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Winter Weather Hits Mountain Passes. Are You Ready To Drive on Ice and Snow?

AAA Offers Tips To Prepare Your Vehicle, Stock An Emergency Kit And Plan For The Roads

BELLEVUE, Wash. — As forecasters predict wintry conditions across mountain passes, AAA Washington reminds drivers to prepare for what could be a long winter driving season.

Vehicle Check-up

A little vehicle maintenance now can help drivers avoid unexpected repair costs and breakdowns. AAA recommends the following checks:

  • Have a technician test your battery and charging systems to make sure both will fire when temperatures start dropping
  • Inspect all belts and hoses, replace those with visible damage or cracks
  • Check tire pressure more frequently, keep inflated to recommended levels
  • Replace any tire with tread that measures less than 3/32-inches deep
  • Top off all fluids
  • Replace windshield wiper blades
  • Make sure headlights, brake lights, turn signals and hazards are working

Winter Emergency Kit

While all drivers hope for a trip without complications, AAA wants you to prepare for the worst with an emergency kit that includes the following items:

  • Charged mobile phone (pre-programmed with rescue apps, emergency services and family phone numbers) and an extra phone battery
  • First-aid kit
  • Warning devices (flares or triangles)
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Ice scraper, snow brush and snow shovel
  • Tire chains
  • Tire gauge
  • Bag of abrasive material (sand, kitty litter) or traction mats
  • Blankets
  • Extra set of warm clothes (gloves, hats, scarves)
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
  • Enough water and non-perishable food items for each human and pet passenger
  • Window washer solvent, winter formula recommended
  • COVID-19 supplies — masks, gloves, disinfecting wipes

Winter Driving

To keep track of changing conditions, AAA urges drivers to keep an eye on local forecasts and monitor the roads and passes on WSDOT’s website. When it’s time to head out, drivers should avoid restrictive winter clothing, set navigation/map systems before leaving home and put away all distractions. When the snow and ice appear, drivers need to slow down, increase following distance and stay alert.

AAA has all your winter driving resources in one place, including specific tips for driving on ice and snow and advice on what to do during a breakdown.

About AAA Washington:

AAA Washington was established in 1904 by 10 prominent Seattleites determined to champion the betterment of motoring conditions and laws, the preservation of Washington state’s natural beauty and the promotion of Washington as an unrivaled tourist destination. Nearly 120 years later, the club continues to pursue these on behalf of its 1.2 million members. 

Members of AAA Washington receive exclusive benefits, including roadside assistance, discounts on hotels and rental cars, comprehensive insurance options, and personalized trip planning. AAA Washington was named a Best Place to Work by Puget Sound Business Journal and voted the best Travel/Tourism Company by 425 Business readers in 2023, and AAA was named one of the most trusted travel and automotive brands in the U.S. Additional information is available through the company’s Washington and northern Idaho stores and at 

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:

Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a nonprofit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit

Media Contact

Fearey o/b/o AAA Washington 

Twitter: @AAA_Washington
Facebook: AAA Washington
Instagram: aaawashington

Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.

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