With the holiday season here, it is essential that Washington drivers are aware of the many risks they may face while traveling to celebrate with family and friends.
Recently, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) published a report on the importance of staying on top of weather and road condition news to avoid winter accidents.
Due to the staffing shortages the agency is facing, the WSDOT report stated, many roads might remain covered in slippery ice and snow for longer periods of time, making drivers who speed more likely to experience accidents. Others may experience increased accident risks by failing to maintain their vehicles and neglecting to ensure headlights and brake lights are functioning properly. However, those are not the only two issues that concern officials when it comes to holiday driving.
Just two years ago, the WSDOT launched a Christmas-themed campaign to help prevent distracted as well as drowsy driving accidents. It consisted of sharing messages that reminded drivers to prevent accidents by developing safe driving habits.
Then, officials targeted routes that were seeing an increase in deadly distracted driving accidents. They included Interstate 90, U.S. 2, U.S. 395, and U.S. 195. Following the pandemic, however, one of the issues that have mostly concerned officials is speeding. Whatever the case, drivers must be reminded that if they are planning on taking a road trip this December, driving distractions, drowsy driving, and speeding should all be avoided.
Driving This Holiday Season? Follow These Life-Saving Tips
The AAA recommends drivers make sure their tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread prior to braving icy and snowy conditions.
Stock your vehicle with plenty of cold-weather gear, extra food, warm blankets and clothing, flashlights, glass scrapers, medication, and other items that might come in handy such as a first aid kit. In addition, always keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle for emergencies.
When driving in the snow, drive slowly. The lower traction caused by the ice or snow makes it harder for the driver to slow down if necessary, making accidents more likely to happen. You must always increase your following distance and remember that slowing down and stopping the vehicle will take longer than usual.
Most importantly, the AAA recommends that, if possible, you should always avoid driving in bad weather.
For more tips, follow this link.