This morning's treacherously icy roads are a good pre-Christmas reminder for holiday travelers: If you want to get where you're going safely, check the conditions, allow plenty of time and slow down.

Yana Paskova

That's the Washington State Department of Transportation's advice, anyway.

Whether you're headed across town or across the region, planning ahead is your best bet for smooth travel, WSDOT reminds.

Here are the agency's specific tips:


  • Check WSDOT's best times to travel charts, which contain state analysts' best predictions -- based on historical data -- on optimum travel times.
  • Get familiar with WSDOT's online tools, including mobile apps, traffic cameras and email alerts.
  • Visit online traveler information for traffic, weather and state ferry schedules.
  • Follow WSDOT's social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Pre-program your vehicle radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts.
  • Carry tire chains and other winter driving essentials. Check current chain and traction requirements on the WSDOT passes website, highway advisory signs or by calling 5-1-1.
  • Leave extra time for holiday and winter travel and drive safe .

And don't forget: The North Cascades Highway (State Route 20), Chinook Pass (on State Route 410) and Cayuse Pass (at State Routes 123 and 410) are all closed for the winter. Motorists taking Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass (elevation 3,022) can now receive texts with updates on any major delays. Just text the words “wsdot snoqualmie” to the number 468311.