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Rainstorms in Denver are common throughout the spring and summer months. It is important to remember that floods caused by rain can occur anywhere, with floodwaters rising gradually or flash floods striking suddenly. Water's powerful force can easily overtake vehicles and people.

Driving in Heavy Rain 

  • If you must drive in the rain, drive slowly and steadily. Pull over and stop if it is raining so hard that you cannot see.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control or possible stalling.
  • One foot of water will float most vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles — including SUVs and pick-ups.
  • Stay away from water that electrical or power lines have fallen into; electric current passes through water easily.
  • Stay off your cell phone unless you must report severe injuries or call for help.

If you know that your street tends to flood because it is located in a low point, be sure to move your vehicles to higher ground whenever rain is forecast.

Walking or cycling on urban trails

When rain is falling, it’s best not to walk or bike near a river or stream, even on Denver’s paved urban bike and walking trails; water flow can quickly increase and flooding can occur without notice.

  • Move to higher ground and never go into a culvert! If you are on a streamside trail during a rainstorm use the alternate trail up to street level to avoid underpasses and culverts.
  • NEVER take shelter in a culvert, under a bridge, or in an enclosed space, especially in low elevations by rivers and streams. Always go to higher ground out of the flow of water.
  • Do not walk or bike through moving water. Six inches of moving water can cause a person to fall.
  • If lightning is present, do not stand under or near an isolated tree or group of trees.
  • Never allow children to play around streams, drainage ditches or viaducts, storm drains or flooded areas.



Snow Safety

It's best to prepare for winter well before the snow starts to fall. Be sure your vehicle's tires are in good condition, with plenty of tread and no bald spots, and that your brakes are in working order. Replace the windshield wipers on your car if needed so you don't lose visibility.

Driving in Snow

  • Always give snowplow drivers plenty of room!
  • Plan to take extra time before you drive to remove snow from the entire car—roof, hood, trunk, windows, mirrors—so that it doesn’t blow onto your windshield or create a plume that obstructs other drivers’ view of the road.
  • When driving at night, keep your headlight beams low. High beams amplify the appearance of snow and decrease your ability to see the road and other motorists.
  • Watch for icy surfaces on bridges, even when the rest of the road appears to be in good condition.
  • If your tires lose traction, look and steer in the direction you want to go. If the drive wheels spin or slide while going up a hill, slightly ease off the accelerator, then gently resume speed.
  • Look farther ahead in traffic. Brake lights and evasive actions by drivers several cars ahead of you will give you extra seconds to react.
  • When changing lanes, especially downhill, avoid cutting in front of trucks, which require more time and distance than passenger vehicles to stop.
  • Don’t use cruise control on wet or freezing roads.
  • Remember that four-wheel drive helps you to get going quicker, but it won’t help you stop any faster.

riding while snowingBicycling in Snow

Biking in snow can be challenging. Check the local weather and decide if your bicycling skills match the day’s forecast. If the city experiences a major snow event (12 inches of snow or more), bicyclists may want to consider alternative transportation options.

  • The more tread on your tires, the better. A mountain bike is ideal for snow conditions.
  • Let a little air out of your tires to give them more surface area on the snowy pavement.
  • Lower your saddle so you can quickly put your foot down to avoid falling in slippery conditions.
  • As in all slippery conditions, brake early and in a straight line. You can also apply the back brake (lightly) to test the amount of adhesion you have.

See more Winter Bicycling Tips