Those of you living in and around Portland, Oregon in the 70s and 80s will remember the yearly freezing rain that shut down areas and made driving hazardous. According to the National Weather Service, we will see a return of much of the same conditions this year.

The National Weather Service issued a freezing rain advisory in effect until 4pm February 9th for the Portland and Vancouver metro areas and Coast Range of Northwest Oregon. Areas of freezing drizzle or light freezing rain will add another thin layer of ice to the quarter to half inch or ice that has accumulated across much of the area. Freezing drizzle will continue the extremely hazardous travel conditions across the area through the day, and unnecessary motorized travel is strongly discouraged. Slow down and use caution while driving.

If you have to drive, experts advise taking the following precautions:

  • Leave extra space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding.
  • Use low gears to keep your traction, especially on hills.
  • Be careful on bridges and overpasses.

The risk of car crashes increases when motorists are not used to icy, snowy roads. You can reduce the risks by making sure your vehicle is ready for winter weather with good tire treads, traction devices (studs, now tires and chains), working windshield wipers and good brakes. You should know when to decide not to drive and, if you do, know how fast you can drive safely based on road conditions.