Drive safe this winter

Cassandra Hays, Editor-in-Chief

Before you leave:

  • Load your car with winter travel gear: tire chains, ice scraper/snow brush, jumper cables and road flares.
  • Keep a basic winter survival kit in your vehicle: flashlight, batteries, blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, first-aid kit.
  • Check tires and make sure chains fit before driving in snowy weather
  • Check oil, brakes, headlights, wipers etc.
  • Studded tires are allowed in Washington from Nov. 1 to Mar. 31.
  • Keep your gas tank full: WSDOT recommends not falling below half a tank during winter trips.
  • WSDOT updates their Twitter (@WSDOT) with road conditions. Their app also shows current road conditions.


On the road:

  • Watch for signs or check the app to find out when traction tires are advised, when chains are advised for trucks and when chains are required for all vehicles.
  • Drive slower, leave extra space between vehicles to give yourself more time to stop
  • Do not use cruise control
  • Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, offramps, bridges or shady spots
  • If you find yourself behind a snowplow, slow down and give the plow extra room
  • If you find yourself stranded, be safe, stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.

Sources: WSDOT, TakeWinterByStorm