• Maintain Your Car: Check battery, tire tread & pressure, windshield wipers, keep your windows clear, put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir, and check your antifreeze.
• Have On Hand: flashlight, chains or snow tires, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, snow brush and ice scraper, warning devices (like flares) and blankets. For long trips, add food, water, medication, and don’t forget your cell phone.
• Stopped or Stalled? Do a full light check before you drive this winter. Normal, fog, hazards and bright lights need to be in working order. You want other cars to see you if you are stopped on the roadway. If you or others have to stay in the car, make sure the exhaust pipe is clear from any snow or objects and run it just enough to stay warm.
• Plan Your route: Allow plenty of time (check the weather and leave early if necessary), be familiar with the maps/ directions, and let others know your route and arrival time. https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/
• Practice Cold Weather Driving
• Keep your windows clear. Don’t start driving until the windows are defrosted and clean – even if you’re only going a short distance
• During the daylight, rehearse maneuvers slowly on ice or snow in an empty lot.
Know what your brakes will do. Get the feel of the road by starting out slowly and testing your steering control and braking ability. Remember that snow tires will slide on ice or packed snow so keep your distance.
• Buckle up and use child safety seats properly.
• Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag.
• Children 13 and under are much safer in the back seat; https://www.safekids.org/tip/car-seat-tips
• Drugs and alcohol never mix with driving
• If you are planning to drink, designate a sober driver.
• Slow down and increase distances between cars.
• Keep your eyes open for pedestrians walking in the road.
• Avoid fatigue – Get plenty of rest before the trip, stop at least every three hours, and rotate drivers if possible.