Jack Frost better be on the lookout. Consider this a warning to him and Old Man Winter: This is Yakima and we are packing.

Intruders will be shot.

You are not welcome here.

A truck slides off the side of Interstate 82 early Wednesday morning.

A truck slides off the side of Interstate 82 early Wednesday morning.


Seriously, if you haven't noticed the wrath of winter weather is still a danger to your morning commute. Since there were several dozen cars in medians and ditches across the listening area, let's talk about some icy tips for safe driving.

1. DO NOT PUMP YOUR BRAKES. Unless you know for sure that your rig is too old for ABS, which stands for Assisted Braking System. Any car equipped with ABS is automatically "pumping" their brakes any time the brake pedal is depressed.

2. SLOW DOWN. No matter how great you are at driving or how great your traction in 4-wheel drive can be, ice is the great equalizer. It doesn't care how careful you were all morning or where you have to be. Ice does not like you or care about your excuse for flying around everyone else. Almost all accidents in icy conditions are due to driving too fast for the conditions.

3. USE TRACTION TIRES. Yes, it takes effort and planning to arrange switching out regular season tires. A little preparation and budgeting for quality tires makes traveling in slick conditions a lot less stressful. White knuckle driving shouldn't be caused by something so easily maintained.

Did I mention slowing down?

If you get stuck, having kitty litter is great for gaining traction and adding weight to the back of your car. In a pinch, floor mats can also get you out of a slick situation.

Sure, winter should be over soon, but if this weather has taught us anything it's that winter isn't over until mid-March.

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