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

Categories: Lists

snow.crash.205x205.jpg
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.

decrease.speed.thinkstock.jpg
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.

snow.crash.2.jpg
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.



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
458 comments
Jason Cardona
Jason Cardona

As a non-Colorado driver, my biggest pet peeve is Colorado drivers.

Pig Pen
Pig Pen

I lived here,in estes. main thing,steady movement, [no herky jerks] keep your witts.lot of flat landers came up for snow, then get over welmed by the amount.then the herky jerks start.just goes down hill from there.

Thomas Gilhooly
Thomas Gilhooly

If I was from anywhere other than colorado I would move here to. Proud native. Welcome all!

Ted Gwathmey
Ted Gwathmey

That's pretty interesting Steve. How did you come to this determination? Do we all have "Native" stickers on our cars? Having lived here since 1980, I can definitively say that the quality of driving has dropped significantly. When people who are not very familiar with driving in the mountains move to a state with mountains, it will take them awhile to figure it out. My personal pet peeves are the number of people who still try to drive up into the mountains during the winter with all weather tires. Mountain travel would be so much safer and more predictable if people would just put on decent snow tires.

Budd Kerr
Budd Kerr

Slow drivers!!! Stay inside or take the bus!!!

Susan Pulciani
Susan Pulciani

Worst drivers ever I am a native has nothing to do with it ..here is my rant smh\U0001f60f..red lite runners ...can't stay in your lane ....tailgating bc "you" are the most important person in the road ....thinks you are the best driver in the snow and ice in your suv ...and have you noticed that just about every car has dents or worse ????? And we rank one of the highest in the US for hit and runs think that speaks for itself \U0001f615

Riobárd Mac Gabhann
Riobárd Mac Gabhann

There are many reasons salt can't be used in CO. Yes, us Yankees know it works, but it's fairly evident why it would be harmful in CO. And salt is not the main solution. But yeah, Front Rangers are not very knowledgeable about snow and ice driving either: it doesn't stay long enough.

Tiffany Nichole
Tiffany Nichole

I'm from NE and had to deal with what you mentioned above but as a non-native I can't drive well in CO? Ha!

Michelle Collins
Michelle Collins

Colorado drivers are ass holes. FYI - Doesn't matter how friggen big your truck is, if you drive a Subaru, or if you have 4WD/AWD - you will slide on ice. So slow the eff down and pay attention! I'm a native and I still think Colorado drivers,native or not, are ass holes.

jimmoore13
jimmoore13

P.S.  Colorado virtually NEVER gets ice storms.  If you haven't lived through an ice storm, you have no clue about what winter can really do.  Try 1 1/2 to 2 inches of ice on EVERYTHING...all trees, power lines, the wipers, the road, your rear window...all of it.  Stuff falling all around...tree limbs, power poles, whole trees....

Being a CO native - or long-time resident has nothing to do with knowing how to drive in winter.  Good equipment and good sense are vital anywhere.

jimmoore13
jimmoore13

Michael Roberts...great job, with just the right tone of irreverence and "wake-the-hell-up" reality check.

Meanwhile, as a 14 year veteran of Colorado, I assure you, Colorado does not hold a candle to upstate NY winters.  There the snow is wet and heavy, and then followed by a Canadian high pressure system that drifts the snow into cement.  Most snow packs onto the roads and does not melt for days or weeks...leaving a pot-holed mess of ice and packed snow.

Two key differences between NY and CO:

1.  more people drive trucks and SUVs in CO, and they roll over far easier than cars do.  Almost every day on the CO news, we hear of roll-over accidents, summer or winter.
2.  CO uses guard rails far more sparingly than many northeastern states.  So, rather than keeping the roll-over-prone truck on the road, it slides into the ditch, where the sliding tires "catch" on soft soil and flip the truck.  Worse, the terrain in CO is far less benign.  Often, not far off the road is a hazard of the first order...a cliff or rock wall...or just a damned big rock.

Most drivers of 4WD vehicles seem to be clueless that 4WD and AWD is for "go."  It does little to help with "turn" and "stop".   Vehicles need damned good tires to turn and stop.  But few bother with winter-grade tires.  And guess what mondo, jacked-up, off-road pick-em-up truck guys?  Mudders ain't worth crap in the snow.

I will confess that CO has one hazard that's less common in NY.  Micro climates can change road conditions dramatically in just a few miles.  The roads in Bailey can be clear and dry, but I've learned from lots of experience that Conifer can be treacherous on the same drive.

Mary Dotlich
Mary Dotlich

Thxs Brad Scales I needed that from one native to another. I couldn't of said it better myself. \U0001f44d

Margaux S Milchen
Margaux S Milchen

Yep I'm from New England...lived here since 1988 and Colorado drivers suck.

Margaux S Milchen
Margaux S Milchen

Get tires for gods sake or I'll be calling in your license plates.

Samantha Ostendorf
Samantha Ostendorf

I have lived in Pittburgh, San Diego, South Carolina, and St. Louis. CO drivers are BY FAR the worst.

Jon Murrish
Jon Murrish

Morons who think that "four wheel drive" means four wheel braking at high speed. Love it when they drive off the side of the road on Loveland Pass and get hopelessly stuck. Believe me, it wasn't as bad before the Eisenhower Tunnel was built. My Dad would just put the chains on his Chevy station wagon and we would make it over without incident. Oh, and that car had drum brakes all around...

Desmond Moon
Desmond Moon

along with their douchiness factors, clearly

Kirk Powers
Kirk Powers

Yes, and you're right. They are worse winter drivers. The difference is they rarely have to deal with it down there, and thus are pretty ill-equipped for it, skills and vehicle-wise. What really gets me is Colorado drivers being overconfident in the snow and putting themselves and others in danger. I can count 3 times in very recent memory that I've seen a Colorado driver blow past me going 80 on a snow covered road only to see them in the ditch a few minutes later. Contrary to popular Colorado belief, the green plates don't make your vehicle into a snow tank. Commuting in Denver when I lived there was a terrifying experience, and rarely due to out of state drivers.

Angelina Popović Macias
Angelina Popović Macias

Former Chicagoan and Texan here...Denver drivers to me have always been the best drivers for me (courteous and decent speeds). My tires suck when it comes to driving in the snow, my only complaint? Why aren't the streets cleaned?! I've never seen highways and main streets so full of snow than in CO.

Scott Schulman
Scott Schulman

Nobody ever high fives me out their window when it's snowing, my motorcycle always falls over on ice, I srsly don't get it

Brad Scales
Brad Scales

So let's clarify something first...Just because you have a Colorado license plate and/or a CO ID, DOES NOT MAKE YOU A NATIVE. So how do you know the person in front of you on the road with the CO plates is a native, do you physically stop them and say " hey are you a native? You're driving like an idiot."....Stupid. Or, do you say " this guy said he was a Colorado native in the last post on Facebook and was a dick about out of state driving habits, so I know he's a bad driver then."....Shut the fuck up. Oh god, heaven forbid he has a Denver Broncos sticker on his car, "he must be a native too"....just, just don't. Don't even trust the Native stickers, I once knew a guy from California who put one on his car. I ripped it off as any true native should do. As a CO Native, it's rare these days to actually meet another native, there has been so much movement into this state, and it's no surprise. It's a beautiful state with so much to offer! Natives are pretty much the minority, if not close to it these days I feel like. Second of all, not saying all out of state drivers are bad because I've seen some pretty damn good and proper out of state drivers. But, an abundant amount of you have no damn clue what you're doing and should never enter a drivers seat of ANYTHING, not even the Need For Speed arcade games at Dave and Busters. You're the ones that give a bad rep for both out of state and native drivers who actually can drive, obey traffic laws and who are truly aware of times to be aggressive drivers, or hell, to be aware of anything at all for that matter, period!!!! I don't care if your other state doesn't enforce left lane passing laws or that an on ramp is to build speed to get on the highway properly rather than coasting on the downhill onramp 30mph until you actually get on the highway itself, to then build speed.....You're an idiot. Either learn how to drive, take public transportation and get off the road, or leave our state, very simple. Both Natives and a good amount out of staters have conformed to the shitty, bad rep giving, non native driving habits, and just like a cancer, it spreads. And finally, enough of the non natives who bitch about all the construction going on with the roads...YOU'RE the reason why! You're clogging our state and roads with you're Driving Miss Daisy skills and we are doing the best we can to expand because of you. Some of you are shaking your heads and are super butt hurt after reading this. That just means you're one of the many that I'm talking about. So to add on for those this pertained to...If you're going to bash, bitch and complain about us true natives and the state we love so much, while you're inhabiting in our own damn state, get out...YOURE NOT WANTED HERE!!!! Last time I checked, we are pretty damn proud of OUR state and we were here first.

Jennifer M Koskinen
Jennifer M Koskinen

Thank you!! My biggest pet peeve is when Coloradans think they KNOW how to drive on icy roads!!!

Nicole Bombski
Nicole Bombski

Agree, I'm originally from WI where people are polite to other drivers and know how to drive in snow, rain, and sleet safely and without getting into or causing an accident. It can be frustrating here.

Chris Long
Chris Long

Non-native here. Colorado drivers are absolutely awful

Desmond Moon
Desmond Moon

Right, because the roads "never" ice up anywhere outside of Colo-RAHD-DOH! Derp! Comment bail fail, Mikey Roberts!

Eric Bakst
Eric Bakst

#1 should be if your tires are bald stay home.

Kirk Powers
Kirk Powers

To be honest colorado has some of the worst winter drivers I have ever seen.

Morgan Bethany
Morgan Bethany

Out of state license plates. You're already dead to me at that point.

Justin Lenk
Justin Lenk

I'd say upstate new York roads are harder to drive. But I did see someone do a 360 trying to pull left onto Church ranch blvd yesterday lol.

Kimberly Scott-Marsden
Kimberly Scott-Marsden

SLOW your ass down..and STAY OFF MINE! Moronic behavior, I don't care where you are from.

Michelle Crystal
Michelle Crystal

I'm a Mainer/ New Englander in my second CO winter... The problem isn't the drivers it's the lack of proper plowing and snow removal! CO is the worst!!! They might as well not even bother.

Joseph Tee
Joseph Tee

No way this is the most relevant post you guys have made native drivers are fine! I've lives here my whole life and traffic used to be great until people moved here!

Dan Scott
Dan Scott

Those "Native" stickers (for whatever that's about) don't keep you out of ditches.

Heather Kelly
Heather Kelly

I will be the first to admit that CO drivers suck. We are rude; we absolutely do not follow any rules of the road that would require us to be polite. We tend to aim for anything in a crosswalk, because "points"...duh. we enjoy wet roads because we can splash the pedestrians walking near any puddles. Also "points". And when it comes to driving on cold, icy roads, we think we are better than anyone else out there. Let's be honest here, fellow Coloradians...we are probably some of the most arrogant, asshole drivers. I didn't believe it until I traveled to other places. In MA, drivers will stop, if they just think you want to cross a street. In WI, four ways stops become a parking lots because they are willing to let someone else go first... all four people at the stop. On a highway, once you cross the CO state line, people actually use the lanes like their supposed to. You know, left lane is for passing, right lane is where you go once you've passed. They actually allow people to merge, rather than speed up/slow down to keep them from taking the lane. CO drivers really do just suck. And since I learned to drive here, that would include me.... at least until I learned better.

John Anderson
John Anderson

Colorado drivers of all kinds native or not: just because it's cold outside and there may be a little snow on the roads does not mean you need to drive like an A-hole! Drive the limit or get out of the way! A lot of us "transplants" (childish term) have come from places with much more ice, cold and snow and we know how to drive in winter conditions better than you. So, please stop making useless traffic, brake checking those who know how to drive and get out of the way so life may go on for the rest of us. You are in the way! And those who merge onto a 60 mph highway at 40. You are an idiot! You are the cause of a lot of the useless traffic here and you are unable to use common sense. Now please some childish "native" please prove me right and tell me to go home\U0001f60b. Thank you.

r9robles
r9robles

Locals/Natives drive SLOW.  I'm all for safe driving, but driving BELOW the speed limit, on dry and empty roads, is not conducent to safe driving. 

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...