Colorado provides an amazing view of nature and wildlife. If you are planning a fall trip to Colorado to take in the colorful changes of autumn, here are a few travel safety tips for your autumn trip to take in the Colorado scenery.
Be Prepared for Changing Weather Conditions
The weather in the Colorado Mountains can change in an instant, one minute you’re driving in sunny conditions, and the next minute, you’re fighting snow and high winds. Knott Laboratory conducted a study on commercial vehicle towing accidents which showed that a crosswind of 35 mph may create as much as 3440 pounds of force pushing on the side of a large trailer, so it’s important to be prepared for the possibility of these types of conditions. Not only should you stay alert and be aware of your surroundings, including other drivers, but it’s also essential that your vehicle is prepared to handle the weather and driving in the mountains. Before traveling make sure to have routine maintenance done on your vehicle, including getting an oil change, checking the tire tread and air pressure, and don’t forget to check the anti-freeze and other fluids.
Be on the Lookout for Wildlife
It’s natural to be excited about the possibility of seeing a lot of wildlife while traveling through the mountains, but it’s important to keep in mind that the mountains are home to the wildlife, so they aren’t going to necessarily be watching out for you to be driving down the road. Wildlife will be crossing as well as standing in the roadways at all times of the day, but they are the most prevalent in the early morning and after dark. A good thing to keep in mind is that if you see one deer, there are generally many more close by, so after passing one species of wildlife on the road, be cautious of the possibility of others in close vicinity. If driving after dark, drive with your high beams on when possible and watch for other drivers that may flash their lights, which typically means slow down because there are deer or other wildlife on the road.
Packing for a Trip to the Mountains
Regardless of the season in which you are traveling to Colorado, it’s important to pack appropriately. The high altitudes can affect your energy and your breathing, so it’s essential that you pack plenty of water and medications recommended by your physician to help control nausea, asthma, and headaches. The climate can be extremely hot or extremely cold, so make sure to pack blankets, snacks, and extra clothing. You’ll also need a good pair of hiking boots, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Remember to bring along jumper cables, a first aid kit, and a flashlight as well.
Make sure you have mapped out your plans before setting off on a journey in the mountains. It’s not uncommon for cell phone coverage to be non-existent in the mountains, so you may not be able to look up nearby attractions, local hotels, or even a navigation app. Even worse, you may be involved in an accident, so it’s important to plan ahead and leave a copy of your travel itinerary with a friend or family member. Studies have shown that 9 out of 10 services held have loved ones that aren’t able to attend, oftentimes it’s due to poor weather, so play it safe and be prepared for the possibility of the unexpected occurring.