Winter Driving Tips

In Portland, winter driving safety means knowing how to drive in rain, snow, and ice. But according to the best driver report by AllState, Portlanders are ranked among the worst wet weather drivers in the country. Follow these driving tips to help keep you and your family safe.

Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain, Snow, & Ice

Whether you’ve been driving in rain, snow, and ice your whole life, or you’re new to driving in inclement weather, these winter driving tips can help prevent car accidents caused by wet weather.

Turn Your Headlights On

Visibility can be low when it’s raining or snowing, so be sure your headlights are shining before you hit the road. Not only will you be able to see better, but other people will also be better able to see you.

Slow Down

When the roads are wet or icy, you’ll want to slow down. Not only will this help with decreased visibility, but it can also keep you from hydroplaning on wet surfaces or sliding on the snow. Remember, when driving on snow or ice, it’s important to accelerate and decelerate more slowly.

Leave Extra Space

When the road is wet, it can take longer to stop. When driving in snowy conditions, AAA recommends a following-distance of 8-10 seconds rather than the usual 3-4 seconds. In heavy rain, try leaving 5-6 seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you.

Skip the Cruise Control

Even when driving in light rain, cruise control can be dangerous. Rainwater causes the oil and grease on the road to rise to the top of the water, creating slippery conditions that can lead to hydroplaning. Because cruise control is trying to keep a consistent speed, it can make hydroplaning worse.

Check the Road Conditions

Especially if you’re driving long distances in snowy conditions, it’s important to check the road conditions before you leave and to keep up on them as you go. ODOT’s Oregon Trip Check provides real-time information about road conditions in Oregon.

Focus on Driving

Especially during inclement weather, it’s important to put 100% of your focus on driving. In addition to following Oregon’s distracted driving laws, keep your eyes on the road at all times and avoid eating and drinking, distracting conversations or music, and anything else that prevents you from focusing on the road.

Invest in Studded Tires or Tire Chains

Especially if you’re going to be driving in the mountains, you might consider investing in studded snow tires or tire chains. They can give you the traction you need to stay safe on the road.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident in Beaverton or Portland, contact personal injury attorney Paul Galm today!