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Don’t abandon your car in snowy conditions, state patrol says

Here’s what’s going to happen if you abandon your car on the side of a state highway.

If you get caught on the side of the road during a snow storm, should you abandon your car? Washington State Patrol says no.

“The vehicles become a hazard to other drivers first of all and secondly they hinder the snow plows from clearing the road,” said Washington State Patrol Trooper Rick Johnson, who covers King County.

During snowstorms, dozens of crashes and stalled cars often litter major roadways causing backups and delays.

Johnson said it’s illegal to abandon your vehicle when the snow hits, and state patrol will impound your car if you leave it.

Also see | 5 essential items to keep in your car this winter

Your best bet is to call state patrol and make arrangements to have the car removed.

However, an even better defense against abandoning your car in the snow is to increase your confidence with driving in it. Some basic tips include slowing down, increasing your following distance, and avoiding sudden braking. If you can tell you're going to need to stop, take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral to take power away from your drive wheels. Then brake slowly and gently.

Also see | Tips for driving in the snow and ice