In Oregon, depending on where you are traveling, you could run into all kinds of road conditions – even those that require snow tires or chains. This is usually when the road is icy but, also when there is snow on the road.
Chains are a way to improve the traction that your tires have on the road and reduce the chances of your sliding off the side of the road, or even worse, into oncoming traffic. This is an obvious benefit to both you and the other drivers on the road.
It’s best to put chains on early in your trip if you know you are going to need them. Waiting until the last minute can cause a delay for other travelers and can block lanes making it difficult for workers to maintain the road. There are designated chain up areas on the highways of Oregon, and if you know you are going to need to use chains, it is best to put them on at the earliest stop.
Here are some tips for driving with chains:
- Check the owner’s manual of your vehicle and make sure that you have the right size of chains for your car. Do not deflate your tires if your chains are too small.
- Put your chains on as early as possible on your trip. Waiting until you lose control of your car or have a scare is dangerous and not recommended.
- Pull completely off of the road (preferably in a designated chain up area) to put chains on your car. Don’t underestimate the distance that an oncoming traveler can slide off of the road if they have not put chains on yet.
- When you are putting chains on your car, keep children, pets, and all other passengers in the car to avoid distractions or confusion.
- Don’t drive faster than 30 MPH when you have chains on your car. Just because you have chains on your car, doesn’t mean you won’t or can’t have an accident. Drive carefully and slowly to avoid spinning or locking your wheels.
Stay safe this winter by following all severe weather warnings. Avoid driving in bad weather conditions if you can, and if you must drive in the snow or ice, make sure to follow the laws and recommendations for using chains on your car.