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Prepare for driving in Washington's wintry weather

Winter driving safety is something that everyone in Washington should be familiar with. There are several things that you should remember before you head out during wintry precipitation. Brushing up on them early in the season can be beneficial since it helps you to remain safe.

One of the first things that you should do if you are driving in the winter is check the road conditions before you leave home. This is especially important if you have to drive on one of the passes, such as the Snoqualmie Pass. Knowing the road conditions, and whether your route is open or not, gives you a chance to make adjustments as necessary.

Perform a vehicle safety check

Before you leave, make sure that the windshield of your vehicle is fully cleared off. Trying to drive with snow or ice on it is a huge safety hazard that might lead to your receiving a ticket. You should also make sure that the tires have appropriate tread depth. If you do need to use chains, make sure that they are legal where you are traveling and that they are installed properly. You may also need to pack a survival kit that includes a snow shovel, sand or kitty litter, a snow brush, an ice scraper and other items like bottled water and nonperishable snacks.

Don't rush

Trying to drive too fast on the snow or ice can cause a crash. Instead of taking that chance, slow down. Plan for this by leaving home a bit earlier than normal so that you aren't driving too fast or becoming careless in an effort to arrive on time. Remember that there are usually people outside of their vehicles in chain-up and removal areas, so slow down a bit more in those spots.

Leave a little extra room

Snow and ice make it more difficult to stop, so leave extra room for your vehicle and others to come to a complete stop. It will also take longer for cars to increase speed. Give snowplows extra room to work since they are trying to improve the road conditions. They usually drive slower than normal traffic, especially on the highway, so don't try to crowd them in an effort to get them to hurry.

Motor vehicle accidents are bound to happen during the winter months in Washington. If you are the victim of one that is due to recklessness or carelessness, you might opt to pursue a claim for compensation to reduce the financial liability you have due to the crash.

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