As many of us travel to see family for the holidays, we’d like to remind you to please be safe – and if weather conditions change, consider changing your plans and staying at home. If you are witness to an accident and pull over to help, do not put yourself in danger! Freezing rain, or other dangerous driving conditions, can cause other drivers to lose control of their vehicles and you car – or you! – might be struck while attempting to help.
If you chose to travel in winter weather, take a few extra steps to be prepared if you get stuck, have a breakdown, or are involved in an accident. Consider downloading our and follow the Winter Driving Tips by the Washington State Patrol, below:
With winter weather approaching, the Washington State Patrol reminds drivers to prepare before hitting the road and plan ahead when road and weather conditions are not ideal. In some cases, it takes time for law enforcement and first responders to arrive on scene. Law enforcement and first responders are trained and equipped to provide protection on emergency scenes and know where to park to ensure the safety of all those at the roadway collision.
· If the weather is not ideal, stay off the roadways if you can.
· If you do have to travel, give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination safely.
· Reduce your speed. Speed limits are set for ideal conditions
· Increase your following distance.
· To be seen better, use your headlights
If you witness a collision:
· Call 911 and be prepared to answer questions regarding the details of the collision.
· If you stop to help, pull your vehicle off of the roadway and activate your hazards.
· Do not park where a car could slide into you or your vehicle.
· If you stop to help the injured, do not put yourself in danger. Things can happen quickly and other vehicles may not see you putting you at greater risk. Weather and poor road conditions can compound the problem.
· You may further injure someone involved in the collision. If there is no immediate need for the occupants to be removed do not remove them.
If you are involved in a collision:
· Call 911
· Activate your hazard lights and if possible, drive your vehicle as far off of the roadway as possible while remaining on level ground.
· If your vehicle is inoperable, activate your hazards and wait for law enforcement and first responders to arrive. If you are concerned about your safety and think your vehicle might get struck from behind, get out of your vehicle and move away from the road to a safer location. This is only recommended as a last resort.