WOLF CREEK, Ore. — Road crews were busy on Friday afternoon as multiple drivers lost control on the freshly rain-slick roads of Southern Oregon, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
At least three drivers had crashed by late afternoon on the I-5 summits north of Grants Pass, with ODOT and emergency crews responding.
"Thundershowers in the region have brought up pavement oils and grime making the road slick for vehicles going either too fast for the conditions or with poor tire tread," the agency said.
ODOT issued a series of tips for drivers in these conditions:
- 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.