Weekend weather blamed for 469 incidents in King County

The Washington State Patrol is urging area motorists to be prepared for extreme driving conditions on all Interstate and State Routes after a long weekend of accidents and calls for help on King County motorways.

Police agencies in King County alone came to the aid of 496 motorists in a variety of weather-related incidents in metro areas and over Snoqualmie Pass. Troopers investigated 149 collisions (24 being injury) and assisted 319 disabled motorists between 5 p.m. Friday evening until 5:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.

In a Tuesday afternoon press release, State Patrol Spokesperson Dan McDonald reminded motorists to obey all traffic laws and adjust their speed to fit the road, weather, and traffic conditions when driving in inclement weather, including heavy rain. Motorists are also advised to use cruise control or take your vehicle out of gear when going down hills.

“Be aware of your surroundings and always have an escape route. If you hit a puddle of standing water and your vehicle starts to hydroplane, stay calm and remove your foot from the gas pedal,” wrote McDonald. “Conduct smooth inline braking and avoid steering until your tires re-make contact with the roadway.”

Motorists traveling over Snoqualmie Pass are also advised to check the road and weather conditions before driving and keep updated by checking with WSDOT and WSP for highway closures, including I-90. Helpful tips from the State Patrol include:

• Fill your gas tank

• Check all fluids

• Make sure your vehicle is in good working order before beginning your trip

• Check your tires and make sure they are approved traction tires, properly inflated, and have more than 2/32 inch tread depth.

• Pack enough food and water for everyone in the vehicle along with extra clothing, blankets, and jumper cables in case you get stuck in a closure.