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Beware of slick roads after rain

ODOT issues safety tips to stay safe while driving after first rain


The first hours of rain following a dry spell can mean trouble on local roads.

Oil and grease don’t wash away during the dry season but come to the surface with the first rains of the fall and can make roads unexpectedly slick and treacherous. The hazard often catches motorists by surprise and that’s often followed by an increase in crashes.

Oregon Department of Transportation asks driver to use caution. Remember to:

Slow down, especially through high water. Driving through several inches of water a high speed can cause you to lose control. Lowering your speed helps you watch out for sudden stops caused by disabled cars, debris and other hazards.

Turn on your headlights to improve visibility.

Disengage cruise control.

Keep your distance. A car needs two to three times more stopping distance on wet roads.

The most common vehicle problems in wet weather involve wipers, brakes, tires and defrosters. Check now to make sure they're all in proper working order.

Hydroplaning occurs when your front tires surf on a film of water. It can occur at speeds as low as 35 miles per hour, especially if tires are worn. If you hydroplane, ease off the gas, gently apply the brakes and steer straight ahead.

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