What are winter driving tips in Washington?

When you are driving in Washington, you can bet the weather is going to dictate your actions behind the wheel. If it is winter, it is best to be extra careful to avoid car accidents. When you are in the harsh elements that can be a part of the winter weather here in Washington, there are some driving tips that everyone should follow in order to arrive safely. Not everyone will follow these, so drive defensively.

Always think when you drive about the safety of you and your passengers. If you can, allow for an extra few minutes to get where you are going in order to ensure that you are not hurrying too much and may not be aware of your surroundings. There is a chance of slower traffic if the weather is bad, so you need to be prepared to stop or at least go slower.

Always drive in a manner that matches the conditions of the road. Slow down, if necessary and be prepared to accelerate at a slower pace. Be sure to turn those headlights on so that you can see and be seen. Another tip that the Washington State Department of Transportation wants you to heed is not using cruise control in the cold. It can cause an accident of monumental proportions because the driver isn't aware or in control of his or her speed.

Just because the car is a four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle doesn't mean that it is easier to steer on ice. They aren't, so be extra careful not to rely on these too much. It is best not to tailgate so be sure to leave extra room in between you and the car in front of you. The bigger your vehicle, the more stopping room you are going to need.

You may want to contact a legal professional if you have been injured in a car accident. This person can be your voice to the insurance companies and can guide you through the court system too.

Source: Washington State Department of Transportations, "WSDOT - Winter driving tips" Jan. 05, 2015

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