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Officials grade Tri-Cities drivers after first Snowstorm of the season

Officials grade Tri-Cities drivers after first Snowstorm of the season

TRI-CITIES, Wash — Sgt. Brad Gregory of the Pasco Police Department told Action News he thinks people forget how to drive in the snow, and it takes a few storms to refresh their memory,

"Folks think they can drive the same way no matter what the temperature looks like and what the weather looks like. "

He said drivers have been lucky so far,

"We've had about the normal number, but I think it would have been a work-day ... a lot more people crash."

Washington State Patrol Trooper David Brandt said he wasn't aware of any weather-related accidents, but he wants folks need to be mindful of freezing temperatures.

The Trooper said because the Washington State Department of Transportation treats the right lane first, the left lane is more likely to be the slick lane.

This is especially true on bridges and overpasses,

"So if there's any ice, or slick roads, its going to be the overpasses first."

He said it's a good idea to be prepared before you even head to the car,

“I went to a disabled motorist earlier today and he was in shorts and flip-flops and didn’t have any coats or blankets in his car."

To make sure you aren't trapped unprepared, Brandt said to pack a blanket and some non-perishable food in the trunk of your car.

Especially if heading over Snoqualmie Pass.

With the first snow under our belts and more on the way, Sgt. Gregory said he hopes people plan ahead before heading to work on Monday,

“Set your alarm clock earlier so you can get up earlier so you don’t get in a hurry. We’re seeing people still driving at high rates of speed … you gotta slow down.”

Because as the snow falls, slowing down can save a life.

On top of slowing down, both officials told Action News folks need to increase their following distance.

If you do slide into something, Sgt. Gregory said to give police a call,

"Your insurance will ding you either way," but he said having a third set of eyes to document stuff could save you a headache when dealing with the claims department.

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