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ODOT cautions Eastern Oregon travelers about weather safety

Published on December 31, 2014 1:12PM

As freezing weather continues across the region, the Oregon Department of Transportation is offering 10 wintertime driving reminders to help keep travelers safe.

Travelers are reminded there will be snow and ice on the roadways in the mountain passes and along eastern Oregon highways this week and through the weekend.

The 10 tips:

• Drive for the conditions of the road: Adjust your speed to the road conditions. SLOW DOWN!

• Plan extra travel time: Give yourself plenty of time for winter travel to reduce stress and help keep you focused on safe driving.

• Turn off cruise control if snow or ice is present: You may lose control if cruise control is active in wet or slippery conditions.

• Travel with warm clothes and emergency supplies: With temperatures in single digits and below zero at some locations, be prepared in case you become stuck in a traffic jam or road closure. Always carry food and water, a flashlight, extra cell phone batteries, blanket and other emergency supplies.

• Use caution when taking alternate routes: If the route you were planning to travel is closed (due to weather or a crash), think twice before taking an alternate route suggested by your GPS navigation system. These systems may not take into account winter road conditions on secondary highways.

• Use chains and traction tires: When chains are required, use the next chain up area to put on your tire chains. Continuing to drive in the snowy conditions hoping the road will improve is not a safe idea. Neither is stopping in the middle of the highway to put on tire chains.

• Chain up areas and highway shoulders are not playgrounds: Use designated parking areas and never use chain up areas or highway shoulders as a place to play in the snow.

• Don’t park your vehicle along the highway: Parking in highway shoulders prevents plowing activities, limits access for emergency responders and creates a safety hazard for other road users. Abandoned or parked vehicles along the highway will be towed.

• Stay home if conditions are bad: Consider postponing your trip if road or weather conditions are extreme.

• Know Before You Go: Visit TripCheck.com or calling 511. Here is a video about how TripCheck can help you.

For more information about winter travel, including links to chain-up videos and more, visit: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/Pages/winterdriving.aspx


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