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Winter Driving Safety

Ice and Snow

Ice and Snow

graphic with text describing steps to take to prepare your car for winter

Before the 2022 winter season hits the Colorado Springs area, be sure to prep your car for optimal performance. Take time to inspect your fluid levels, tires and lights. (U.S. Space Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Alexis Christian)

graphic depicting items that you should have in your winter emergency kit

Remember to pack an emergency car kit for this 2022 winter season. Emergency kits should include jumper cables and phone chargers, food and water, an ice scraper and shovel, extra clothing and blankets and kitty litter or sand for traction in case you get stuck. (U.S. Space Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Alexis Christian)

graphic depicting safe driving tips for adverse winter weather conditions

Prior to the 2022 winter season, make sure to familiarize yourself with safe driving recommendations for adverse road conditions. Winter can bring about snow, sleet, ice and black ice, remember to reduce your speeds and drive cautiously. (U.S. Space Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Alexis Christian)


With winter’s icy grasp around the corner, it’s important for Airmen, Guardians, DoD civilians and their families to know and understand proper winter driving safety.

“The weather here is unpredictable,” said Senior Airman Gavin Carpenter, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter. “It’s important to be prepared and always have a plan.” 

The Colorado Department of Transportation conducted a report that showed from 2005 to 2019, 60% of crashes caused by weather in Colorado occurred when snow, sleet or hail were present. 

While driving during the winter months, drivers should have an emergency kit in their vehicles in case they are stranded. The kit should include a flashlight, jumper cables, sand or kitty litter, a shovel, an ice scraper, warning devices such as flares, a blanket, food, water, needed medication, a phone and charger.

“It’s a good idea to have tire chains and/or tire socks in your vehicle if you intend to drive in locations with lots snow or ice, but more importantly reduce your driving speed from the posted speed limit,” said Wade Woods, Peterson-Schriever Garrison Safety occupational safety and health technician.

According to the CDOT Traction Law, all motorists are required to have one of the following during winter storms or when conditions require:

  • A four or all-wheel drive vehicle and 3/16 inches of tire tread depth.
  • Tires with a mud and snow designation and 3/16 inches tread depth.
  • Winter tires and 3/16 inches tread depth.
  • Tires with all-weather manufacture rating and 3/16 inches tread depth.
  • Tire chains or an approved alternative traction device.

Failure to abide by these laws can lead to a citation of more than $650.

“Tires with proper tread will aid in bringing your vehicle to a stop and can prevent accidents caused by improper tire tread, but it is more important for drivers to be fully aware of their surroundings and give themselves plenty of space to stop,” said Woods.

Drivers should be aware of their stopping distances. According to CDOT, while traveling at speeds of 60 mph on snowy pavement with summer tires, the stopping distance is 800-plus feet, with all-season tires it’s 668 feet and with winter tires, the stopping distance is 310 feet.

“If you are inexperienced in driving while the road conditions may be hazardous, practice and sharpen your skills in a safe parking lot to help understand the hazards,” said Woods. “If you are unsure or have doubts of your driving ability inform your supervision that you may need a ride or assistance.”

During adverse weather, Airman, Guardians or DoD civilians who do not feel safe commuting should contact their chain of command for guidance.

For more information about winter driving safety contact the P-S GAR Safety office at 719-556-4392/7771.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui