving tips non-Colorado natives forget at start of their second winter here

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Big photos below.
In February, we listed the ten scariest out-of-state license plates to see in a snowstorm. But just because a car has green-and-white mountain tags doesn't mean the driver has had them for years -- and many people who've moved here and survived their first Colorado winter tend to forget the lessons that helped them avoid nasty crashes between year one and year two. So, on the morn of the season's first notable snowfall, we offer photo-illustrated reminders to those of you starting your second Colorado winter, in the hope you don't kill the rest of us. Count them down below.

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Number 10: Slow the hell down
Those warnings about decreasing your speed when roadways are wet, snowpacked or icy shouldn't be dismissed as the suggestions of finger-wagging octogenarians who have seemingly forgotten what the gas pedal does. There's this little thing called physics that tells us that the faster you go, the farther you're apt to slide if you hit a slick spot. Really. We're not making this up.

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Number 9: Speaking of physics, SUVs aren't immune to it
Rides like Escalades can roll over a lot of things, but not the laws of science. In fact, if you start to slide in a giant sports-utility vehicle, the extra size and weight are apt to get you in trouble faster than if you were piloting a Mini Cooper. And that's not to mention the issues some SUVs have with rolling over and/or flipping. While you may feel badass zooming by everyone on a snowy day, they'll get the last laugh if you're on your top a minute or two later.

Continue to keep counting down the top ten things non-Colorado natives forget at the start of their second winter here.


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276 comments
Chris Heller
Chris Heller

Re: the natives, it depends on where in the state they're from and how much they've actually done it. Some places like the lower valleys of the West Slope really don't get much snow while others get buried every winter.

JeXica Elliott
JeXica Elliott

It's the combination that makes 70 & 25 a death trap....

Juddith Naydeen
Juddith Naydeen

The number one rule many don't follow....TAILGATING!!!! Do not tailgate!!!!

Jadababy Jadababy
Jadababy Jadababy

it's really hard to tell whether someone is a native of colorado or not, especially when you can only see their cars.

Jessica Varela
Jessica Varela

I grew up in Alaska amd learned to drive in snow and ice. I'd have to say this transplant knows her way around winter driving conditions.

Lee Lichtenstein
Lee Lichtenstein

You can pick em out on the side of the road (in the ditch)... Texan... Californian.. Texan...

Lawrence Dunn
Lawrence Dunn

These rules are applicable anywhere there's winter.

Matthew Lowell Smith
Matthew Lowell Smith

Colorado native my entire life, learned to drive in a blizzard, almost every one on the road sucks, snow or no snow. STAY THE FUCK OFF YOUR CELL PHONES, APPLY SOME HUMAN CONSIDERATION, ADD ABOUT 4 SECONDS OF FALLOW TIME, AND IT'LL BE MUCH BETTER FOR ALL SHARING THE ROADS!!!!

Kevin Doyle
Kevin Doyle

It ain't just the non-Colorado natives. The natives and long-time residents need a refresher course, too.

Karen Pierce
Karen Pierce

I prefer "watch for ice on bridge" over "bridge ices before road" which is really the same thing, but - WTH??

Beau Scott
Beau Scott

Call me what you will I am comfortable driving in the snow as a native. The issue is the transplants that go buy a huge SUV and think that is the secret while driving like a moron. Nothing against the visitors buuut...

Patrick Purcell
Patrick Purcell

That's also not including the tens of thousands driving here "illegally" from south of the border.

Patrick Purcell
Patrick Purcell

This is pretty ridiculous. The population of the state has grown so fast so quick, and largely concentrated on the front range, that it would be safe to say that 70% or more, are transplants. Natives are an extremely small part of the states population (especially in the metro are.) Why doesn't westword tell us how many Californians have tuned in their licenses, for Colorado licenses, in the last 15 years here. Hundreds of thousands.

Rebecca Repp
Rebecca Repp

I think that some transplants go way too slow and some natives go way too fast and there's the people in the middle driving reasonable speeds that have to contend with both.

irishmonk
irishmonk

Down shifting into a lower gear is very helpful on hills or when approaching stop signs or stop lights in icy conditions.

Juan Macias
Juan Macias

Im with you on this one. There is also a lot of pedestrians that can't even use a cross walk. I mean really is it safe to walk across 6 lanes of traffic sometimes I see a parent doing this with kids. I think its just Colorado in general that has a problem with common sense when it comes to any rules or laws about the roads.

Juan Macias
Juan Macias

Rain, Shine, or Snow there seems to be a large portion of the population in Colorado that can't drive.

Jason R. Hager
Jason R. Hager

Transplants not from the Rocky Mountain/High Great Plains Region.

Josh Wise
Josh Wise

Having driven in Afghanistan where there are no driving schools, no traffic law enforcement, and the drivers will use their vehicles to force their way through I have to say Colorado is a close to that bad. The only thing that scares me more than some schmuck with a native sticker is someone with a native sticker in a Subaru.

Kay Dirling
Kay Dirling

I'd agree with that. I'll trust someone from Wisconsin over someone from Texas, for instance. But there will always live the memory of our friend from NY who refused to slow down, stating "I'm from New York!" in a very superior tone even as he hit the patch of black ice and spun the car around in a 180.

Misty M. Stuart
Misty M. Stuart

Im from Alabama and lived in Denver for 4 years..very tough transplant as far as driving..first thing I learned was how to rock a car out of snow, and the use of kitty litter:)

Gary Allen Krout
Gary Allen Krout

We drive fine. Take your ass where you came from. Your fucking clueless.

Marcus J Fowler
Marcus J Fowler

Front Range natives are by far the worst. The ones who have lived in the mountains their whole lives aren't that bad.

Kelly Conway
Kelly Conway

if you're a Denver native it's possible your just as bad as someone from Kansas. If you grew up in the highest town in America nobody can touch those skills, just sayin

Rommie Whittaker
Rommie Whittaker

I think I'm gonna stay the fuck out of Colorado when it snows,since you got so many bad drivers there I don't care where they're from !

Latifah Abdul'laah
Latifah Abdul'laah

For all of you transplants complaining about natives (and yes, we are real people, born and raised, not with years under our belts) please feel free to move and aggravate some other state. Since in most the comments a lot of you seem to move frequently anyway.

Christy Articola
Christy Articola

No, I live here. I use the gas and brake appropriately and even turn signals! So I guess SOME people in Colorado can drive - the NY transplants :)

Jeremy Christopher Russell
Jeremy Christopher Russell

I'm sorry I'm going to have to troll your comment, if you can say co. Drivers are bad your one aswell. Unless your just visiting, then there maybe an acception.

Michael Bornstein
Michael Bornstein

CO natives are absolutely clueless when it comes to driving in any condition.

MD Burnt
MD Burnt

natives not from the mountains

Jeremy Christopher Russell
Jeremy Christopher Russell

peoples inabillity to drive and lack of common sense with a side order being rude and add an increased attendance from non locals combined with frustrated natives who wish they could teleport the first mentioned in my comment to a paralell universe

Chris Gelroth
Chris Gelroth

ACTUAL Colorado mountain native drivers are the best ones out there. Practice makes perfect. Everyone else acts like that 1" accumulation is the first blizzard/snowfall they've ever seen, every year, like an annual lapse in memory.

Drew Fuelling
Drew Fuelling

You all need to take a bus. I cant even tell who's drunk and who's sober out there.

Lisa Crain
Lisa Crain

I'm from Norman, OK and I've lived all over the country, including San Diego and DC. Colorado drivers are the worst!

Christy Articola
Christy Articola

As a New Yorker I can honestly day NO ONE in Colorado knows how to drive - in snow, or otherwise.

Frank Wojcinski
Frank Wojcinski

first thing for ALL drivers-----------Get OFF your phone

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