If you or someone you know lives in Bend, Oregon, then you know just how severe Bend winters can be. As a high-elevation mountain city, Bend typically sees anywhere from 20 to 30 inches of snow per winter. While this makes for great Nordic skiing, it does not make for the most convenient driving. To help keep you safe, the team at Main Auto Body, Inc. has compiled a list of handy tips for you to keep in mind when driving on those snowy Bend roads.
The surefire way to avoid automotive accidents or injuries is to stay home when driving conditions are bad. However, driving in troublesome winter environments is sometimes unavoidable. In cases like these, there are a few precautions you can take ahead of time to ensure that you are ready to face the trip:
- Keep your vehicle stocked with emergency winter supplies, like a flashlight, a glass scraper, food, water, and more
- Maintain at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times so that you can avoid crowded, slushy gas stations
- Make sure your mobile device is charged so you can contact others in case of emergency
- Remove snow and ice from your car to increase your visibility and prevent debris from hitting others
- Ensure proper tire-inflation levels to maximize traction in icy spots
- Familiarize yourself with Bend’s winter plan and emergency snow zones
- Take a deep breath – be patient with and respectful of detours, emergency vehicles, and other measures enacted for your safety
By taking these precautions, you can minimize your risk of getting into an accident or experiencing stressful vehicle malfunction. However, once you pull out of your driveway and onto those Bend roads, there are a few more things to keep in mind to help keep you safe.
You should always drive slowly and cautiously in the wintertime, but you should be especially careful in Bend (the 2016-17 winter saw a whopping 60-inch total snowfall). When your tires drive across snow and ice, they have less traction than they would on a clear, dry day. Because of this, maintaining slower speeds and even accelerating and decelerating at slower rates can help you regain traction and avoid skidding.
As mentioned above, deceleration takes longer when you are driving in slushy conditions that compromise your traction. To avoid possible collisions, keep a sizeable distance between your vehicle and the car ahead of you. A useful trick to make sure the gap is wide enough is to wait between five and six seconds before you accelerate. Finally, having good braking techniques can help keep you safe on slick or snow-packed roadways. Employ good technique by firmly planting your heel on the floor and pressing the ball of your foot down steadily on the brake pedal.
We’re Here to Help
Even after taking precautions and driving defensively, accidents can still happen. In these cases, it’s important to act fast to help clear roadways and make sure that you and everyone around you are safe. Dial 9-1-1 in case of severe emergencies. You can also call Main Auto Body, Inc., where we offer 24-hour towing services, collision repair, and more. With a location right in Bend, we will get your vehicle back on the road fast.