Driving in Colorado in the winter often means driving on snow-packed roads. If you don’t have the right equipment, it can lead to a car crash. That’s why Colorado enacted the Passenger Vehicle Chain Law and the Passenger Vehicle Traction Law to protect those traveling on our state highways. If you do not follow these traction and chain laws, not only can you be fined, but it may also negatively impact your personal injury claim if you become injured in a car crash.
Passenger Vehicle Traction Law
The Passenger Vehicle Traction Law will be implemented by the Colorado Department of Transportation during winter storms. It can be implemented on any Colorado state highway. During a Passenger Vehicle Traction Law, all motorists must have EITHER:
- An all-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle with 3”16” tread depth
- If the motorist has a two-wheel drive vehicle, they must have snow tires or all-weather tires with a mud/snow designation (M+S icon) and a 3/16” tread depth
- Winter tires (mountain-snowflake icon) and 3/16” tread depth
- Tires with an all-weather rating and 3/16” tread depth
- Chains or approved alternate traction device
In addition, from September 1 to May 31, the law is always active on I-70 from Dotsero, Colorado to Morrison, Colorado.
If you crash and/or cause traffic delays, you can be ticketed and fined $100 with a $32 surcharge. However, if the violation forces one or more lanes to close, the fine jumps to $500 with a $156 surcharge.
Passenger Vehicle Chain Law
During severe winter storms, all passenger vehicles must have chains on their tires or alternate traction devices on two or more drive tires. This includes four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. The Colorado Department of Transportation will have signage indicating that the law is in effect. It does not matter if you are already driving when the law is implemented; you must still pull over and add chains to your vehicle.
Again, if you crash and/or cause traffic delays, you can be ticketed and fined $100 with a $32 surcharge. However, if you block one or more lanes, the fine jumps to $500 with a $156 surcharge.
Injured in a Winter Car Crash?
If you were in a car crash and the Passenger Vehicle Chain Law or the Passenger Vehicle Traction Law was implemented, but you did not have chains on your car or the proper tires with the required amount of tread depth, you can be found partially at fault. Even if you did not cause the crash, by not abiding by the chain and traction laws, it can reduce the amount of money you receive for your personal injury settlement.
If you were injured in a winter driving accident, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to get you the compensation you need so you can heal and protect your future. At Debbie Taussig Law, we have decades of experience fighting the insurance companies and getting millions for our clients along the way. Call us for a free personal injury claim evaluation.