Rain alert: Northwest highway officials caution drivers

SEATTLE — With the Northwest braced for the first significant rain of the fall, highway officials in Washington and Oregon are pleading for driving caution — and common sense.

Forget the jokes about how bad Northwest residents are at driving in the rain — when they get so much practice. Highway officials hope to prevent the increase in fender-benders — or worse — that so often follow rain after a long dry spell.

Oregon’s Department of Transportation noted that oil and grease on the highway come to the surface with the first rains, potentially making roads slick.

Washington state Transportation Department maintenance and operations Manager Dave McCormick said this year could be even worse because the area has gone so long without rain.

They suggest: slow down, keep plenty of distance between vehicles, check wipers, brakes and tires and leave plenty of extra time for your commute.

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