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New Laws In Colorado And What They Mean For You
The new traction law that took place this year as of September 1, 2019 means that if you are driving a two-wheel-drive vehicle on I-70 through the Rocky Mountains, you will need either snow chains or winter-approved tires. The law is in effect from September 1st until May 31st every year. If you have four-wheel-drive you don’t need special winter tires. The law requires tires that have the M+S designation, which is less than the European winter approval standard that requires a 3PMSF (Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake) symbol on the sidewall of the tire. You will be much safer if you have tires with the 3PMSF symbol versus the M+S symbol on the sidewall.
This means that you should not use all-season tires when driving during this period, as all-season tires are not for winter use. You can, however, use all-weather tires that behave like winter tires when the temperature drops below freezing, but you can use them all year round. These tires provide safety all year round so you can forget the forecast. You will always be ready to get in the car and drive away.
In Colorado you can use studded tires, non-studded tires and all-weather tires during the winter season and you will comply with the new traction law and exceed its minimum requirements. The best option for you will be based on where you tend to drive the most. If you drive a lot in the mountain regions, dedicated winter tires are preferred – you do, however, need to match these with all-season tires for seasons when you don’t have winter conditions. You can also choose to have all-weather tires for the warmer months, as these can be used all year round and you can still drive safely if winter weather arrives before you change to your winter tires. This way you can safely drive to the tire service station to get the tires changed.
The important thing is not to drive with summer tires or all-season tires in winter conditions, as it is dangerous and you will also be breaking the law if you drive on highways during the winter season from September to May. The fact that there is a law indicates that the summer or all-season tires are not safe enough. Selecting a tire with M+S indication will make you a bit safer, but if you go for the best-in-class winter indication, which is the 3PMSFsymbol, you know you will have sufficient traction and grip to drive safely regardless of what weather you will face, and even if you have snow chains in your car you may not need them at all.