With our average “first snow” in the Portland area occurring around December 23rd, according to weather.com, I thought it would be a good idea to cover some winter driving reminders in this post.

1. Pace 

Start and stop slowly. The faster you try to get going or stop going, the more likely you will be to slide. Everything takes longer in the winter when the snow is involved. Think about it – when you go outside to warm up your car, how long does it take to thaw out the windshield? Use this as a reminder when your driving, slow down.

2. DIstance

Allow for more distance to stop your vehicle.  Instead of a three to four-second count make it eight to 10.  If a pedestrian, animal, or another vehicle does something this will give you the time to react.

3. Steady

Going uphill can be better achieved by the steady application of speed.  It is very similar to the rabbit and the hair. Once your wheels start spinning you can be in trouble.

4. Snow Plows

We don’t see them too often around Portland but when we do www.nhtsa.gov provides this information:

  • Don’t crowd a snow plow or travel beside it. Snow plows travel slowly, make wide turns, stop often, overlap lanes, and exit the road frequently.
  • The road behind an active snow plow is safer to drive on. If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it or use caution when passing.
  • When you are driving behind a snow plow, don’t follow or stop too closely. A snowplow operator’s field-of-vision is limited; if you can’t see the mirrors, the driver can’t see you. Also, materials used to de-ice the road could hit your vehicle.
  • Snow plows can throw up a cloud of snow that can reduce your visibility to zero in less time than you can react. Never drive into a snow cloud – it can conceal vehicles or hazards.

5. Brakes

Know how they work. www.usnews.com indicates the following; “Traditional braking systems allowed the brakes to lock, stopping the wheels from turning. That, in turn, promoted skidding and reduced the tires’ grip when trying to stop or maneuver. That meant you had to pump the pedal gently to regain traction and control.

However, most modern cars have anti-lock brakes. In an emergency, you just need to press the brake pedal as hard as you can and let the vehicle do the work of slowing the car. The pedal will vibrate as each individual brake is pulsed, providing enough traction and stability to help you maneuver around obstacles.”

Slow down, keep your distance, stay safe. Of course, if all else fails, stay home. Staying off icy and snowy roads is the safest.

We hope each and everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.

If we can help with your insurance needs please visit us at www.lucascole.com or give us a call 971-303-8508.