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Prepare Now for Winter Driving in Oregon
10/25/2010
Sally Ridenour
ODOT Public Affairs
(503) 986-3359
 
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Tips and Resources for Commercial Vehicle Drivers
 
Winter weather conditions can make driving dangerous for anyone, but when you are driving a 53-foot long vehicle weighing more than 80,000 pounds, slick roads and low visibility can be especially challenging.  An average of 100 truck-involved crashes resulting in an injury or fatality occur in snowy or icy conditions in Oregon each year.
 
Professional truck drivers have a very important job.  Winter weather makes a tough job even more difficult.  So, ODOT and OSP is offering advice and resources, including a great short video by ODOT, to help drivers prepare for winter driving in Oregon.
 
"We want to help reduce winter weather related truck crashes by providing some useful advice," Said MCTD Safety and Federal Programs Manager David MacKane.  "Safety is our number one priority and we want drivers to know that we care about their safety and the safety of ODOT staff."
 
Chain Tips
  • Chains are required in Oregon whenever winter conditions exist and SNOW ZONE signs are posted advising drivers to carry or use them.  Oregon's weather can change quickly and without warning.  It's a good idea to carry chains during the fall and winter months.
  • Chain information including snow zone notices, chain requirements and diagrams are posted on Oregon's travel information web site www.tripcheck.com.  Snow zone notices and road condition information are also available by phone.  From within Oregon, call 511 or 1-800-977-ODOT (6368).  From outside Oregon, dial 503-588-2941.
  • Know how to put your chains on.  Practice installing them before your trip.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to chain up.  Pull over to a safe level area such as a designated chain-up area.  Wear reflective, warm clothing and lie with your legs pointed away from the travel lane.
  • Drivers who disobey signs requiring chains are subject to citations and fines.
 
Other Tips
  • Be prepared.  Have an emergency kit, shovel, flares, extra food and water, etc ...
  • Inspect your vehicle before you get on the road.  Make sure your wipers, lights, battery, tires and brakes are working properly.
  • Allow more time to reach your destination.  In severe weather, closures and crashes can cause long delays.
  • Drive cautiously and wear your safety belt.
 
Resources
  • Winter safety for commercial vehicles video - the short video posted on YouTube and ODOT's website http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/winter_truck_tips_video.shtml features tips from ODOT Maintenance staff and May Trucking, an Oregon-based motor carrier with an above-average safety record.
  • Pick up a chain information card at ports of entry or ODOT Motor Carrier offices.
  • Oregon's travel information website, www.tripcheck.com, has chain information, snow zone notices, road closures, emergency alerts, cameras showing mountain passes and highways around the state and your can sign up to receive automated traffic alerts via Twitter.
  • More winter safety tips, including tips for passenger car drivers is available at http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/winterdriving.shtml.