The icy and foggy road conditions were factors in dozens of accidents reported this past Wednesday in central Washington, local news outlets reported.
According to data released by Washington State Patrol (WSP), officials responded to two accidents between Yakima and Grandview, 13 traffic collisions in Kennewick, and a 30-car pile-up on eastbound I-90 in Kittitas County early Wednesday.
At least three people were sent to local hospitals following the pile-up. Thankfully, injuries were minor. The road was closed for hours following the accident.
When discussing the collisions with local reporters, officials explained that the freezing fog was the main contributor to the crash but that traveling too fast for road conditions was also a factor. They also urged caution in these coming months.
WSP Officials: Slow Down To Avoid Accidents
Officials expect the weather to worsen and urge Washington drivers to act accordingly.
Speaking to a local news outlet, Trooper Chris Thorson said that drivers should always slow down when road conditions are icy. That means you might have to drive 20 to 30 miles per hour on the freeway if conditions are especially bad. He also added that when temperatures are below freezing but there isn’t any visible ice on the road, black ice could still be present, making roads especially slippery.
The trooper also told reporters that icy fog can make driving almost impossible. To avoid crashing under these conditions, drivers should use their best judgment.
“We don’t recommend continuing driving down the highway” when freezing fog hits, he told news outlets. “Try to pull off to a safe location. If you’re not able to get off to an off ramp or into a private parking lot, pull as far right to the right of the roadway, on the right shoulder as possible and activate all your four-way hazards.”
The best way to stay safe when visibility is an issue during winter is to simply stay home, another trooper added.
For more on the several accidents reported last week during the dense fog, follow this link.