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  1. Default Driving to Denver from So Cal in winter?

    I need some advice... my son who's 18 wants to drive to Denver with a friend for snowboarding. I don't think it's very good idea. I'm not that overprotective, but he's still a very new driver and has never driven in winter conditions. I've been told too that the conditions in the Rockies can change very fast.
    I would greatly appreciate any thoughts on this.
    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default responsibility

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Driving to Denver shouldn't be too bad, since he'd just need to stick to the interstates, which get top priority during an weather event and if things get real bad they will close the highway. The more challenging part would be between Denver and whatever ski resort they might end up going to. Thats where you're more likely be be dealing with serious mountain roads and potentially challenging conditions.

    I guess the question I'd be asking is how would he deal with a situation if the weather turns poor. Is he going to wait it out? If he's stuck in a resort town where the cheapest room is $200 a night (and may require him to be 21 to check in) because of the snow, then what does he do? Has he thought about snow chains and does he even know how to put them on?

    That's really where I'd start, asking him questions with a whole lot of what ifs and see if he's actually got a realistic plan or if this is just a (half) pipe dream. This article has more excellent suggestions on this topic.

    Beyond that, I guess a lot of it also depends upon how much power of the purse you have. If its your car and/or he still lives at home, you'd ultimately have the veto power and can remind him of all the ski resorts in California. If he's already responsible enough to be mostly out on his own, then the best you can probably do is give him the tools to be prepared.

  3. Default Thanks for the reply...

    My son is generally level headed for his age, but he's not an experienced driver. He hasn't even spent much time driving the freeways around here!
    They think they are going to drive straight through while taking shifts, but I'm going to insist they stay the night in Cedar City (or there about).
    I did hear how the road get icy at night.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Relative vs. Absolute Wisdom

    The good news is that your son has earned your evaluation that he is "level headed". The bad news is that, even so, it is only "for his age". Unfortunately, the norm for his age is that he sees himself as "ten feet tall and bulletproof". Thus the feeling that, without ever having done it before, he and his friend can drive through the night. The statistics on such endeavors are chilling. I will tell you from personal experience that I tried a similar trip for Spring Break while I was in college. We were lucky and only got pulled over by the North Carolina State Police for weaving from lane to lane at three in the morning and 'escorted' to an all night truck stop for coffee and a rest. I'd almost make this a test of his maturity and readiness for such a trip. If he really insists that he and his friend can drive through the night, then he's not ready for the trip. He has to be willing to bend to reality, be it his own limited humanity or any vagaries of the weather he might encounter.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you do let him go, send him over to Walmart for a set of cable chains for the car (figure about 50 bucks) - and make him demonstrate that he can install and remove them before he leaves. It's quite likely that chains may be required to actually get to the ski resorts, the only exceptions may be for 4wd vehicles with true snow or offroad tires on all 4 wheels. If he's planning on splitting the driving, make sure his friend is covered by the insurance on the car.

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