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Driving in Changing Weather Conditions

The days have become shorter, causing the majority of us to be driving to and from work in the dark.  Add some rain, fog and cold temperatures typical for this time of year in the Northwest, and it is a recipe for disaster or a serious motor vehicle accident.  However, changing weather doesn’t have to be.  Here are a few tips on keeping yourself and others safe when traveling.

  • Tune in to your local news channels in the mornings.  Check out what the road conditions are.  You may need to leave a little earlier than usually. 

  • Be sure you allow yourself enough time in the mornings to warm up your cars. Defrost your windows thoroughly.  Too often people rush out the door in the mornings, letting the windows defrost just enough to be able to peer through the bottom of their windshield.  This does not allow you to see what is around you, like the children that are walking to school or the bus stops or other motorists.

  • Remember to always leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you.  This will allow you to be prepared if there was a sudden need to brake to avoid a collision especially in unfavorable conditions like wet or icy roads.

  • Even though it may not be raining and the roads may not look wet.  A little moisture in the air and freezing temperatures can cause treacherous road conditions.

  • During the cold seasons, be sure to have proper traction devices.  Whether it is studded snow tires or chains, you want to be prepared for snow advisories.  Traction devices may be required to travel on the roads.  Studded tires can be used in Oregon between November 1st and April 1st.  Other states may prohibit studded tires.

  • Lastly, do not be in a hurry to get to where you are going.  When you are rushed, you are less likely to follow the speed limit and pay attention to what is going on around you.   
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