Those of us in the Portland/Vancouver area have experienced a pretty big drop in temperatures of late. With that in mind, Portland's Bureau of Transportation warned residents to drive cautiously over the New Year’s holiday due to the risk of black ice and slippery wet roads.
It turns out the Bureau’s warning had merit, with the report of a pickup truck sliding off the road at the 3400 block of Northwest 199th Street in Vancouver. Luckily the man and woman in the vehicle were unharmed, though traffic was blocked for a short period of time until crews from the Clark County Fire & Rescue got the vehicle back up and running.
Black Ice Driving Safety Tips
We still have a few months of frigid temperatures ahead of us. Here are some things to think about to stay safe on potentially icy roads:
- If weather is bad, get info about road conditions before you go out, particularly when driving an extended distance. For instance, at tripcheck.com (run by the Oregon Department of Transportation) you can get all kinds of information related to travel conditions, including road cams at every highway overpass.
- Areas that tend to freeze first and thaw last include bridges, overpasses, and shaded spots on the road.
- Knowing that black ice is nearly impossible to detect when you're driving, proceed with caution.
- Keep an even bigger space between you and the vehicle in front of you when you suspect ice on the road. That will give you more time to react and more time to slow.