Weather-Related Accident Highlights Need for Caution

Recently, in a sad turn of events, two Vancouver, Washington, residents lost their lives, and another was injured, when they were involved in a weather-related accident on Highway 97 in Portland.  According to police reports, all three were in the same vehicle when the crash occurred just north of Redmond.  The Oregon State Police stated that Richard Fraker (68) lost control of his Ford pickup when attempting to pass a passenger vehicle in a prohibited passing area on a snow-covered road.  Fraker, and one of his passengers, Terry Anne Clampitt (47), were killed when the vehicle careened off the east side of the highway and rolled, eventually landing on its top.

As an Oregon car accident attorney, a great many clients come calling during the winter months, when driving conditions are at their worst.  For some drivers, these accidents are minor.  A motorist may have skidded on some black ice at a lower speed and come into contact with the rear bumper of the motorist in front them.  These minor fenders are common, even when there isn’t severe weather outside.  However, snowy and icy conditions can make driving a dangerous task, and many people end up severely hurt, or even worse, losing their lives.

Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents are not uncommon when it comes to the winter weather months.  In fact, according to the state police, this was the second fatal accident during the same weekend in which the winter weather played a part.  What this should point out to drivers is that it is vital to take the proper precautions when it comes to driving during severe weather and snow/ice conditions.

Of course, the greatest thing to do when it comes to driving in severe weather is to simply just not drive in severe weather.  This is easier said than done, to be sure; however, it’s always best to avoid driving in bad weather when you can.  If you can’t avoid getting out on the roadways during severe weather, there are a variety of safety tips to pay attention to in order to ensure that your ride remains safe.

First, if you can, do not drive on the roads until the plows and the ice trucks have had time to take care of the roads.  This is important because a snow plow can remove a lot of the buildup of snow that covers ice patches and road warnings, and the ice trucks can properly sand or salt the roads in order to prevent the buildup of ice that may not be visible to drivers, especially during the night.

Second, it’s also very important if you’re going to drive during snowy or icy conditions to understand exactly how to drive in these conditions.  Always decrease your speed and leave yourself adequate room to stop if you need to.  Always brake gently, turn your lights on, and make sure to keep your windshield and rear window free of debris.  Never use your cruise control, pass other vehicles when you have poor visibility, and never assume that your car or truck can handle more than it really can.