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ODOT urges caution after thunderstorms lead to crashes on I-5

The Oregon Department of Transportation is urging drivers to use caution after a series of crashes on Interstate 5 on Friday.

Posted: Aug 9, 2019 5:24 PM

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.

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