One of the many gifts of living in the mid-Willamette Valley is the ability to visit snowy areas, but not have to live in them daily. If you’re heading up the mountains to play in the snow, make sure you’re over-prepared rather than under. Oregon’s winter weather is known to turn on a dime.
For you and your family:
Make sure you have a SnoPark permit to avoid fines. You can buy an annual permit online and print out a temporary copy at oregondmv.com/dmv2u.
Have a full tank of gas or full charge before leaving.
Check the forecast and Trip Check, which offers a wealth of information to Oregon drivers, including live camera feeds.
Plan your route. Leave early and give yourself plenty of travel time.
Pack basics like water, snacks, phone chargers, warm clothes and appropriate footwear.
Don’t forget the sleds!
For your car:
Carry chains and know how to use them.
Check the battery, tire tread and windshield wipers for good working order.
Check all lights, as well as heating and cooling. Oregonians know that A/C is the key to defogging winter windows.
Have no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir and check your antifreeze.
Make sure your oil change and other basic maintenance is up-to-date.
Pack a flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter), shovel, snow brush, ice scraper, warning devices (like flares) and blankets.
In snow, you need to take it slow: go easy on accelerating and braking.
Don’t use cruise control.
Use your low beams, even in daylight.
If you drive a large heavy vehicle, it does not mean you are invincible.
Increase your stopping distances. In general, keep several car lengths away from other vehicles.
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Meet Laura Augustine
Laura Augustine has worked as a finance assistant at Capitol Auto Group for 7 years. She is the proud mom of three kids (four, if you count her husband Chad): Ariel, age 23; Claudia, age 22; and Bryson, age 18. As a family, they love to go fishing and boating at Detroit Lake, and they also have four Saint Bernard Dogs: Grace, Ted, Jerry and Stuart.