Travel Buddy

After much nervousness about when the first snow would fall, we can relax, it has happened.

There is snow on the streets and as predicted, drivers have forgotten their winter driving skills.

It’s simple to drive on snow and ice – “slow down.”

Be ready to slide and don’t slam on the brakes at the stop sign. There is a better than average chance you’re going to slide right through the intersection, and most likely you’ll be met by another car crashing into you.

The number of collisions already reported by the Washington State Patrol is staggering. It makes no sense to me, since area between Yakima and TriCities has the least amount of snow on the roads, but the most accidents. All can be contributed to driving too fast for the conditions.

Motorists just need to remember to drive according to conditions because the streets and highways are slick.

Going 75 mph on the freeway or 40 mph on the off ramps is asking for trouble.

We always think we’re driving safely, and the other guys are being reckless. That first trip on the icy roads is an equalizer – we’re all in danger as we regain our snow driving skills.

The first time for each of us always involves at least one slip at the intersections.

Thankfully, in Sunnyside, at least, city crews have taken precautions to pre-treat the major intersections and pepper sand on streets.

If we get more snow, they’ll be the first ones out to remove the snow and check on all the most dangerous streets and arterials.

Here’s another little winter driving tip − don’t drive to close to the sand trucks. Stay back 50 feet from the trucks or risk having the sand pebbling your windshield.

It’s winter – Drive safe.

Julia Hart can be reached at 509-837-4500, ext. 123 or at

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