State Patrol offers warning for drivers as freezing temperatures affect roads

EVERETT, Wash. -- With freezing temperatures headed our way, there are some things drivers should keep in mind before hitting the roads.

Patrolling the roads for the Washington State Patrol, every day is different for Sgt. Keith Leary.

When temperatures begin to drop and winter weather in the Pacific Northwest is in full swing, you can guarantee the unpredictability.

“I’ve seen our first freeze be relatively calm, a few spin-off collisions, to I-5 being a parking lot,” said Leary.

During a ride along with WSP Thursday night, it stayed relatively calm despite a hit-and-run accident.

“I was heading home from work, and I got rear-ended,” said driver John Sheppard.

Sheppard says he works in transportation and while weather may not have played a role in his crash, he can only imagine what it will mean for drivers in the coming days.

“Tonight the weather doesn’t seem to be wet or cold, it doesn’t seem to have ice on it, but as it gets colder and the weather gets wet, it’s going to be more dangerous,” said Sheppard.

It’s why WSP recommends drivers take extra precaution when temperatures start to drop.

They say keep warm blankets, food and water in the car in case you get stuck out on the roads, and always have gas tanks full.

“We need people to take these large weather events serious because we’ve seen what has happened in the past getting stuck for 10-12 hours before they get home running out of gas, food,” said Leary.