Winter Tips, Living in Colorado, Colorado Winter, Denver, Jeffco, CO
With the recent temperature drop it is important to remember that not everyone in Colorado is a native, and not everyone in the state is accustom to the harsh winter conditions experienced here. If you are not familiar with cold and snowy winters, these tips will help you to survive the season.
Most liquids in your car have very low freezing points so they will not freeze in Colorado’s winter climate, however there are a couple that will freeze.
-It is possible for gasoline to freeze when the mercury drops. This usually happens when there is very little gasoline in the tank, and at night when it gets the coldest. To avoid this, make sure you always have at least ¼ of a gallon of gas when you park your car for the night.
-Regular windshield wiper fluid can freeze as well. Most grocery stores and gas stations across the state carry a winter windshield wiper solution that will not freeze in Colorado’s climate, and it is not too much more expensive than the regular solution.
-If your car is parked outside at night you may find a sheet of ice over your windshield or your doors frozen shut. In case you have not taken a chemistry class, it is important to know not to pour hot or boiling water on your vehicle. The combination of the extreme temperatures will cause your windows and windshield to crack. Instead, use an ice scraper on the windows, and if your doors are frozen shut, you can use a hair dryer or heat gun. It is important to warm up the door slowly so use a low setting on the hair dryer or heat gun, and keep it constantly moving on different areas of the door. You can also buy a chemical de-icer solution that will instantly melt the ice on your car, however these products are not the best for the environment.
-Many choose to start their cars a few minutes before driving them, and will leave them unattended. If there is a key in the ignition and no driver present, this is called “puffing” and it is illegal in Colorado. Leaving a car running with a key makes it easy for thieves to steal the car quickly without being noticed.
-There is a common myth in Colorado that when there is precipitation on the roads all driving laws are null. This is incorrect. Drivers still need to drive within the boundary of one lane, obey the speed limits and signal for turns and lane changes. Since this myth is so often believed, it is important to pay extra attention to surrounding cars while driving in the winter.
-Allow longer distances for stopping your vehicle and come to a stop slower than you would on a dry road. This significantly decreases the chance of your car sliding. More drivers run red lights and stop signs because they have difficulty stop in the winter than any other season.
-Many businesses and residents in the state will put salt on their walk ways to melt the ice faster. Many of these products are toxic to pets and can cause burns on their paws. You can purchase pet safe ice crystals that will do the job just as well, and will not have negative side effects on pets.
-Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time in the cold. A good rule of thumb is if you are cold enough to want to go back inside, your pets probably are as well.
- Smaller dogs tend to get colder faster in the snow because they are lower to the ground and are therefore more exposed to it.
-Dogs that do not have long fur will benefit greatly from a pet jacket to ease the wind chill factor and the bitter feeling of cold they may experience.
- When walking on ice, dogs can easily cut the pads of their paws on sharp edges. Inspect you dog’s paws after walking them, and consider purchasing doggy boots that will protect their paws in the harsh conditions.
Hopefully these tips and pointers will make the cold months in Colorado more enjoyable and safe for you this winter.