Increased Mt. Hood Traffic May Lead to More Accidents

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Dec 18, 2020 in Personal Injury

snowy road on way to Mt HoodThe 2021 ski season in Oregon is just beginning, but there are already concerns that there may be more accidents than in previous years. Issues this season include not only the increased traffic to and from Mount Hood but also how COVID-19 restrictions at the resorts will impact your day trip.

Rizk Law discusses some of the hazards and why planning ahead could help reduce the possibility of an accident.

Risks to Be Aware of in 2021

Mt Hood ski resorts will be open for the 2021 winter season despite the ongoing pandemic, however, it will not be business as usual. Here are a few things to know before setting off to hit the slopes:

COVID-19 Concerns and How They Are Being Handled

The pandemic has led to many changes and inconveniences over the last several months, so it is no surprise that it will also have an impact on the 2021 skiing season.

To continue to have fun during the ongoing pandemic, resorts require you to:

  • Wear face masks indoors – or outdoors when social distancing is not possible
  • Purchase daily lift tickets online – they are date-specific and have designated time slots

For additional details and the most current information, check the Mt Hood Meadows – or other Mt Hood resort website ahead of time.

Be Mindful of Traffic Concerns on U.S. 26

Mt Hood resorts are especially popular with Portland ski and snowboard enthusiasts, both for the terrain and because it is an easy day trip. However, U.S. 26 is a highly traveled roadway for skiers and snowboarders trekking to get there. There are also a lot of semi-trucks, 18-wheelers and other big rigs that take this route to transport goods in and out of the city of Portland. Multiple turns, steep grades and icy winter weather can make this roadway especially treacherous, increasing the risk of a motor vehicle accident.

A late November tanker crash is a prime example of the kinds of crashes that can happen on U.S. 26 this time of year. The driver of this truck reportedly slid on an icy patch, causing his truck to flip on its side and spill diesel fuel onto the roadway. This one accident backed up traffic for hours on a busy travel day for many returning home from nearby ski resorts and Thanksgiving holidays.

Ski and snowboarding enthusiasts, along with commercial truck drivers and other motorists can expect long delays along this route due to:

  • Hazardous snow-covered lanes and black ice during inclement weather
  • Increased traffic volume and delays, especially on weekends
  • Greater risk of truck accidents and other motor vehicle accidents at high-volume times
  • Accidents due to aggressive or reckless drivers
  • Incidents of road rage from spending long hours in traffic

Skiing and Snowboarding Dangers

In addition to being aware of COVID-19 and traffic risks, you should also take steps to avoid unnecessary injuries while skiing and snowboarding, such as:

  • Wearing a helmet
  • Making sure your boots, skis and other gear fits properly
  • Familiarizing yourself with safety guidelines to keep you out of harm’s way on the slopes
  • Learning about the terrain to avoid injuring yourself and others
  • Taking lessons to improve your skills
  • Avoid engaging in reckless behavior on the slopes

Planning Your Road Trip to Mt Hood Ski Trails

Planning your fun ahead of time is one of the best ways to make your trip more pleasant, avoid unexpected surprises and reduce your risk of an accident. Here are a few steps to consider when planning your day trip to Mt Hood and other surrounding ski resorts:

  • Check the weather for the duration of your day trip, including your travel time
  • Make sure you have enough emergency supplies
  • Wear proper clothing for winter sports – and have extra layers in case your vehicle breaks down
  • Fill up your gas tank before your go
  • Consider carpooling or using public transportation – especially if your vehicle is less than reliable
  • Check to see if you need to register online or purchase a time slot in advance
  • Allow enough time that you are not tempted to rush
  • Make sure you have the right tires – and tire chains – for the weather
  • Be patient – reckless or aggressive driving behavior puts everyone at risk, including you

Injured Due to Another’s Negligence? Our Firm is Prepared to Help

Sometimes accidents cannot be avoided, especially when they are caused by another’s reckless or negligent behavior. If this happens, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately to protect your health. After your injuries are stabilized, we encourage you to contact one of our Portland-based personal injury lawyers. We have years of experience representing the injured throughout Oregon, and we are prepared to help you. Contact our firm today for your free, no-obligation consultation to learn more.