With winter approaching fast, the Washington State Department of Transportation is advising drivers that now is the time to make sure they’re prepared for inclement weather. 

The WSDOT urges travelers to prepare themselves and their vehicles for snow, ice and other winter weather. Drivers can visit wsdot.com/winter/ for tips, tricks and information about safe winter driving. 

 “Our crews are ready for winter and work hard to keep roads clear, but as last winter showed, any part of the state can experience severe weather and we need the public’s help as well,” WSDOT Maintenance Operations Manager James Morin said in a news release. “Most pass closures are due to spin outs or crashes from vehicles traveling too fast or not having proper winter equipment. Preparing early and staying informed about conditions and restrictions can help keep traffic moving during storms.”

WSDOT tells drivers to plan extra time to cross all mountain passes, including heavily travelled routes and carry chains and know the traction requirements on mountain passes. More information can be heard on 530 and 1610 AM radio stations.

While some vehicle manufacturers advise against using tire chains, travelers are still expected to follow state traction device laws. The Washington State Patrol provides a list of approved, alternative traction devices at wsp.wa.gov/driver/vehicle-equipment-requirements/ and all travelers are reminded to still carry chains or approved alternatives while crossing mountain passes. Failure to follow these laws could mean a ticket of up to $500. Studded tires are legal for road use from Nov. 1 until March 31.

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