Last year, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) investigated more than 11,000 collisions statewide during the winter months.  40 of those were fatality collisions and 74 were serious injury collisions. Our goal is to make people safe on Washington roadways.

The WSP wants to share some roadside safety tips and remind drivers to 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.

One example is Troopers carry “pass safety kits” on the roads. We’ll let Trooper Yarbrough explain…


  • 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.
  • 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.