Oregon State Police share holiday advisory
With at least 10 people losing their lives on state highways over the past week, Oregon State Police (OSP) is urging motorists to travel safely this Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend. Other traffic alerts that coincide with the long weekend include winter travel conditions, Black Friday shopping and the Civil War Game in Corvallis.
Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend – This holiday period (Wednesday through Sunday) will see one of the highest volumes of traffic in over a decade according to AAA Oregon/Idaho. As with other holiday weekends, OSP is urging motorists to plan ahead, expect heavy traffic, expect poor driving conditions with rain expected at lower elevations and heavy snow in the mountain passes. Know the road conditions before traveling by checking TripCheck.com.
Winter travel – Those traveling in lower elevations, should expect rain and wet roadways. Increase your following distances due to decreased traction.
For those traveling Oregon’s mountain passes, expect heavy snowfall and winter driving conditions. Know when traction tires are required by visiting TripCheck.com. Too often these mountain pass crashes are caused by those not using traction tires. Crashes cause delays that last hours at times. If chains are the traction device, know how to install or use them. Too often we find motorists struggling in deep snow and below freezing conditions, attempting to put them on for the first time.
November 24th and 25th Black Friday Shopping at the Woodburn Outlet Mall – There has historically been major traffic issues on Interstate 5 in Woodburn, on Thanksgiving evening and the following Friday due to the high volume of shoppers frequenting the Woodburn Premium Outlets. There has traditionally been backed up traffic prior to the Woodburn exit. Motorists are asked to consider taking alternate routes to Woodburn.
OSP will focus enforcement efforts near the outlet mall on motorists driving on the shoulder of I-5, parking on the shoulder of I-5, or any other hazardous behavior. Another particular issue has been motorists driving past other backed-up traffic and then trying to squeeze in prior to the Woodburn exit. OSP will be in the area actively enforcing traffic laws.
November 26th – Oregon State University v. University of Oregon Football Game in Corvallis – The game starts at 1:00 p.m. OSP is advising motorists traveling on Interstate 5 to expect high volumes of traffic in the mid-Willamette Valley before and after the game. OSP is urging those attending the game to take your time, plan ahead and have a designated driver.
OSP urges travelers to:
- Expect heavy traffic volumes. Take extra time to reach your destination.
- Be prepared in the event you become stuck during your travels- Carry water, food, and blankets in the event you are stuck in your vehicle during your trip.
- Establish a designated driver (plan ahead) if you will consume intoxicating substances.
- Put the distractions away. Pull over to use that handheld electronic device, ask as passenger to help, or wait to arrive at your destination. (OTE rest areas make great places to stop and use mobile devices.)
- Watch your speed; often speeding will not get you to your destination any faster. You will fatigue faster, burn more fuel, and create a more hazardous environment on the highway.
- Be extra vigilant in highway work zones. Even when workers are not present, all work zone speed limits still apply and fines double. Inactive work zones still have equipment, detours, and incomplete changes in the roadway so drivers need to slow down and be alert.
- Get rested before you travel. Fatigued drivers are more frequent during holiday weekends because of increased travel and activity. Be patient and allow plenty of time to reach your destination. (Stop at OTE rest areas and grab a cup of free coffee or take a small walk to take in fresh oxygen.)
- Wear your safety belt. Ensure your passengers and children are properly restrained too. We see too many crashes were people would have walked away with minor in any injuries.
We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, wherever your plans take you in Oregon!