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Winter Safety Tips for Portlanders

For Portland residents, getting ready for winter weather means preparing for plenty of cold, dampness, and precipitation. Heavy rains are typical between the months of November through February, and temperatures that dip below freezing can easily leave sidewalks and roads snow-covered and slippery, making it harder to get around. Unfortunately, with hazardous conditions comes an increase in accidents and injuries, which can have lasting ramifications long after the rainy season has passed. This winter, prepare and protect yourself and your loved ones by implementing the following safety tips, while staying ahead of the latest storms with high-tech weather apps.

Staying On Top Of Winter Storms

Portland weather can be fickle, and conditions can change rapidly. While the skies above may appear clear one minute, a weather front can move in and dump heavy downpours or snow the next. Being prepared for foul weather during the winter months is a necessity, particularly if you intend on traveling. While consulting with television or radio forecasts is not always an option, a new Apple app keeps the latest information you need right at your fingertips.

My Radar is a fast, easy way to stay on top of the weather and aware of any potentially hazardous conditions. Available through the iTunes store, features include:

  • High-resolution animated radar that tracks the smallest weather details;
  • Weather alerts and warnings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA);
  • Storm tracking, including user photos and satellite images of cloud cover;
  • Easy access to local, regional, and national forecasts, all with just the flick of a finger.

With over 25 million downloads and new updates and features being added regularly, the app provides a way for smartphone users to stay up to date on changing weather conditions, while potentially avoiding accidents and injuries that could result on wet or icy roads.  

Increasing Your Traction On The Road

When you do need to venture out in bad weather, it is important to make sure your car is ready. Proper traction on the road is vitally important in maintaining control over your vehicle and avoiding skids that could injure you and other drivers. The right tires can make all the difference, and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) advises that there are several options for drivers to consider:

  • Studded tires, which are only allowed on Oregon roads from November 1st through March 31st, as they can cause damage to asphalt highways and roads;
  • Studless traction tires, which often provide better traction than studded tires on dry pavement and do less damage to road surfaces;
  • Tire chains, for use in severe weather conditions in which you will be traveling less than 30 miles per hour.

If you have never used chains before, ODOT recommends practicing with how to install them before you actually intend to use them. Consult with your owner’s manual on the right size to buy, make sure tires are properly inflated before installing them, and remember that chains are not failsafe, and that even when using them you can still skid or slide.   

Safety Tips To Prevent Accidents and Injuries

In addition to staying up to date on the latest storms and making sure your car has adequate traction, the Red Cross recommends these additional safety tips for avoiding winter accidents and injuries:

  • To avoid slip and fall injuries, make sure to wear boots with non-slip surface and apply salt to sidewalks and driveways;
  • If you do get stranded, stay with your car, rather than venturing off on your own for help;
  • Keep a car safety kit, complete with a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, a blanket, and an extra pair of gloves and a hat;
  • Wear layered clothing to trap warmth and waterproof boots to keep your feet dry;
  • When shoveling snow, take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of fluids;
  • When out skiing, hiking, or engaging in other outdoor activities, be aware of the signs of hypothermia, which include confusion, dizziness, and extreme exhaustion;
  • Be alert to the signs of frostbite, which include numbness and skin that is discolored or waxy feeling.

Contact Us if You Have Been Injured

Accidental injuries can require ongoing medical care and treatment, while leaving you unable to work or provide for yourself and your loved one. If you or someone you care about has suffered injuries as the result of a car accident or a slip and fall ,contact our experienced Portland personal injury attorney right away.  At the Johnston Law Firm, we can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable for the damages you have suffered, and assist you in getting the compensation you need to recover.


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.