State Patrol asks drivers to slow down after 77 crashes in King County alone

The Washington State Patrol is urging drivers to slow down after dozens of crashes.

From Sunday morning until about 9 a.m. on Monday, troopers said that in King County alone, they responded to 77 crashes.

Between Pierce and Thurston counties, they saw 68, and that doesn’t include spinouts.

“Any time there’s an adverse weather pattern coming in, we kind of prep for it, we make sure that our cars are ready, we make sure that we’ve got our rain gear out, and then we just expect to be handling crashes for a lot of our shifts,” said Trooper John Dattilo.

Dattilo said most crashes occur during the morning and evening commutes.

“One day of rain can be a few fatalities, and a few hundred cars,” said Robert Hibbitt.

Hibbitt’s been a tow truck driver for almost 30 years. With rainy conditions, he’s also predicting a busy week.

“It was a slow time, and when the rain hits of course there’s a lot of oil on the road, so a lot of cars slip. They think that it’s dry and when they hit the brake, they crash,” said Hibbitt.

WSP said that the best thing to do when driving in the rain is to leave early for your commute and increase your distance while traveling behind other vehicles. It’s also essential for drivers to be prepared.

“Making sure your headlights, brake lights, and tail lights are all working properly; making sure you have proper tread depth on your tires…those tires are going to be absolutely critical when the rains come and when it starts snowing again,” said Dattilo.

KIRO 7 asked drivers what areas tend to be problematic when it rains, and here’s what they said.

“The 405, 167 interchange is a bad area. The Puyallup 512 is another one,” said Hibbitt.

They also mentioned hills, turns, and underpasses.

“You just have to have patience and leave your road rage at home,” said Hibbitt.