Washington State Patrol: Winter Driving Conditions - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington State Patrol: Winter Driving Conditions

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Winter Driving Conditions


The Washington State Patrol would like to remind motorists to be prepared for winter driving conditions that have already caused problems on area roadways.  Below are a few tips to help drivers get in the winter driving mode. 


o Prepare your vehicle before you leave, make sure you clear off your windows and lights so that they are visible. Also make sure you clear off the hood of your vehicle and roof so the snow does not slide and obstruct your view once you are on the road.


o While the speed limit signs are posted, they are set for dry pavement. During bad weather, people need to slow down and take extra precautions. Pay attention and make sure to leave plenty of room for stopping.


o Don't use your cruise control in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the short touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control feature can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.


o Don't get overconfident in your 4x4 vehicle. Remember that your 4x4 vehicle may help you get going quicker than other vehicles but it won't help you stop any faster. Many 4x4 vehicles are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stop. Don't get overconfident with your 4x4 vehicle's traction. Your 4x4 can lose traction as quickly as a two-wheel drive vehicle.


o Make sure that you provide extra time to get to where you are going, especially in cold, snowy, icy conditions.


o Make sure that you are prepared for bad weather. Stock your car with basic winter driving equipment: a scraper and brush, small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain and a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction. Include road flares, a blanket, heavy boots, warm clothing, and a flashlight with batteries.


o Check out road conditions at WSDOT's website: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by calling the toll free telephone line at 1-800-695-ROAD or 1-206-DOT-HIWY or 511**.

WSDOT provides real-time traffic information and camera images at major mountain passes and locations throughout the state. Click on www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic for real time weather conditions and forecasts.


o Tires with metal studs imbedded may be used beginning November 1, provided they are removed by April 1.

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