Date: December 26, 2010
Location: Salem, OR
Names: No names released
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers in Albany and Salem are investigating a traffic crash involving 12 vehicles in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 north of the Linn/Marion county line. Three people were transported to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
According to a statement by OSP Trooper James Ward, the crash happened on December 26, 2010 at approximately 2:00pm near milepost 242. The initial investigation showed that heavy rain and vehicles following too closely in those weather conditions were factors in the Salem car accident.
We are definitely relieved that there were no major injuries or lives lost in this accident that involved so many vehicles.
Be especially careful when it rains after a long dry period. That’s when the oil and grease builds up on the road, and the first rain releases it, creating slippery conditions.
- Give yourself extra time to reach your destination, and drive at a slower pace than normal.
- When you need to stop the car, start braking earlier than usual. This allows room for extra stopping distance. It also signals the driver behind you that you’re planning to come to a stop.
- Take curves and turns especially slowly.
- If possible, drive a little closer to the middle of the road, rather than hugging the right side of the lane. This helps you avoid the large puddles that collect on the side of the road. Also, if you see a large puddle ahead of you, steer around it if you can do so safely, or take a different route. The splash could send water into your car’s engine compartment and damage the electrical system, and puddles can disguise road hazards like potholes. It’s better to go a few blocks out of your way, if necessary.
- If you do cross a puddle, tap your brake lightly to help dry off the rotors.
- Do not use cruise control. If you do, and you hydroplane, it’s possible your car could accelerate.
- Always use headlights in the rain – even if it’s just a sprinkle. Headlights help you see and be seen in wet weather.
- Be especially vigilant about pedestrians. They may have part of their field of vision blocked by rain gear, and the rain tends to muffle sounds that usually alert pedestrians to approaching traffic.
- Finally, if the rain’s so bad that you can’t see the car in front of you, or you’re having difficulty seeing the road, pull over and wait for the storm to die down.