News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Winter driving tips from Mill City Fire

It is that time of the year again when the weather and the road conditions can change in a heartbeat. The Mill City Volunteer Fire Department advises you to take the following precautions to ensure safe winter driving.

• Be prepared. Give yourself a little extra time each morning to scrape that windshield completely. Let the defrost clear the window before driving.

• Keep your gas tank half-full or more. You never know when your will be in a major road blockage. It also reduces condensation.

• Keep winter safety supplies in the trunk. Keep a shovel, some type of fraction material, traction devices, first aid kit, fuses, flashlight, a blanket, water and a few power bars. 

• Watch for ice. On cold days, watch for shaded curves, bridges and or overpasses that may still be icy even thought the sun is shining and the rest of the roads have no ice on them. Brake and slow down prior to the curve. 

• Keep your speed at or below the speed limit. Remember that Oregon has the Violation of Basic Rule Statute, which means that if conditions warrant driving less than the speed limit then you must do so.

• Watch for exhaust coming from other than the tailpipe on cold mornings. That is a clear indication that you have holes in your system. On a cold day in a traffic tie up with a faulty exhaust system, you may increase your chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

• Have your brakes checked. Brakes and brake fluid are very important safety features of your car. 

• Avoid hydroplaning. You only need about 2/10th of an inch of water to cause hydroplaning. Proper tire pressure and sufficient tread depth make hydroplaning less likely. Keeping your speed down also reduces your chances of hydroplaning.

• Wipe off your exterior lights and interior windows. This will increase your ability to see on dark nights and help reduce glare.

• Avoid using cruise control. A spinning tire provides no traction. If you use cruise control on surfaces that are potentially more slippery than normal and are on a slight incline there is a chance that your transmission may automatically shift to a higher gear. 

• Change your windshield wiper blades. 

• Avoid medications/drugs/alcohol when driving. Even over-the-counter cold medicines can make you drowsy. Add to that rolling up the windows, turning on the heater, a little fatigue, and gad things are going to happen. Do not let them happen to you.

Previous Article

Zoom session set on state forest habitat planning

Next Article

In Memoriam: Vonda Porter (July 14, 1944 – Jan. 14, 2023)

You might be interested in …