The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends. In order to share all the sights and sounds of the season with our loved ones, many of us plan on traveling. Instead of booking flights, driving is a convenient and cost-effective option.
Unfortunately, heavy traffic and adverse winter weather conditions increase the risks of car accidents in Oregon over the holidays. Whether you plan on traveling locally or to other states, our Oregon car accident lawyers offer tips to protect yourself and your passengers.
Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Ready For Holiday Road Trips
The winter holiday season is one of the busiest times of year to travel. Between the high costs of air travel and concerns over canceled flights and delays, many people are opting to drive this year. According to a November 2023 Travel + Leisure report, nearly half of all consumers plan to hit the road as part of their holiday celebrations.
While traveling by car offers many advantages, it also increases personal injury risks. One of the most important ways to protect yourself and your passengers is making sure your vehicle is in excellent running condition. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises paying close attention to the following when planning winter holiday road trips:
- Tires: Make sure yours have adequate tread and check tire air pressure, which tends to fluctuate when temperatures drop.
- Car battery: Keep a set of jumper cables with you at all times during the winter months. To prevent getting stuck, have your battery and charging system checked by a mechanic before you go.
- Brakes: Considering the potential for skidding in wet, cold weather, your brakes need to be in proper working order. Have your mechanic check them as well.
- Windshield wipers: The potential for snow, sleet, and rain means that your windshield wipers must be in good condition. Check washing fluid levels as well.
- Head, tail, and brake lights: With shorter daylight hours, you rely on lighting systems more than ever during the winter months. Make sure yours are clean and replace burnout bulbs.
Preparations Before Taking An Oregon Holiday Road Trip
Reducing the potential for breakdowns by making sure your vehicle is in good working condition can help to prevent car accidents in Oregon during the holiday season. Other areas of concern for drivers are adverse weather and road conditions.
If you plan on driving in Oregon throughout the holiday season, be prepared for rain, slush, and snow. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) warns that adverse weather plays a role in more than 20 percent of all car accidents. To protect yourself and your passengers, be aware of how winter weather conditions impact driving abilities:
- Increases the risk of glare and makes it more difficult to see other drivers and the road;
- Reduces tire traction, making skidding more likely to happen;
- Impacts braking ability, requiring longer for making stops;
- Reduces steering abilities, making it harder to stay in your lane and navigate curves.
Adverse weather also increases the chances of heavy traffic delays, which is another common factor in Oregon car accidents. The more drivers on the road, the greater the risks. Be aware of traffic and weather conditions before heading out, check for any road work in the area, which increases the risks, and pick alternate routes, if needed.
Protecting Your Safety On The Road
Car accidents in Oregon tend to spike from Thanksgiving through New Years Eve. To protect your own safety and that of other motorists, the American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends the following holiday travel tips:
- Make sure all passengers are buckled up;
- To avoid distractions, make sure children or other passengers have all they need before you go;
- Allow plenty of time for taking your trip and avoid speeding;
- Be considerate of other drivers and avoid tailgating, improper passing, and other aggressive driving behaviors;
- Make sure you are well-rested, never drive with any amount of alcohol in your system, and be aware of how medications could impact your abilities on the road.
Injured in a Crash? Contact Our Oregon Car Accident Lawyers
At the Johnston Law Firm, we wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season and safe traveling. In the event of a crash or collision, we help you get the compensation you need to recover. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Oregon car accident lawyers online and request a consultation today.