BBB Offers Tips to Drivers Affected by Winter Storm

Safety First!
February 11, 2014

A late winter storm slammed the Pacific Northwest on Feb. 6, 2014, shutting down most of the region for several days and covering area roads with ice. According to Oregon State Police, nearly 600 accidents were reported across the state in the two days following the storm. Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington offers tips to help drivers whose vehicles may have been affected:

  • Worth: Know details of auto policies to understand who is at fault in case of accidents; when one driver slides into another vehicle, that driver is at fault and is responsible for the damage, despite the road conditions. Auto insurance can help with the cost, but not all insurance policies are the same.
  • Wrecks: Get service from trusted auto repair shops. Whether it is front-end alignments, fender benders or major bodywork, start with BBB’s Automotive Accredited Business Directory to find reliable companies.
  • Wash: To prevent further rust and paint damage from road salt or de-icing chemicals, wash vehicles promptly after driving in snowy conditions.
  • Wipers: Freezing weather can harden wiper rubber and make it brittle, causing cracks and reduced spring tension. Replace wipers that are chattering, streaking or not performing properly.

In the wake of winter storms, be on the lookout for new potholes which can damage alignment or cause accidents; if hitting a pothole is unavoidable, motorists are advised to slow down as much as possible. BBB also encourages drivers to take a few moments to restock winter emergency kits and replace any items that may have been used in preparation for future storms—water, food, cat litter, et cetera.

State officials ask that drivers, if possible, not abandon vehicles in heavy traffic areas, which might delay emergency responders and prevent plows or other maintenance equipment from getting through. Abandoned vehicles are subject to citations and impoundment.

Instead of driving, stay in and visit for up-to-date alerts on local information.

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. BBB Northwest serves more than 14 million consumers in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Western Wyoming.