This past winter, drivers across the region dealt with unusual amounts and durations of snow and ice with hundreds of collisions across the state attributed to weather conditions.
The Washington State Patrol was not immune to the impact of the snow and ice. At least 10 Troopers were injured in slips, falls, and collisions related to the weather during the February storms as they ventured out into the elements to serve the public.
In half of the twenty four weather related collisions during that time, Trooper vehicles were struck on the site of previous collisions when drivers lost control as they approached. In two cases, trees fell on Trooper vehicles and in three cases, broken tire chains buried in snowy roads caused vehicle damage.
Troopers also went above and beyond the call of duty by extending their shifts, answering additional calls, and transporting critical snow-bound personnel so operations could continue. This was of course in addition to stopping to help motorists in need whenever and wherever they could.
As we start seeing warmer and longer days, we will also see more people on the roads enjoying the great northwest. Warm weather also means more road construction zones, more motorcycles and RVs, and unfortunately, more distracted driving. Let’s remember the lessons of the snow and ice – slow down, keep adequate distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and most importantly – PAY ATTENTION! Glancing at a text or email can be just as dangerous as a patch of ice.
If you need assistance, pull over and call 911. And remember, when it comes to safety on our roadways, no matter the season, the Washington State Patrol will be there for you.
Have a safe and happy spring!