MEDFORD, Ore. – With autumn rain in the forecast, the Oregon Department of Transportation is sending an alert out to drivers.
“These first rains in western Oregon since September may bring oil and grease to the surface, making roads unexpectedly slick and treacherous especially when mingled with the autumn leaves,” ODOT said.
Since it’s been a while since roads in western Oregon have been truly wet, ODOT sent out the following tips to make sure you’re safe:
- Be aware of conditions. Rain can create dangerous driving with reduced visibility, and reduced traction between tires and the road means less predictable car handling. When it’s raining, be cautious and give yourself more time to get where you are going.
- Slow down, especially in high water. Driving through several inches of water at high speeds can cause you to lose control. Lowering your speed helps you watch for sudden stops caused by disabled cars, debris and other hazards.
- Rain is equally hazardous to bicyclists. Traction decreases, braking can be unsteady and skidding cars can present an even greater threat.
- Turn on your headlights to improve visibility. Disengage your cruise control.
- Keep your distance. A car needs two to three times more stopping distance on wet roads.
- Replace wiper blades regularly. Make sure your defroster is functioning properly, especially if you haven’t used it in a while
- Check your brakes. After driving through a puddle, make sure the brakes are working properly by tapping them gently a few times.
- Check your tires. Make sure tires are in good condition and are at the recommended inflation level. Tires should have at least 1/32 of an inch tread depth at any two adjacent grooves, the minimum allowable by law. Driving on over-inflated or under-inflated tires is dangerous on wet pavement.
- Watch for hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when your front tires surf on a film of water. It can occur at speeds as low as 35 mph, especially if tires are worn. If you