There’s a chance for multiple snow events over the next few days starting Christmas weekend. AAA shared a few tips to keep in mind before hitting the road.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Experts say holiday travelers should be prepared for snowy road conditions in the Willamette Valley starting Christmas weekend.
According to AAA, roughly 109 million Americans will travel over the weekend, including 1.5 million Oregonians — and 92% of that travel is expected to be driving.
“So our advice to folks is to be prepared before you get in the car and head out on slick roads,” said Marie Dodds, spokesperson for AAA in Oregon and Idaho.
Although the region is not expecting a blizzard like the one that hit in 2008, the forecast could add up to real travel trouble.
Local resident Chris Skelly told KGW she doesn’t plan on going anywhere, but she has family in the area coming over for Christmas. She said she will be glad to stay off the roads and away from other drivers during the anticipated winter conditions.
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“Maybe you’re a good driver, but lots of people are not used to it and in an instant there’s sideways people; we just try and stay home as much as we can,” said Skelly.
Meanwhile, Oregon and Washington’s departments of transportation will be out on the highways and in the city, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) crews will be working around the clock starting Christmas morning.
“That means we’re having our crews start on their full 12-hour shifts. So we go into 24-hour response starting Saturday morning, we will be in that mode until we are out in the clear, out of winter weather,” said PBOT spokesperson Hannah Schafer.
Road crews will do what they can, but the rest is up to the community. Here are some tips from AAA before you hit the road:
- Check your vehicle’s battery. A failing battery is the number one cause for winter weather breakdowns.
- Inspect your tires. Use snow tires or bring a traction device.
- Bring emergency supplies. Be sure to have an emergency kit and warm clothes, blankets, food and water.
- Educate yourself. Make sure you know how to drive in winter conditions.
“When you throw dicey weather and slick roads into that mix, there’s a real potential for a lot of bad things happening. So we just want people to be prepared and don’t venture out in your vehicle if you’re not prepared for winter driving,” said Dodds.
Click here to find more information on winter driving, including AAA’s emergency kit checklist. Click here for road conditions in Oregon.