EUGENE, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Transportation is urging drivers to use caution after a series of crashes on Interstate 5 on Friday.
Officials said at least three drivers lost control of their vehicles on the summits north of Grants Pass Friday afternoon.
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Thunderstorms in the area brought rain, making the road slick with pavement oils and grime. Officials said this presents a danger to vehicles that are going too fast or that have poor tire tread.
ODOT said drivers should take conditions into account and take note of the following tips:
- Watch for hydroplaning conditions. If you hydroplane, ease off the gas, gently apply the brakes and steer straight ahead.
- Keep your distance. If it hasn’t rained in a while, road surfaces will be slick.
- Turn on your headlights to improve visibility.
- Disengage your cruise control.
- Slow down, especially through high water. Driving through several inches of water at high speed can cause you to lose control of the car.
- Check your wipers for signs of damage. Replace wiper blades regularly.
- Check your brakes. After driving through a puddle, check that brakes are working properly by tapping them gently a few times.
- Make sure tires are in good condition and are at the recommended inflation level. Tires should have a recommended 2/32 of an inch tread depth at any two adjacent grooves. Driving on over-inflated or under-inflated tires reduces traction and control on wet pavement.
- Make sure your defroster is functioning properly, especially if you haven’t used it in a while.