State patrol urges drivers to tread safely |

State patrol urges drivers to tread safely

October is here which means unpredicatable mountain driving conditions have begun for the winter of 2014-15.

As snow begans to fall across the high country, the Colorado State Patrol urges motorists to prepare for driving in the snow and to make sure their vehicles are prepared. One of the most important pieces of equipment on our vehicles is our tires, said the CSP.

At a speed of 80 mph on wet roads, a tire is dispersing one gallon of water per second. With reduced tread, the ability to disperse that water is greatly diminished and can lead to hydroplaning. One of the main purposes for tire tread is cooling the tire. With reduced tire tread, comes reduced cooling. An overheated tire is more prone to blow out and rupture at highway speeds. While driving, each tire has only a four inch by four inch footprint that is touching the pavement. Twenty square inches is all that is holding a tire on the road and keeping a vehicle going the direction the driver wants it to go.

Colorado Revised Statute says a tire is unsafe or illegal if it has:

Any bump, bulge, or knot affecting the tire structure.

A break which exposes a tire body cord or is repaired with a boot or patch.

A tread depth of less than two thirty-seconds of an inch measured in any two tread grooves at three locations equally spaced around the circumference of the tire, or, on those tires with tread wear indicators, a tire shall be considered unsafe if it is worn to the point that the tread wear indicators contact the road in any two-tread grooves at three locations equally spaced around the circumference of the tire.

Every winter, Colorado State Patrolmen sees crashes where having inadequate tires for the road conditions either is the primary reason for the crash or a large contributor to it.

This fall, throughout Garfield, Eagle and Summit counties, join the Colorado State Patrol, the Colorado Department of Transportation and local law enforcement partners in making winter roads safer.

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