More Inexperienced Winter Drivers on Snoqualmie Pass This Season
WSDOT shares that this winter season has been particularly chaotic as more inexperienced winter drivers start driving on Snoqualmie Pass.
WSDOT Communications Specialist Lauren Loebsack said her department has been particularly busy with accidents this year.
“It's amazing that you can just be at the beginning of winter and feel like you're a broken record, but it is essential to be prepared for winter driving, that you follow traction tire and chain requirements,” Loebsack said. “That's an actual safety thing and it's safety for everyone, because once one collision or spin out closes the road, that means it's closed to everyone.”
In the past two weeks, there have been several multi-vehicle collisions on Snoqualmie pass, leading to hour-long blockages on the highway.
On Nov. 30, I-90 westbound was closed for over three hours after three semi trucks and a bus collided with each other.
On Sunday, I-90 eastbound was closed due to a 15-car collision. Then on Wednesday, there was a 38-vehicle collision that closed I-90 eastbound again, for over 10 hours.
Many drivers are getting on the road without proper tire chains or knowledge on how to drive during the winter.
“It's been a couple of years since people have traveled 'normally,' and with the reduction of restrictions, now, people are out and about,” Loebsack explained. “Maybe young drivers, or new drivers to the area, who haven't experienced a winter where they've really been out traveling and don't understand that this is serious business.”
Loebsack recommends drivers to prepare for possibly stopping on the highway in case of another collision.
“Do you have warm clothes, if you need to shut off your vehicle for a while? Do you have a snack, plenty of water?” Loebsack said. “Did you check in with the people at the end of your destination so somebody knows where you're at? These are the sorts of things that you need to consider when you're traveling over mountain passes in the winter.”