Washington drivers know a thing or two about winter driving and yet, it seems we’re never fully ready for the winter season’s first big snowfall.
In the state’s Inland Northwest, the season’s first major snowfall prompted officials to close roads, forcing Spokane drivers to postpone their driving plans. Despite the bad weather and official warnings, the Washington State Patrol told reporters, drivers still managed to get in trouble.
By 8:30 p.m. on Friday, law enforcement had responded to at least 120 snow-related crashes in the region. At least 62 happened within Spokane city limits.
One of the first major accidents happened after a semi truck got stuck on Division in North Spokane, leading to a major traffic backup that went on for about 30 minutes.
I’m told Freya is closed as well. Grand Ave on South Hill is not as bad. Still, stay inside if you can tonight. https://t.co/KkTUcdO5EK
— Maher Kawash (@MaherKXLY) January 11, 2020
WSP officials said that the slick roads prompted some local drivers to look for alternate routes in different parts of Spokane. Needless to say, this search led nowhere as road conditions left dozens of drivers stuck in place.
Slick and icy roads expose drivers to major risks. Depending on the severity of snowstorms, emergency crews can take a long time to respond to crashes, meaning that drivers are often stuck in the snow for many hours.
Avoid risks by preparing yourself accordingly when you learn of imminent snowstorms, and stay inside until officials say it’s safe to go back out. Be a responsible driver, especially if you’re concerned about the safety of your family. If you do not have to leave your house, play it safe and just stay home.
To learn more about Spokane’s first big snowfall, click here for the original reporting. To stay on top of weather and traffic-related news in Washington, the Washington State Department of Transportation recommends that you dial 5-1-1 for real-time pass conditions. You may also get mobile friendly pass reports on your cell phone or PDA.