Going to Colorado for spring break. As a life long Texan, will tire chains help me? Any suggestons for a novice driver on snow and ice?
All season tires work well. Very few times when we went to Colorado did I ever think we needed chains. Most resorts keep the roads clear and local TV stations keep up with what is going on the the passes and on interstates.
Drive deliberately, carefully, and at a speed you are comfortable with; you should be OK. If you are driving a pick up truck, some extra weight in the back over the axle keeps the pick up in balance, in my experience. Of course, if you have loaded the truck up with stuff, then that situation takes care of itself.
You can only drive a few mph with chains and lots of vehicles do not have enough clearance in the wheel wells for chains.
My advice is to wait during storm events until road conditions improve if really bad. I always find a nice lounge/bar and enjoy a spiked coffee and newspaper or book is much more peaceful than driving 25mph and praying.
They treat roads well to get skiers to their mountains.
Watch out for water on the road turning to ice after 2:00 when the sun starts to get weak. If the day was warm, about 35 degrees F, be careful of ice forming at sunset. Never drink when you know you are going to drive. If it means that you have to not drink at all, I recommend to quit completely. Never drive after 11:00 PM during Spring break or Friday and Saturday night any time of year. The drunk drivers are out in force. Dress as if you are going to have to walk three miles at night. Plan not to drive in the evening if a snow storm is expected. Keep your cell phone charged. Forget that there is such a thing as Spring break and save for retirement because it’s all Spring break then. You will have fun all the time when there is no more schedule. Money will get you through times of no schedule better then schedule will get you through times of no money. That sentence alone should get me back up to top 20 contributor status.
Most of the time you don’t need chains, if you do, they will post signs. Your best bet is to avoid driving while the chain rune is in effect.
Winter tyres vs all season, are a big help, but will not substitute for chains under server conditions. I would strongly recommend just not going anything conditions are getting bad.
Before you decide to buy tire chains, be sure to read what your Owner’s Manual has to say on the topic, because you may find it to be very surprising.
As an example of what I am referring to, my Owner’s Manual states that the car should not be driven faster than 18 mph when tire chains are in place! Many other cars have similar speed restrictions with the use of tire chains, and yours may be one of them.
Luckily, I don’t even need to consider tire chains since I use winter tires on my AWD vehicle, I exercise extreme caution, and I try to avoid driving if the snow is deeper than 8 inches or so. But, if I was tempted to buy chains, the idea of being limited to 18 mph would surely make me NOT buy them.
If you actually drove your car at 18 mph, just imagine how many people driving their Jeeps at a ridiculously unsafe speed would be likely to rear-end you before they wound up in a ditch.
There are alternatives to tire chains. There are tire cables and rubber traction straps. Of course, it would help to know what kind of vehicle it is.