Can I Get Fined for Not Carrying Chains in Winter in Washington State?
How Much Is The Fine If You Don't Chain Up In Washington State?
Driving in winter can be dangerous enough without worrying about road conditions. But what if you get caught in a snowstorm while driving through a mountain pass? Is it really necessary to put chains on your tires?
The answer is yes.
Am I Legally Required To Carry Chains In My Vehicle In Washington State?
The answer is no unless you are a commercial vehicle but you'll want to carry chains if traveling over a Washington State pass in winter for a few reasons.
It may seem like extra work, but chains on your tires is a crucial part of winter driving and the Washington State Patrol says that they will be increasing enforcement of carrying chains if you are traveling through passes this winter.
An article from KOMO news is quoted as saying that the WSP and WSDOT are getting the word out that chain requirements will be strictly enforced and the failure to adhere to the regulations will result in a $500 fine.
WSP says they'll be spot-checking for vehicles pulled off to the side of the road to see if the drivers have proper chains and tires.
Here are a few reasons why chains are important to have in winter:
Chains Provide Traction
One of the most important functions of chains is to provide traction. When your tires lose traction with the road, it becomes difficult to steer and stop. This can lead to dangerous accidents.
Chains Help You Climb Hills
If you're driving in a mountainous area, you'll encounter some steep hills. If your tires don't have enough traction, you could start sliding back down the hill—and that's not a position you want to be in. Chains will help give your tires the grip they need to make it up even the steepest hills.
Chains Keep You From Getting Stuck
If you get stuck in the snow, chains can help. By wrapping around your tires, they provide extra traction that can help you get unstuck and back on the road.
The article says that All-Wheel Drive and 4-Wheel Drive vehicles won't be required to be chained up during "chain required" notices but will need chains if conditions change to "all vehicles required" to have chains.
As you can see, there are several reasons why it's important to put chains on your tires when driving in winter weather.
So next time you're getting ready for a road trip, make sure you take the time to put chains on your tires—it could end up being the difference between a safe trip and a disaster.
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Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff
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