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ODOT warns of slick conditions north of Grants Pass

After multiple vehicles crashed along an Interstate 5 mountain pass, the Oregon Department of Transportation is warning of treacherous road conditions near Wolf Creek.

Pointing to a summer accumulation of oil on the pavement and a storm system moving through Southern Oregon, ODOT said in a release issued just before 5 p.m. Friday that at least three cars have lost control from hydroplaning conditions roughly a dozen miles north of Grants Pass.

At least one of the vehicles, a Honda Accord sedan, landed on its side in a crash near Milepost 70 on I-5.

Thundershowers are expected to last at least through Friday evening have the potential to make the road slick for vehicles with poor tire tread or that are driving too fast, according to ODOT and National Weather Service reports.

For those traveling on the Sexton summit, ODOT recommends the following:

  • Watch for hydroplaning conditions. If you hydroplane, ease off the gas, gently apply the brakes and steer straight ahead.
  • Keep your distance. If it hasn’t rained in a while, road surfaces will be slick.
  • Turn on your headlights to improve visibility.
  • Disengage your cruise control.
  • Slow down, especially through high water. Driving through several inches of water at high speed can cause you to lose control of the car.
  • Check your wipers for signs of damage. Replace wiper blades regularly.
  • Check your brakes. After driving through a puddle, check that brakes are working properly by tapping them gently a few times.
  • Make sure tires are in good condition and are at the recommended inflation level. Tires should have a recommended 2/32 of an inch tread depth at any two adjacent grooves. Driving on over-inflated or under-inflated tires reduces traction and control on wet pavement.
  • Make sure your defroster is functioning properly, especially if you haven’t used it in a while.

A Honda Accord sedan landed on its side following a crash on the Sexton summit near Wolf Creek. ODOT photo.