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ODOT Says with Winter Coming, It's Time to Sharpen Your Foul Weather Driving Skills

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Winter is fast-approaching with road conditions expected to be a little worse this year than in years past, so improving our winter driving skills has never been more important.

Todd Harris, president of the Pro Driving Racing School in Portland, said the most common mistake motorists make is overestimating their vehicles' capabilities and their own driving skills.

This year, with costs increasing and fuel tax revenues trending down, the Oregon Department of Transportation will be forced to scale back maintenance and services around the state. They won't be able to clear roads during winter storms as quickly in the past. There may be more snow and ice buildup, more chain requirements, and longer days and more frequent road closures.

The change in average road conditions means we could all use a little sharpening of our winter driving skills.

If you have to head out in the snow or ice, make sure your vehicle is in good operating condition, with clean headlights, good brakes, working windshield wipers and good tires. Check your route before leaving -- not just your destination but conditions along the way. Slow down when approaching off-ramps or bridges.

Allow extra stopping distance. In bad visibility -- heavy fog or snow flurries -- being able to see is as important as being seen. Turn on your headlights to increase your visibility to others. Carry chains and know how to use them. Slow down and allow extra time to get where you're going.
Posted on 11/29/23 6:38AM by Sam Marsh