T R A I L S I D E Message Board Trailside Meetup Group Discussion Forum › Winter Driving Guide

Winter Driving Guide

Mike T.
user 14483099
Lakewood, WA
Post #: 39
Winter Travel Checklist

Winter travel can be tough on car AND driver. Check your tires before the first winter storm and check tire pressure during cold weather. Remember, tire shops and mechanics are busiest just before and during winter storms!

Get a vehicle winter maintenance check-up. Don't wait to check your tires, battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster and wipers.

Keep your fuel tank FULL -- don't let it fall below half a tank on winter trips.

Keep a basic winter survival kit in your vehicle: flashlight, batteries, blankets, snacks, water, gloves, boots, first-aid kit.

Load your car with winter travel gear: tire chains, ice scraper/snowbrush, jumper cables, road flares.

See more winter preparedness tips at http://www.takewinter...­

Mountain Travel: Tires & Chains

Talk to your local tire dealer and find out if your tires are traction tires.

All drivers should carry chains. Find out which chains are the best fit for your vehicle and practice installing them.

Vehicles over 10,000 gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), including some larger passenger trucks, SUVs, RVs, and vehicles towing trailers, must carry chains Nov. 1 through March 31.

When WSDOT posts the "Chains Required" advisory, all vehicles must have chains (except four-wheel and all-wheel drive). In extreme weather conditions, the tire chain requirement may include four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles. Studded tires do NOT meet the chain requirement. If your vehicle cannot accommodate chains, you must wait until WSDOT removes the tire chain requirement.

Driving in Snow & Ice

On ice and snow, take it slow. Drive for conditions - slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering, and slower braking in winter conditions.

Use your headlights.

Don't use cruise control.

Four-wheel and all-wheel vehicles do not stop or steer better in icy conditions then two-wheel drive vehicles.

Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. And remember, the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance.

Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, or shady spots.

If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it until it is safe to pass. Remember that a snowplow driver has a limited field of vision. Stay back (15 car lengths) until you're sure it is safe to pass or until the plow pulls off the road.

Slow down and be extra cautious near the chain-up and removal areas. There are often people out of their vehicles.

Why Is The Road Closed?

Don't be the driver who shuts down the pass. Most of the time, the pass is closed to remove blocking vehicles. It takes only one unprepared or careless driver to slow down or stop traffic.

Avalanche Control: When possible avalanche control work is scheduled at night when traffic volumes are low. WSDOT attempts to provide advance notice, but in an emergency, it's not always possible.

Road Clearing: If there is heavy snow in a short amount of time, road crews may close the pass to clear ice and snow from the travel lanes.

What Do 'Traction Advisories' Mean?

"Traction Tires Advised" -- Oversize loads now prohibited from roadways.
"Traction Tires Required" -- When you see this, all passenger vehicles must have approved traction tires. And, chains are required on all vehicles over 10,000 gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), including large passenger trucks and SUVs over 10,000 GVWR.

*An approved traction tire, whether on a four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicle or a standard vehicle, must have at least 1/8 of an inch of tread and be labeled M+S, All Season, or have a Mountain/Snowflake symbol. These tires can be used all year. When you install approved chains, any tire becomes a traction tire.

"Tire Chains Required" -- When this advisory is posted, all vehicles must have approved tire chains, except four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles. In extreme weather conditions, the advisory may indicate chains are required on four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles. Please remember, studded tires do NOT meet the chain requirement!

Helpful Links:

Subscribe to email/text alerts: http://www.wsdot.wa.g...­
Call 511 for travel information and mountain pass conditions
Program your radio to WSDOT's Highway Advisory Radio: 530 AM & 1610 AM
WSDOT Winter information: http://www.wsdot.wa.g...­
WSDOT Newsroom: http://www.wsdot.wa.g...­
Mountain Pass Reports: http://www.wsdot.wa.g...­
Cameras and Traffic Alerts: http://www.wsdot.wa.g...­
Weather: http://www.wsdot.wa.g...­

Julie L
user 19799461
Gig Harbor, WA
Post #: 3
Thanks Mike =)
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