With new laws regarding driving on mountain roads, drivers need to pay attention or face fines.

Since Colorado decided to pretty much skip fall and dive right into winter, many ski areas are opening up earlier for 2019. These openings mean more traffic on I-70, which means a higher likelihood of accidents.

As of last August, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has created new laws for the winter months that require automobiles to have either chains, 4-wheel or front-wheel drive, and tires must have 3/16th of an inch of tread. Failure to comply means drivers could face fines up to $650.

If you are unsure if your tires are up to snuff, CDOT suggests doing the "quarter test". Insert a quarter with Washington's head facing downwards into your tire tread. If the top of his head is covered by tread, your tires are good to go. If the top of his head is visible at any point around the tire tread, it's time to go buy some new tires. Here are some more tips on how to prepare your vehicle for a Colorado winter!

eisenhower tunnel snow

Live video feed (screen capture) of Eisenhower Tunnel | Courtesy of CDOT

Due to the winter road conditions, sometimes an accident is unavoidable. In the event of an accident, contact the police and try to get your car to a safe spot off the road and take pictures of both your car and the accident scene if possible. For added mountain road safety, keep a few bottles of water and plenty of warm clothes and blankets in your car. The cold conditions and the increase in traffic accidents can mean being stuck in the cold for a longer period of time while waiting for help.

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