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The original item was published from 2/7/2014 10:27:00 AM to 2/8/2014 10:39:09 AM.

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Posted on: February 4, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Winter Driving Information and Tips

There have been fewer travelers on the road and Central Lane 9-1-1 reports that from midnight to 10:20 this morning, there were only 7 crashes that Metro (3) or Rural Fire (4) responded to in the Central Lane region. Eugene Police responded to three crashes.*

*(avoid adding the fire response total and police response total as they may be duplicates).

For comparison, from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. yesterday (February 6), there were 118 crashes that Rural or Metro Fire Departments in Central Lane area responded to (again, there will be duplicates in this number, but it does give a general idea).

The Eugene Police Department is advising drivers to use caution and good sense when driving in snowy or icy conditions. Driving surface conditions can change in the blink of an eye. What was a regular driving surface and appropriate speed one moment, can become a skating rink the next, especially on overpasses and bridges. Many crashes occur when drivers are going the speed limit as temperatures drop and roads turn slippery.

Cold or rainy weather driving tips

• Slow down
• Leave plenty of driving distance, don't accelerate quickly and don't brake abruptly
• Drive defensively and cautiously – your eyes should be looking ahead and down the road so you can see conditions and traffic and will be able to react appropriately and calmly
• Even if you have a green light, check to see you are safe proceeding through the intersection. There may be vehicles sliding into the intersection, without the ability to stop due to road conditions and unsafe driving
• If you have an outside temperature gauge in your car, check it from time to time (These gauges are inexpensive and available at stores locally)
• Drive as though you can't rely on your brakes
• Be aware that road conditions can change quickly as the temperature drops
• The surface on overpasses and bridges freeze faster so be cautious
• Remove all ice on windshields, windows, headlights and tail lights prior to driving to ensure adequate visibility, and make sure the vehicle’s windshield is defrosted
• Carry chains or traction devices if it is going to snow
• Check your tire pressure. It should be at least at the level recommended by the manufacturer. As the temperature drops, so does tire pressure
• Turn headlights on
• If you crash, carefully evaluate the situation from inside your vehicle. Don't immediately get out because it is possible other vehicles might also be crashing near you. Don't stand between moving traffic and your vehicle. Use a flare, hazard lights or other signaling device to warn other drivers of the crash
• Four-wheel drive vehicles and all-wheel drive vehicles are great at accelerating, but in snow or ice that doesn't help you stop or turn.
• Don’t use cruise control in freezing, near freezing, or rainy conditions. The powered wheels can lose traction. In freezing weather, be especially careful on overpasses and bridges.


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Inclement Weather Driving Tips - Video
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