Friday, January 8, 2010


Winter Driving Tips from the Tigard Police‏
Ice and snow in the Willamette Valley can come down on us sometimes when we least expect it. We learned that lesson again this month during the storm that took many of us by surprise while it developed in the middle of our work week. It was also apparent that these storms can impact our roads quicker than the City, County and State can react, so it is only wise for all of us who depend on traveling to prepare for navigating the roads when they get bad.

The web is full of winter driving tips for motorists, but here are a few universal ones that law enforcement recommends to avoid becoming involved in a crash or getting stuck:

· Allow enough time. Get an early start and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.

· Keep your gas tank full. It may be necessary to change routes or turn back during a bad storm or you may be caught in a traffic delay.

· Keep windshield and windows clear. You may want to stop at a safe location to use a snow brush or scraper. Use the car defroster and a clean cloth to keep the windows free of fog.

· Slow down. Posted speeds may be safe in most weather, but are an invitation for trouble on snow and ice due to stopping distance, so keep your seat belt buckled and leave more distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. Bridge decks and shady spots can be icy when other areas are not. Remember to avoid sudden stops and quick direction changes.

· Be more observant. Visibility is often limited in winter by weather conditions. Slow down and watch for other vehicles that have flashing lights, visibility may be so restricted during a storm that it is difficult to see the slow moving equipment.

· If you get stuck, try to move your car completely off the roadway and use your emergency flashers. It is generally not ok to leave your vehicle on the shoulder since the lane markers may be obstructed by snow and moving traffic may need to use the highway shoulder to get by. Call for a tow with your cell phone or try to flag down someone to call for you.

DO NOT ABANDON your car. Police have an obligation to protect life and property by keeping the roads clear (including the shoulders) so that other traffic can keep moving. Any car left in the right-of-way could create a liability hazard for the owner and the city. If your car is obstructing traffic in any way, even on the shoulder, it could be towed by law and police tows are usually accompanied with a citation in addition to an increased tow fee.

A great downloadable guide is available from the AAA website at the following link:

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