Chains on Tires for Winter Driving

Author: Ursula Nizalowski

Colorado State Requirement On Commercial Vehicles Having Chains on Tires for Winter Driving

For those who live in the state of Colorado, it’s fairly common to travel over a mountain pass or two for various reasons. In the case of commercial vehicles, it’s either to transport goods or people from one side of the mountains to the other. Now given the intense cold and snowy weather conditions that come with mountains, commercial vehicle drivers must be prepared. That’s why like many states with mountainous regions, Colorado requires commercial vehicles to have chains or something equivalent on their tires when driving over mountain passes. 

Colorado Chain Law

Enacted in 1996, the Colorado Chain Law was created to protect travelers and prevent delays. Now according to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s website, commercial vehicles traveling in the months of September through May must have chains on tires for winter driving when going between Dotsero and Morrison along I-70. The Colorado Chain Law also defines what a commercial vehicle is and how this affects passenger vehicles. But regardless of the vehicle one drives, failure to comply with the chain law will lead to being fined over $650.

Differences Between Commercial and Passenger Vehicles

The Colorado Chain Law separates commercial and passenger vehicles based on their weight and purpose. For instance, commercial vehicles are defined as weighing about “26,001 or more pounds” and passenger vehicles weigh less than that. Another difference is commercial vehicles include trucks and buses while passenger vehicles have SUVs and small trucks in the category. Purpose-wise, both types of vehicles do transport people. Though the number of passengers has to be large for the vehicle to count as a commercial one. Additionally, a commercial vehicle typically transports goods or property as opposed to passenger vehicles which typically don’t.

Types of Chains and Where to Buy Them

When it comes to tire chains, there are different kinds depending on the weather. For instance, there are ones with built-in studs for breaking ice and ones with large chain links for traversing deep snowy areas. Plus, some chains are easier to install than others based on their quality. Now alternatives to chains are allowed such as tire cables and autosocks with guidelines provided in this document from Colorado’s Department of Transportation. To buy these things, either go online or check the local auto parts stores. As for any vehicle accidents that may occur, contact attorney Rick Wagner.