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Nov-27-2008 02:02printcomments

Oregon Roads are Icy!

Frosty conditions mean drivers need to slow down and be extremely careful.

Crash scenes like this, photographed by Oregon State Police, show the aftermath of a crash caused by icy roads.
Crash scenes like this, photographed by Oregon State Police, show the aftermath of a crash caused by icy roads.

(SALEM, Ore.) - It is that time of year again when our news mailbox begins filling up with news releases from police and fire agencies detailing the most recent icy road related crashes in Oregon. It is staggering to consider how frequently these often tragic accidents, could have been avoided.

Each year in Oregon, far too many people are severely injured and killed from crashes that result from drivers losing control on the ice. We are into that time of year when each morning, sections of streets and highways may be very slick. Depending on where you are, the conditions can last all day. Sometimes the ice melts off and refreezes again when the sun goes down.

Even the most experienced drivers have to direct maximum attention to driving on snow and ice. The most challenging driving conditions result from black ice; invisible on the roadways. Black ice often remains on shaded stretches of roadway when the road seems otherwise safe.

Early Wednesday morning, Forest Grove Fire responded to four separate crashes that were all attributed to ice. Oregon State Police have responded to numerous incidents already this year. The Santiam Pass and other areas in higher elevations can become particularly treacherous.

Please use good judgment, make sure people know your route of travel and expected arrival time, and allows extra time to get where you are going. I hate reporting that another Oregonian has died on our roadways.

Drivers also have to remember that their own actions on the road are not the only problem. In many major car crashes, at least one vehicle was moving along normally and legally when the wreck occurred. Remain especially mindful of the actions of other drivers, and always be aware of traffic around your vehicle in case you have to get out of somebody else's way.

Finally, remember the basic rules of driving slower, allowing more space between cars, braking gently, and turning in a controlled manner. If your car begins to slide, you should steer the car in the direction it is sliding to regain control.

Slow down and be safe, you're worth it.

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