Car crashes occur for many reasons, but a big cause is snowy and icy road conditions. Snow is predicted here in the Clark County and Multnomah County area starting Tuesday or Wednesday. How can we best protect ourselves and our loved ones from the risks which nasty winter road conditions entail? Here's a refresher on some basics:
Stay home if you can (always the best idea when the roads are more risky).
If you just absolutely do have to drive anywhere:
Make sure your vehicle is equipped with traction tires, otherwise, carry tire chains or snow socks. (If you've not used them before, watch a YouTube on how to put them on your car before you head out on your trip.) Dress properly and carry a flashlight in case you have to get out in dark unpleasantly cold and wet conditions to put on your traction devices.
Have functional headlights and tail lights, windshield wipers, and defrosters in your car.
Drive slow, slow even more so approaching intersections and driving over bridges. (Bridges often freeze first and are icier than the road you approach them on.)
Don't brake suddenly, or at all if you can avoid it. Drive slowly enough that you can stop safely by deceleration. Increase your usual between-vehicle following distance.
If you feel any slippage of your vehicle at all as you are driving, slow your travel speed down even more.
If your car starts to slide, turn into the slide until you regain control, don't panic, and don't over correct (turning into the slide means, for example, if the tail end of your car is sliding to the right, steer right).
Take your foot off the accelerator anytime you start to slide.
Be aware of the fact that braking makes sliding worse.
Most of the above is mere common sense, but it's been awhile since we've had snow here in our area, so it is prudent to pause and reflect on these basic safety tips before it arrives this week. Let's keep ourselves and our families out of harm's way this winter season.