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Seattle traffic can be hectic even on bright and sunny days. However, when winter weather settles into the area, road conditions can deteriorate quickly and present drivers with dangerous routes. Just last month, parts of the metropolitan area were significantly affected by a massive chain-reaction crash on State Route 520 between Bellevue and Seattle that was in part caused by dangerous winter weather.

Winter weather can cause smooth roads to become slippery when snow, ice, and other precipitation accumulates on their surfaces. Drivers should be vigilant to protect themselves and others when they must operate in winter weather. As it is possible for more snow and sleet to blanket the Pacific Northwest this winter season, drivers can take adopt some safety practices to reduce their chances of being involved in a winter weather collision.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, drivers should slow down when they must operate on weather-affected roads. Slowing down may mean operating under the posted speed limit and using less acceleration when starting from a stop. Drivers may need to leave more space between themselves and others to prevent sliding into other vehicles on the streets.

Drivers should also be aware that some parts of roads like bridges and shaded stretches may be more affected by winter weather than others. If a section of road is in a cooler location than others it may freeze first and cause more problems for drivers who are unprepared to operate on slick surfaces.

Winter driving can cause stress and delays for Seattle residents, but those who are careful can often complete their commutes without sustaining harm. However, not all drivers take precautions to prevent winter weather car accidents. When negligent driving leads to cold weather crashes, victims may have options for pursuing their damages through legal action.