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Police offer tips for staying safe on Valley roads this winter

Winter in the Snoqualmie Valley can bring challenging conditions, from waterlogged roadways to ice. Steve McCulley, Snoqualmie Police Captain and former Washington State Trooper, offers the following winter driving tips to help you move in the right direction.

• Make sure your car is equipped with mud- and snow-rated traction tires with good tread depth, as well as an ice scraper, spray de-icer, road flares, flashlight, extra batteries, tire chains and emergency blankets. Besides providing warmth if and when you need it, these blankets are good for laying on the ground for chain installation.

• Keep drinking water and emergency food in your car.

• Practice putting on your tire chains in good weather.

• If you do have to install chains, make sure to check them and tighten them as needed after five miles or five minutes of driving.

• Check road and weather information before you travel.

• If you do travel, make sure the car has a full tank of gas.

• Dress for the weather and be prepared to be outside of your vehicle.

• Make sure all windows are free of snow and ice and are defrosted.

• Plan for a long commute and anticipate being stopped in traffic for extended periods of time.

• Depending on road and weather conditions, greatly increase your following distance and drive slowly.

• Watch for ice on shaded portions of the roadway.

• If conditions are bad, DO NOT travel unless absolutely necessary.

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