The top ten winter weather driving tips from WSDOT

Nov 29, 2022, 3:19 PM | Updated: 4:45 pm
Winter driving...
Make sure you have items such as a first aid kit in your car in case you get in a bad situation on the roadways. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

With Washington’s weather changing constantly, experts can’t predict how bad the roadways will get. So it’s important that you prepare for the worst and hope for the best when it comes to driving in wintry conditions.

WSDOT Tacoma sent out a tweet with ‘what to carry in your car’ now that the chances of snow are more imminent.

WSDOT spokesperson Christina Werner told us, “we would recommend that all the drivers consider getting a winter maintenance checkup. And that can look like checking the tread on your tires, checking your battery, belts, radiators, lights, hoses, and making sure your brakes and windshield wipers all work before a storm comes or before you do some significant traveling.”

Werner also said to make sure you have a full tank of gas before you head out so that you don’t run out if there’s a road closure.

Here’s the list of items to carry in your car in the event you do get stuck:

  1. Chains
  2. First aid kit
  3. Ice scraper/brush
  4. Boots
  5. Gloves
  6. Warm clothes
  7. Blanket
  8. Jumper cables
  9. Water
  10. Flashlight
  11. Cell phone charger
  12. Cleaning supplies

Werner says to store these items in your back seat or the trunk. Another idea is to place a flashlight, gloves, and ice scraper in the glove box. Make sure they aren’t out in the open to prevent theft.

She also offers winter driving tips for driving inclement weather:

  1. Slow down on ice and snow.
  2. Give yourself extra time when driving in winter weather
  3. Leave extra space between you and the car in front of you
  4. Be cautious as you pull out onto traffic
  5. Slow down on off-ramps and on-ramps
  6. Make sure to comply with chain laws

Werner says not following a chain requirement can cost you up to a $500 ticket, which is given out by Washington State Patrol. She said, “Practice putting on your chains in your driveway before a storm hits because on the side of Snoqualmie Pass at 10 p.m. at night in flip flops is not the best time to practice putting on chains if it becomes required.”

If drivers see WSDOT crews and plows treating the road, please remember that they want to get home to be with their family at the end of their shift, too!

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The top ten winter weather driving tips from WSDOT