Two recent fatal crashes in Oregon serve as a reminder to drive safely as temperatures drop and precipitation freezes on roads.
On Sunday, December 30, a tour bus with 49 people aboard was heading west on I-84 when it ran into a concrete barrier and plummeted down a snow-covered slope, according to The Oregonian. The crash was near Pendleton, Oregon, and nine have been confirmed dead with many others in critical condition.
A highway official commented, “This is a snow zone so there are hazardous conditions that exist on that mountain throughout the winter.”
The next afternoon, a pickup truck crashed on I-84 between Hood River and Mosier, according to The Oregonian. Road conditions were icy when the truck skidded off the highway and into the Columbia River. The driver, a 40-year old father, survived, but his seven-year old son did not, reports The Oregonian.
Both of these accidents call attention to dangerous road conditions as colder weather arrives, and remind us to use caution when driving this winter. In poor conditions, avoid driving unless absolutely necessary, and always check road conditions before you leaving. ODOT Trip Check at www.tripcheck.com offers great road condition updates for Oregon and its bordering states. Drive slowly especially when there is precipitation, and if you are in or near a snow zone make sure to carry chains. As roads become icier, make sure to apply the brakes before entering and not during a turn to maximize tire traction.
If you seek further cold-weather driving tips, consult the Oregon Driver’s Manual, available at your local DMV.