OLYMPIA – As state highway crews shift into winter gear, they have a few words of advice for drivers: be prepared and slow down.
Those simple words of wisdom could be the difference between a long wait on the highway or more time for family and fun.
“The last thing we want to do is see a car in the ditch,” said Mike Krahenbuhl, maintenance supervisor on Interstate 90 at Hyak. “That usually means the driver was going too fast or had to avoid someone else going too fast.”
Krahenbuhl has spent more than 40 years clearing snow and ice from Washington’s roadways. He said it takes just one person driving too fast or forgetting to prepare their vehicle for cold weather to cause a chain-reaction collision.
And it’s not just in the mountains, said Monty Mills, snow and ice program manager for the Washington State Department of Transportation.
“Prepare your car and prepare yourself for the conditions you will be driving into,” said Mills. “When the temperature drops, drivers all over the state need to be ready. We’re working to keep the highways open but need drivers’ help.”