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Driving Tips To Prevent Car Accidents In Oregon This Winter

The holidays brought a heavy dose of winter weather to the Pacific Northwest, making conditions on the road treacherous for local drivers and tourists traveling through the area. In a previous post, we discussed how adverse weather makes truck accidents in Oregon more likely to happen. However, it is important for other road users to be aware of the risks. Take the time now to brush up on some winter driving tips.  

Winter Weather Increases Oregon Car Accident Risks

Over the recent holidays, a cold front that stretched from Canada throughout Washington State and Oregon created major problems for travelers. According to a December 2022 OPB news report, freezing rain, snow, and below-zero temperatures resulted in airline delays and mass cancellations. Unfortunately, those who chose to drive found road conditions no better. 

Winter storms caused road closures, major traffic tie-ups, and increased car accident risks. For example: 

  • Heavy snows completely blocked sections of I-26 over Mount Hood, leaving motorists stuck in traffic and preventing them from reaching their destinations;
  • Vehicle spin-outs impacted both lanes of traffic on I-90 at the Snoqualmie Pass;
  • A fatal accident involving an SUV and a semi-truck on I-84 near Rooster Rock State Park resulted in lane closures for hours afterward. 

Tips To Reduce Winter Driving Risks

While winter weather conditions eased up in time for New Year’s celebrations, more treacherous conditions are expected throughout the coming months. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting colder-than-average temperatures throughout the Pacific Northwest, resulting in heavy snow and icy road conditions. 

Whether you intend to travel or stick close to home, take precautions to prevent winter car accidents. To protect yourself, your passengers, and others on the road, follow these tips: 

  • Make sure your vehicle is well-maintained: Automotive problems are more common during cold weather and significantly increase car accident risks. 
  • Have an emergency kit in your vehicle: In the event of a vehicle breakdown or if you get stuck on impassable roads or in heavy traffic, keep a kit with blankets, bottled water, a flashlight, flares, an extra phone charger, and other supplies ready. 
  • Check weather conditions when heading out: During the next few months, get into the habit of checking road and weather conditions prior to taking any type of trip. 
  • Let others know your plans: Whether driving across the state or heading out for an evening with friends, let others know when you are leaving, your intended route, and when you plan on being back home. 
  • If you own a self-driving vehicle, make sure that its software is up-to-date. It’s also recommended to use the manual mode, especially if the road isn’t exactly in pristine condition and there’s a layer of snow.
  • Drive safely: Give yourself extra time to reach your destination, keep both hands on the wheel at all times, and avoid tailgating, improper passing, distracted driving, and other dangerous behaviors. 

Our Oregon Car Accident Attorneys Help You Get Compensation

Car accidents are common over winter and often cause serious personal injuries. At the Johnston Law Firm, we help you get the compensation you need to recover in a claim.  Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Oregon car accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.