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Be Prepared Behind the Wheel

Weather and Construction Updates

You can find road conditions at TripCheck.  TripCheck has road cameras, continuous winter travel updates, year-round highway construction details, and other valuable tips.

TripCheck is also available by phone at 800-977-ODOT (6368) or 511 within Oregon.

 

Tips for Driving in Bad Weather

Snow & Ice

ODOT has a video on how to install cable style tire chains. 

Edmunds.com has tips for driving during icy or snowy conditions.

Fog

Fog can reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less, creating dangerous driving conditions. You should postpone your trip until dense fog lifts.  You can also wait until the fog lessens, usually by late morning or the afternoon.

Smartmotorist.com has tips on driving safely in fog. 

Rain

Rain can cause your car to skid or even hydroplane. Hydroplaning happens when the water in front of the tires builds up faster than the car's weight can push it out of the way. The water pressure causes the car to rise up and slide on a thin layer of water.

Defensivedriving.com has tips on what to do if your car hydroplanes. 

Rain can flood the roads.  Did you know:

  • As little as 6 inches of moving water can knock someone off their feet;
  • Two feet of floodwater can float a car; and
  • Water moving at 2 mph can sweep a car off a road or bridge.

Avoid flood-prone areas, especially low-lying streets where it often pools.  Never try to walk or drive through a water-covered road. Beware of rising, swift-moving water. If you are driving and come upon rapidly rising waters, turn around and find another route.

State and local officials use barricades to protect travelers from unsafe roads.  Driving around them can be a serious risk.

Emergency Supplies

Oregon weather can be unpredictable. You should keep a survival kit in the car and restock it after use.

Essential supplies include: 

  • Working flashlight and extra batteries;
  • Reflective triangles and brightly-colored cloth;
  • Compass;
  • First Aid Kit;
  • Exterior windshield cleaner;
  • Ice scraper and snow brush; 
  • Wooden stick matches in a waterproof container; 
  • Scissors and string/cord;
  • Non-perishable, high-energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits and hard candy;
  • Bottled water;
  • Properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod-type jack;
  • Shovel;
  • Jumper cables;
  • Tow and tire chains;
  • Bag of salt or cat litter; and
  • Tool kit. 

Added items for driving long distances in cold, snowy, and icy conditions:

  • Gloves;
  • Socks;
  • Cap; and
  • Blankets.

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