Driving responsibly when winter arrives

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Driving responsibly when winter arrives

Jessica Perez, Staff Reporter

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With winter weather approaching and the roads beginning to get icy, students have begun to take measures to ensure they are safe while driving home and around Ellensburg.

Sophomore Hannah Whittington usually drives to her hometown between five and six times throughout winter quarter and said she always takes precautions before she travels.

“I always make sure I am in a safe environment,” Whittington said. “I always check the pass on the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) app, always talk to my parents to see how they think the pass is and if I feel unsafe at any time, I can pull over and make the decision if it’s safer to go back or to continue.”

Most students try to avoid driving in the snow if they can, but often times, students want to go home in the winter months to see their loved ones and find themselves in a situation where driving in the snow is inevitable.

Sophomore and law and justice major Miguel Garcia said he travels home every weekend in the winter to see his family and to work. He drives a four-wheel drive pick-up truck which helps control his vehicle in the snow. He also tries to drive cautiously.

“[I try to avoid] being right behind cars,” Garcia said. “Because if they were to step on their brakes and I don’t react fast enough, I could hit them.”

According to BestPlace.net, Ellensburg gets an average of 22 inches of snow per year.

The WSDOT website  says that last year Snoqualmie Pass received 446 inches of snow and that closures due to inclement weather, avalanche control and accidents  are expected in the winter.

Assistant manager at the Ellensburg Tire Center Grant Allison had some advice for students driving this winter.

“I would recommend snow tires, at least good all-season tires with lots of tread,” Allison said. “Snow-season tires and studded tires are the best.”

Allison said when it comes to winter it is best to be prepared for all weather conditions, and his advice is if you need snow tires one time, it is worth it to buy them. He also said when it comes down to it, the big secret to driving in the snow is to slow down.

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Driving responsibly when winter arrives