‘Slow down:’ WSP offers tips to drive safely in winter road conditions

Wsp Responds To 10 Collisions In Tri Cities
Washington State Patrol

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Winter road conditions are here, and as we see more icy roads and snow in the region, Washington State Patrol (WSP) Troopers tend to see more crashes.

During the winter months, Washington state sees two to three times more crashes than usual, according to WSP. After snowfall on Monday, December 21st, Tri-Cities saw 25 crashes in a 24-hour period.

READ: It’s time for Washington drivers to bring out the chains, WSP says

KAPP-KVEW spoke to WSP Trooper C. Thorson on safety tips to keep you and your family safe this winter season.

First off, be prepared before driving in winter conditions. Keep warm clothing and a blanket in your car, as well as other emergency supplies. 

Emergency kits can include non-perishable food and drinks, medications, tire chains, a shovel, and first-aid kits. Gloves, a flashlight, and an ice scraper are also good items to have on hand.

Black ice can be a tricky obstacle. Any time the is water on the roadway and freezing temperatures, there’s a potential for black ice to be present.

RELATED: WSDOT: Expect travel delays, fewer snow plows due to staffing shortage

If you encounter black ice, the first thing you should do is slow down. Take your foot off the gas to avoid spinning out. Then, counter-steer to gain control of your car. 

In icy road conditions, it’s a good idea to increase your following distance from other vehicles, as well as slowing down. Cars with all-wheel drive do not stop faster than cars with 2-wheel drive. 

If you do happen to slide off the roadway or get into a crash, pull over to the side of the roadway immediately. Put your hazards on, call 911, and stay in your vehicle.

If your car slid off the roadway, other cars are likely to do the same, and the safest spot for you is in your car. Once law enforcement arrives, they can help you get to a safe spot. 

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