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Winter driving tips and resources for commercial drivers

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Winter weather conditions can make driving dangerous for anyone, but when you are driving a 53-foot long vehicle weighing more than 80,000 pounds, slick roads and low visibility can be especially challenging. An average of 100 truck-involved crashes resulting in an injury or fatality occur in snowy or icy conditions in Oregon each year.

ODOT’s Motor Carrier Transportation Division understands that professional truck drivers have a very important job. Winter weather makes a tough job even more difficult. So, ODOT is offering advice and resources, including a great short video, to help drivers prepare for winter driving in Oregon.

“We want to help reduce winter weather related truck crashes by providing some useful advice,” said MCTD Safety and Federal Programs Manager David McKane. “Safety is our number one priority at ODOT and we want drivers to know that we care about their safety and the safety of ODOT staff.”

Chain tips
• Chains are required in Oregon whenever winter conditions exist and SNOW ZONE signs are posted advising drivers to carry or use them. Oregon’s weather can change quickly and without warning. It’s a good idea to carry chains during the fall and winter months.
• Chain information including snow zone notices, chain requirements and diagrams are posted on Oregon’s travel information website, Snow zone notices and road condition information are also available by phone. From within Oregon, call 511 or 1-800-977-ODOT (6368). From outside Oregon, dial 503-588-2941.
• Know how to put your chains on. Practice installing them before your trip.
• Don’t wait until the last minute to chain up. Pull over to a safe, level area. Wear reflective, warm clothing and lie with your legs pointed away from the travel lane.

• Pick up a chain information card at ports of entry or Motor Carrier offices.
• Oregon’s travel information website, has chain information, snow zone notices, road closures, emergency alerts, cameras showing mountain passes and highways around the state and you can sign up to receive automated traffic alerts via Twitter.
• More winter safety tips are on ODOT’s website,
• Winter safety for commercial vehicles – a short video posted on YouTube and ODOT’s website ( features more tips.

« Back to the December 2011 edition