Salem Auto Body Blog

How to Drive during Wildfire Smoke

Every year, Salem, Oregon, and surrounding cities are impacted by wildfires in the area. These fires not only cause damages to homes but can also create dangerous driving conditions for those on the road. Heavy smoke in the air can create hazardous driving conditions. Not only can smoke from local fires rise three to five miles, but also travel up to thousands of miles.

The team here at Salem Auto Body & Paintworks cares about the condition of you and your vehicle. We recommend reading over these tips prior to getting on the road during smoky times.

  1. Slow Down. You can never go too slow. Give people around you time to react and respond, as it is not easy to see in thick smoke.
  2. Roll Your Windows Up. Having your windows down will bring the dirty air in. Turn your “recirculate air” feature on to avoid bringing dirty air into your vehicle.
  3. Do Not Use Your Hazards. Turning your hazard lights on while the air is not clear may appear to other drivers you are parked on the side of the road.
  4. Turn on Your Headlights. Whether it is day or nighttime, turning your headlights on allows other drivers to see you on the road.
  5. Be Aware of Wildlife. Wildfires and the smoke itself may cause animals to gear towards to road. Keep an extra eye open!
  6. Watch for Emergency Vehicles. There may be more emergency vehicles on the road than normal. If you see them, slow down and move over.
  7. Pack Food and Water. If you are going a long distance, bring enough supplies for everyone in the vehicle. You never know if you might get stuck.

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by wildfires in the area. If you can, we recommend avoiding driving in areas with particularly bad smoke or low visibility. Always check the local weather reports and TV news to see where driving conditions are the worst. If you find yourself in a negative auto situation due to the smoke or have any questions, be sure to give Salem Auto Body & Paintworks a call at 503.378.7595. We are here for you!