Winter Weather Safety for Vehicles

Winter Driving Tips
  • NEVER warm up a vehicle in an enclosed are, such as a garage
  • Avoid driving while you're fatigued to reduce driving risks
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated
  • Four-wheel and all-wheel vehicles do not stop or steer better on ice
  • Do not use cruise control
  • Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. And remember, the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, or shady spots
  • If you find yourself behind a snowplow, slow down and give the plow a little extra room
  • Slow down and be extra cautious near the chain-up and removal areas. There are often people out of their vehicles
  • Those traveling into higher elevations should carry chains and have approved traction tires whenever winter weather is possible, especially Nov. 1 through March 31.  For more information regarding tires and chains please visit WSDOT.  To watch winter driving videos please click HERE.

Winter Vehicle Emergency Kit

winter driving emergency kits

Additional items to consider adding to your vehicle emergency kits during the winter season:

  • a shovel
  • battery powered radio
  • extra batteries
  • matches
  • extra hats, socks and mittens
  • necessary medications
  • blanket(s)
  • tow chain or rope
  • road salt and sand
  • fluorescent distress flag

Tips on How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

winterizing cars

Additional items to consider by you or your mechanic:

  • Thermostat - ensure it works properly
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability
  • Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly
  • Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas (A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing)
  • Chains or studded tires - some jurisdictions may require vehicles to be equipped with these in order to drive on their roads