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said. Carroll manages the Ashland Maintenance crew, which is responsible for the Siskiyou Pass. “We’ve seen people in shorts and tennis shoes,” Carroll said. “They have no gloves and no flashlight, but they’re bent over in the snow trying to chain up.” In addition to pre-trip recommendations for winter travel, ODOT recommends motorists use these tips before traveling over the Siskiyou Pass: • Dress warmly. Leave the Hawaiian Tshirt at home. It may be warm in your car, but you’ll miss your winter coat should you need to chain up. Carry an extra blanket and spare clothing in your vehicle.


• Fuel up. ODOT maintenance crews work hard to reopen I-5 during a winter storm, but it is not unusual for motorists to spend an hour or more waiting for the road to clear. Keep your tank full and ensure you’ll have plenty of gas to keep your car (and heater) running. • Stay equipped. At a minimum, carry tire chains, a working flashlight and drinking water. Make your wait more bearable by taking along a pair of gloves, a cell phone and some snacks. • Find relief. Don’t find yourself stuck in a snowstorm wishing you had ordered the small coffee instead. Nature calls, and loudly, when you’re sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Warmer facilities are abundant in Ashland, so make a final stop before heading south over Siskiyou Pass.

ODOT encourages drivers to prepare their vehicles for winter driving conditions and drive with extra caution. Before traveling to areas that may have hazardous conditions, make sure your vehicle is ready: • Ensure the heater and defroster work properly. • Test all lights. Carry spare light bulbs. • Use antifreeze that works to -25°F; check and fill washer and other fluids and make sure hoses aren’t loose or brittle. • Keep wipers clean and in good condition; fill the windshield washer tank.

• Make certain your battery is fully charged (also check battery age and make sure cables are not loose or corroded). • Ensure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated for best traction, including your spare. • Carry chains or use traction tires in winter. • Keep an automotive safety kit in your vehicle.

If you travel with an infant or baby, pack extra food, warm clothes and blankets, toys and games, and extra diapers, just in case. Remember to use your child safety seat properly.

Before leaving, tell a family member or friend of your planned route and when you anticipate arriving. Keep them updated on any major route or arrival changes.

November 12, 2010