The DGT foresees different risk situations for traffic related to winter storms and cold waves. Each one of them is determined by a color code that corresponds to different alert levels.

If you are a regular driver and make long trips throughout the year in Spain, it is very likely that you are aware of the existence of alert levels on the roads used by the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT).

It’s about a color code that informs the user of the state of the roads in order to prevent dangerous situations, as well as inconveniences during the trip such as blocked roads, sections with mandatory use of chains or other types of situations related to the weather.

The yellow level establishes the first prohibitions, specifically of circulation to trucks and articulated vehicles

Something that with the arrival of winter storms every driver must consult and know before setting off, or else he will be putting himself in danger and could even make it difficult to rescue other drivers or to adapt the pathways affected.

This information can be consulted through various channels of the DGT, although the most effective way to do it is on the official website of said organization, which includes a incident map in which this and other information is reflected. But what are the alert levels on the roads? We’ll tell you then.

Green level (it starts to snow)

This is the first of the levels set by the DGT. It is established that a road is on a green alert level when it begins to snow in the area. In this case the road is still clear, but it is recommended not to drive faster than 100 km / h on highways and motorways, with a recommended maximum speed of 80 km / h on secondary roads.

This is because, although there is no accumulation of snow or ice, the road is wet and slippery, so extreme caution is necessary. In this context, the green alert level also foresees the recommendation of avoid mountain passes and consult the weather report frequently.

Yellow level (partially covered)

This alert level is decreed when the snowfall persists over time and causes the first signs of snow accumulation on the road, although it is still possible to circulate on it with relative ease.

The DGT color codes.

The yellow level sets the first bans, specifically on the movement of trucks and articulated vehicles. In addition, a maximum speed of 60 km / h is established for cars and buses. Finally, very prudent driving is recommended, avoiding sudden maneuvers and further reducing speed in curves and descents.

Red level (covered road)

When the DGT decrees the red level on a road, it is because the storm is considerable and traffic becomes very complicated. Therefore, we should avoid doing so as much as possible.

But if we must circulate despite the circumstances of the road, we will be forced to do so with chains or winter tires approved for this purpose. In addition, the maximum speed will be limited to 30 km / h.

The prohibition of circulating articulated vehicles and trucks is maintained, making also extendable to buses. Finally, drivers are asked not to pass immobilized vehicles without making sure before they can continue driving when driving through snow, ruts, etc.

Black level (very thick snow)

This is the last level of alert and the most extreme, because when the road reaches this state all vehicles are prohibited from driving.

Also, in the event that you have been stuck on the road, it is recommended that you keep the heating on and do not leave the vehicle for shelter if you do not know if there will be.

Likewise, the DGT asks users to park as close to the shoulder as possible to facilitate the passage of roads. snow plows and rescue and emergency services.

How to request permission to circulate with a red level

The DGT considers certain cases in which vehicles whose circulation is prohibited with a red level may request an exemption.

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We recall that these types of vehicles are trucks, buses and articulated vehicles, which may circulate exceptionally in sections or high mountain passes submitting a responsible declaration to the DGT, in which they will communicate that the bus or heavy vehicle with an MMA of less than 7,500 kg meets certain requirements.

This is due to the fact that in winter certain areas are frequently affected, which makes it difficult to circulate when school transport and buses in general. To avoid this, a differentiated regime of restrictions is articulated with the aim that certain buses, specially equipped to circulate on snowy roads, can do so in an exceptional way, combining safety with the normal operation of schools, work centers and other entities.

In the event that the red level is prolonged in time, the DGT also allows certain Heavy vehicles with an MMA of less than 7,500 Kg. (not articulated) destined to provide essential merchandise transport services (food supply, garbage removal, etc.) can apply for this permit as long as they meet the technical requirements necessary to circulate in unsafe conditions. security.

The aforementioned request can be submitted electronically through the electronic registry of the DGT. Once it has been presented, accompanied by the responsible declaration, the applicant must wait for a resolution to be produced. The cost of the procedure in this case is completely free.

Driving in snow: this is how you should do it

Once we have consulted the state of the roads and we are clear that we cannot postpone the trip, we must be clear how to act When we find snow and ice on the road

The first thing is to carry everything you need in the vehicle to face an unforeseen situation such as worsening conditions, a puncture, accident, breakdown, etc.

  • Spare wheel or puncture repair kit (mandatory).
  • Signaling triangles and / or V-16 light signal and reflective vest (mandatory).
  • Snow chains.
  • Clamps to start in case of discharged battery.
  • Shovel and gloves to get out of a jam in mud, snow, etc.
  • Alcohol or similar to remove ice from locks or windshields.
  • Scraper to remove the frost from the windows.
  • Flashlight to change a wheel or any other action at night or low visibility situations.
  • Anti-fog spray or cloth to remove it before starting.
  • Water and food in case we get caught in the snow.
  • Warm clothes in case it is necessary to get out of the car in adverse conditions.
  • Mobile phone and charger to request help or notify emergencies.

In addition, we must ensure that The vehicle is found in good condition, with particular attention to the tires, suspension, brakes, air conditioning system, windshield wipers, engine antifreeze fluid, battery, oil and filters, and lighting.

DGT alert levels on the roads: these are and how you should manage them
A small amount of snow or ice forces us to be extremely cautious.

Once the march has started with everything in order, we must be clear about how to drive in such adverse and slippery conditions. These are the main factors to consider:

  1. The first flakes make the asphalt be more slippery and the situation gets worse as a thicker layer builds up. This is even worse if ice forms.
  2. Snow can hide signs and road markings, also reducing visibility and even causing dizziness in certain people.
  3. Slow down, turn on the headlights, and increase the safety distance.
  4. It is convenient take advantage of the shots of the preceding vehicles, being extremely smooth in all maneuvers (turns, acceleration, braking) and trying to move in the highest gear possible in relation to our speed.
  5. The shady areas or that do not receive the direct impact of the sun’s rays in winter, they are very prone to having ice sheets even on clear days.
  6. The banned areas they can be icy overnight and early in the morning if the snow on the margins has melted.
  7. If the car thermometer shows 3 ºC or lessStay alert because at that temperature ice can already form.
  8. In case of stepping on a plate, acts as if it were aquaplaning Or, if necessary, make gentle steering wheel movements and do the same with the pedals. If you have ABS, brake harder so that the system helps you stop the vehicle.

And remember, always caution and, if possible, better stay home.