Oregon State Police (OSP) reported a two vehicle crash that occurred Saturday morning resulting in the death of three occupants from one of the involved vehicles.
On October 18, 2014 at approximately 9:57 a.m., a 2010 Dodge Caliber was traveling eastbound on Highway 20 near milepost 78 when it lost control on the wet roadway, crossed into the westbound lane, and collided with a westbound 2001 Chevrolet Suburban towing a 32 foot travel trailer.
The operator of the Dodge Caliber, her husband, and their daughter, from Sherwood, all suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash. The operator of the Suburban and his wife, from Salem, were uninjured in the crash.
Tips for Safe Wet Weather Driving
Check Tread Depth and Tire Pressure. Proper tire tread depth and inflation are important to maintaining good traction on wet roadways. Check tread depth with a quarter inserted upside down into the tire groove. If you can see above Washington’s head, it’s time for new tires. Check each tire’s pressure, including the spare, at least once a month when the tires are cold.
Slow Down and Leave Room. By slowing down and avoiding hard braking or turning sharply during wet weather, you can reduce your car’s chance of hydroplaning, when the tires rise up on a film of water. With as little as 1/12 inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the road. At speeds as low as 35 mph, even new tires can lose contact with the roadway.
Allow plenty of stopping distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you, and begin to slow down to stop for intersections, turns and other traffic early.
Respond Carefully to a Skid. If you feel your car going into a skid, don’t panic. Instead, continue to look and steer in the direction in which you want the car to go. Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will upset your vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control. Slowly brake, then turn, then accelerate.
Brake Earlier and with Less Force. By braking earlier, you increase the stopping distance between your car and the car in front of you while letting the driver behind you know that you are slowing down. Take turns and curves with less speed than you would in dry conditions.