Get Ready Early
Winter is here and it is always a good time to review proper winter driving and making sure you have an emergency car kit as well.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has put together a comprehensive page about winter driving that includes a driving guide, a video on how to property install chains, the chain installation service, studded tires, a winter driving checklist, flood and high wind safety and information about Snoqualamie Pass.
All-Wheel & Four-Wheel
Do you know you can face a $500 fine if you don’t obey the chain up notices? “Four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles are exempt from chain requirements when all wheels are in gear and are equipped with approved traction devices, provided that tire chains for at least one set of drive tires are carried in the vehicle. See WAC 204-24-050.”
Winter Tire Check
Make sure you know the current conditions and are prepared for them. Check your tire pressure. A temperature change of 10 degrees can cause a 10% reduction of air in tires.
They recommend keeping your gas tank above half a tank on road trips. Having a full tank can help reduce moisture in your fuel system as well as add weight. It could also save you if you were to get stranded.
Clear all snow from windows, mirrors, lights, and roof. Make sure your windows are fully clear so you’re vision isn’t limited.
Suggested Items To Carry In Your Car In Winter Include:
A full tank of gas Water & Snacks A small shovel
Flashlight with full batteries Boots, gloves, warm clothing Kitty litter or sand to help with traction
Ice scrapers/snow brush Jumper cables Whistle to signal for help
Flares Tire chains Matches or lighter if neccessary
First aid kit Music/games A candle ( source of heat)
Cellphone charger/battery pack Blankets Folding Saw if you are traveling in the mountains
Glowsticks (won’t waste your batteries)
Leave ten times more space between you and the car in front of you.
Clean your lights. They can get really dirty from the snow and sand.
If the road looks wet but doesn’t appear to be icy, this could be black ice. Black ice is practically invisible to drivers so be extra cautious. Try and maintain your speed without slamming on the breaks so you remain in control of your vehicle.
Remember, if you find yourself stranded stay in the car and put on your flashers; and call for help. Wrap up in your blanket and stay warm.
We hope this has been helpful! As always, thanks for reading and we welcome any additional information or comments you may have.
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