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PORTLAND -- As rain continues to pelt the Portland Metro area in fits and starts, traction on area roads can be tricky, so experts wanted to share important tips for safe driving on slick roads.

The rain was found to be a factor in a crash that killed an 11-year-old Portland girl Sunday and was blamed for two other crashes Sunday and another on Tuesday.

Background: Portland girl, 11, dead after Gresham rollover

Many Portland drivers told KGW Tuesday that they dread the first heavy rainfall and what it does to road conditions.

I dread it, I don t like driving in the rain at all. I don t like driving in the rain at night, especially, said Portland driver Margie Marontate.

There are so many trucks on I-5 and they re going too fast and they re kicking up tons of water and you can t see in front of you, added driver Eileen Taylor.

Fall weather has already moved in quickly and OSP Lt. Gregg Hastings said it's a good time to make sure your vehicle is prepared as road conditions worsen.

If it hasn t rained in a while, expect road surfaces to be slick when it does start raining, Hastings said. Oil and grease build up on the road over time. When mixed with water from rain, the road can become slick. The first few hours of a fresh rain can be the most dangerous.

Track rain on Doppler Radar

Hastings said drivers should give themselves two to three times more stopping distance on wet roads.

He also recommended the following vehicle maintenance tips:

  • Before heading out in wet weather, check your wipers for signs of damage. Replace wiper blades regularly.
  • Make sure your defroster is functioning properly, especially if you haven t used it in a while.
  • Check your brakes. After driving through a puddle, check that brakes are working properly by tapping them gently a few times.
  • Check your tires. Make sure tires are in good condition and are at the recommended inflation level. Driving on over-inflated or under-inflated tires is dangerous on wet pavement.
  • Watch for hydroplaning conditions, especially if tires are worn. If you hydroplane, ease off the gas, gently apply the brakes and steer straight ahead.

Click here for more driving tips from ODOT

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