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Ice and Snow - Take it Slow

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WSDOT snow blower clearing Snoqualmie Pass
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See WDOT winter weather tips on YouTube.

Cold Weather, Hot Topics

Protect yourself and your passengers. Allow extra time to reach your destination during inclement weather. It takes only one unprepared or careless driver to slow or stop traffic.

Do not be that driver who shuts down the road. 

  • Drive for conditions – slower speeds, slower acceleration.
  • Use your headlights.
  • Do not use cruise control.
  • Four-wheel and all-wheel vehicles do not stop or steer better on ice.
  • 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, offramps, bridges, or shady spots.
  • If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it until it is safe to pass. Remember that a snowplow driver has a limited field of vision. Stay back (15 car lengths) until you’re sure it is safe to pass or until the plow pulls off the road.
  • On multi-lane roadways, snow plows often need to clear the center, throwing snow, ice and slush into nearby lanes. If approaching an on-coming snow plow, 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.

Most of the time, the pass is closed to remove blocking vehicles. WSDOT also closes the road for:

  • Avalanche Control: When possible avalanche control work is scheduled at night when traffic volumes are low. WSDOT attempts to provide advance notice, but in an emergency, it’s not always possible.
  • Road Clearing: If there is heavy snow in a short amount of time, road crews may close the pass to clear ice and snow from the travel lanes.