Making an Impact
December 2020 - Volume 8 - Issue 3
Winter driving can be dangerous.


Driving in the rain

Rain can create dangerous driving conditions including reduced visibility, reduced traction between tires and the road, and less predictable car handling. When it’s raining, be cautious and give yourself more time to get where you are going. Also remember to:

  • Slow down, especially through high water. Driving through several inches of water at high speed can cause you to lose control of the car.
  • 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.

Maintain your Vehicle

  • Before heading out in wet weather, check your wipers for signs of damage. Replace wiper blades regularly.
  • Make sure your defroster is functioning properly, especially if you haven’t used it in a while.
  • 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.
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Driving in the snow
 
Driving in the snow requires a certain set of driving skills that some Oregon residents rarely get to use. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Check road conditions on your route before you go at TripCheck​ or by dialing 511. Plan your trip accordingly.
  • Allow extra time to get where you’re going. Travel is going to be slow.
  • Allow extra stopping distance. There is less traction on slick, snowy roads.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding or sliding. If the wheels lock up, ease off the brakes.
  • Carry chains and know how to use them.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in top operating conditions, with clean headlights, good brakes, working windshield wipers and good tires.
  • Slow down when approaching off-ramps, bridges and shady spots where the snow often lingers longer.
  • Turn on your headlights to increase your visibility.
  • Be prepared for delays. Make sure you have water, blankets, a full tank of gas…and plenty of patience!
  • If you feel tired or if road conditions get rough, don’t be afraid to stop for the night.

Driving in icy conditions

Bridges and overpasses are the most dangerous parts of the road in the winter. They are the first to freeze and the last to thaw because they’re built of concrete, which doesn’t retain as much heat as other materials. Be safe while driving on icy roads by remembering the following:

  • Turn off your cruise control, be alert and drive cautiously.
  • Roads that are wet or have fresh snow, packed snow, or ice have varying degrees of traction. Adjust your speed to match road conditions accordingly.
  • Increase your distance from vehicles in front of you. Allow about three times as much space as usual.
  • If your vehicle suddenly feels like it’s floating, gradually slow down. Tap on your brakes gently; don’t slam on them.
  • Changes in elevation can drastically affect road and weather conditions. Watch for icy spots, especially in shaded corners.
  • Avoid driving through snowdrifts — they may cause your vehicle to spin out of control.
  • Blowing powder or dry snow can limit your visibility, especially when approaching or following trucks or snowplows. Keep your distance to avoid being blinded by blowing snow.
  • Look for signs of ice on windshield wipers, side view mirrors, road signs, trees or fences. If ice has formed on any of these things, it may be on the road as well.
Invisible Danger: Black Ice

Black ice, also called glare ice or clear ice, is a thin layer of ice on the roadway. Any ice is dangerous to drive on, but black ice is particularly hazardous because the road looks wet, not icy. Black ice isn’t really black; it’s so thin and transparent that the darker pavement shows through. It often has a matte appearance rather than the expected gloss.

Ordinary snow tires are designed for snow, not ice. The most helpful device for gaining traction on ice is tire chains. But even with chains, stopping distance is still several times greater than on dry pavement with ordinary tires.

Black ice is most common at night and very early in the morning, when temperatures are typically their lowest. It is usually thin enough that it melts soon after sunlight hits it, but it can last much longer on shaded areas of roadways. The ground cools more slowly than the air and warms back more slowly as well, so even if the air temperature is above freezing, the roadway may still be frozen. This discrepancy between temperatures can lull drivers into a false sense of security.

For more winter driving tips please see. https://www.oregon.gov/odot/pages/winter-driving.aspx
NHTSA Announces 2020 Update on AEB Installation by 20 Automakers


December 17, 2020 | Washington, DC

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today announced the progress of 20 automakers toward manufacturing passenger vehicles with low-speed automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems. This is part of a voluntary effort by automakers in collaboration with NHTSA to equip almost all new passenger vehicles with low-speed AEB, including forward collision warning, by August 31, 2023.

Ten manufacturers – Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo – are already installing AEB in all new passenger vehicles, three years ahead of schedule. During the period from September 1, 2019, through August 31, 2020, another four manufacturers – Ford, Honda, Kia, and Nissan – equipped more than 75% of their new passenger vehicles with AEB. 

“Automatic emergency braking can help prevent or reduce the severity of crashes, which also reduces the risk of injury,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. “We applaud manufacturers for moving swiftly to include lifesaving technologies in new vehicles. Through this voluntary approach, we are seeing significantly faster deployment of automatic emergency braking than we would have through regulation, and that means lives are being saved and injuries are being avoided today.”

NHTSA estimates the agreement could make AEB standard on new cars three years faster than could be achieved through the regulatory process.

The success of the commitment can be seen through the data. There are about 5 million more vehicles manufactured a year with AEB than when this effort started. And while manufacturing of vehicles for sale in the United States declined by 23% this year due to the public health crisis, vehicles manufactured with AEB fell only 9%, illustrating that manufacturers did not falter on their efforts to increase safety through AEB.
Our team at Oregon Impact would like to thank everyone that shopped our event and helped us to raise money to keep our mission alive. We would be nothing without the support of our community.

Please have a safe and happy holiday season.


We are always here to help with traffic safety education. We currently have these three images on yard signs available. If you know anyone that would like to have them on display in their community please let us know. We will be glad to ship them to you free of charge.
Car Seat Check Up Events

We know that car seat safety is very important, as it should be, for many new parents. We want you to know are here to help.
 
We are currently making appointments for car seat education sessions, along with other local partners. Please contact us for more information at 503-899-2220 or via email at OregonCarSeatSafety@gmail.com.