Be prepared for winter driving, experts caution

PORT ORCHARD – Drivers this week got a taste of winter driving with some roadways having become slick from sub-freezing temperatures.

That’s why the Washington State Patrol and Washington State Department of Transportation are asking drivers to be prepared by being cautious while driving this winter season.

WSDOT crews patrol the roadways day and night to assess highway conditions, said WSDOT spokesman Doug Adamson said.

When needed, roadways are treated based on a priority scale with the more traveled highways and state routes receiving attention first before moving onto secondary roadways, he said. Crews plowing snow or applying de-icer to the roadway often must slow down to ensure they have left good coverage on the road surface.

“While we are working to take care of the roads, we need help from drivers,” Adamson said. “Many times our crews will have someone pass them dangerously, only to find them in a ditch further down the road.”

Drivers are urged to have patience while driving around WSDOT crews, as well as any other emergency or work vehicle with lights activated. Be sure to reduce speed and, if possible, move over while passing collision scenes, traffic stops and construction/work zones, especially in winter conditions.

Before getting behind the wheel, drivers should take an inventory of their vehicles and ensure they are road-worthy for winter conditions. Check tire pressure, tread depth, vehicle fluids and ensure brakes are properly functioning. Pack a set of chains in case of snow, especially for anyone traveling over mountain passes.

Include an emergency kit in your car complete with blankets, spare clothing, non-perishable food and water in case you become stuck and have to wait for an emergency response.

Motorists are asked to give themselves extra time on icy or snowy mornings to ensure they can make it to their destination safely. Take a few extra minutes to ensure your vehicle is warmed up, windows are clear of any obstructions and the vehicle’s lights can be seen by other drivers.

Once on the roads, make sure to pay attention to changing roadway conditions. In any adverse weather conditions increase following distances, reduce speed and remain alert for potential hazards such as wet, icy or snowy roadways, as well as fallen trees, downed power lines and mudslides.

More in News

South Kitsap restaurants struggle to reach Phase Two COVID-19 status

By Mike De Felice Special to Kitsap Daily News South Kitsap restaurants… Continue reading

Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review - The carcass of a large gray whale washed ashore on Manitou Beach earlier this week, drawing a crowd of curious islanders.
Whale washes ashore on Bainbridge Island, fifth on Washington coast this year

The carcass of a large gray whale washed ashore on Manitou Beach… Continue reading

Kitsap Transit to continue fare-free service through June

Kitsap Transit’s fare-free policy, applying to all Kitsap Transit services, will be… Continue reading

One COVID-19 case removed from county tally drops total to 160

One case of COVID-19 was removed from the Kitsap County tally on… Continue reading

North Kitsap School District prepares for virtual graduation ceremonies

As a means of preventing the potential spread of coronavirus, the North… Continue reading

KEDA Executive Director John Powers
KEDA Executive Director to retire

SILVERDALE — The Kitsap Economic Development Alliance has announced that Executive Director… Continue reading

Majority of OC classes will be online in the summer and fall quarters

BREMERTON — With registration for summer and fall quarters coming in the… Continue reading

Kitsap County looks to enter phase two of Safe Start plan

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that more counties are now eligible to… Continue reading

Kitsap County COVID-19 infections remain at 161

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 remained at 161 after Kitsap… Continue reading

Most Read