Salem – Now that summer has arrived and people are hitting the road for vacations, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is reminding Oregonians of safe driving tips and to check with your insurance agent or company to review your insurance policies. With changes in driving patterns and potential risks during the summer, it is crucial for drivers to understand policy limits and coverages. DFR encourages drivers to have a conversation with their agent or insurance company to explore coverage options, ensure policies are up to date, and that appropriate protection is in place.
Additionally, it is a good time to ensure vehicles are in good working order by reviewing the following:
Air conditioning: With rising temperatures, maintaining a comfortable driving environment is crucial for both driver concentration and passenger well-being. Drivers should regularly check their vehicle’s air conditioning system to make sure it is functioning optimally. A properly functioning air conditioning system not only provides comfort, but also helps prevent fatigue and promotes alertness while driving. A lack of air conditioning on a hot summer day affects everyone, but is particularly dangerous for people who are in poor health or who are sensitive to heat, such as children and older adults.
Belts and hoses: To ensure safe and uninterrupted travel, drivers should regularly inspect their vehicle’s belts and hoses. Extreme temperatures can cause wear and tear, leading to potential breakdowns. It is recommended for drivers to schedule maintenance checks or consult a qualified mechanic to examine and promptly replace worn-out or damaged belts and hoses.
Tires: Proper tire maintenance is crucial for safe driving, especially during summer when road surfaces can become scorching hot. Drivers should regularly inspect their tires for signs of wear and tear, ensure correct inflation levels, and maintain adequate tire tread depth. Adequate tire condition contributes to optimal traction, better control, and improved fuel efficiency.
Essential vehicle components: Regular maintenance of essential vehicle components is vital to ensure a safe and reliable driving experience. Drivers should regularly check vehicle fluid levels, including engine oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid. Also, inspect the cooling system, batteries, and wiper blades to avoid potential breakdowns and maintain clear visibility on the road.
Essential supplies: In preparation for long journeys or unexpected situations, it is essential for drivers to stock their vehicle with necessary supplies. DFR suggests including items such as a first-aid kit, flashlight, extra water, nonperishable snacks, a roadside emergency kit that includes jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, work gloves, a change of clothes, emergency blankets, towels, and coats. These supplies can be invaluable during emergencies or when stranded on the road.
“We encourage all drivers to prioritize safety during the summer season by following these essential tips,” said Andrew Stolfi, insurance commissioner and director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “By practicing responsible driving habits and taking proactive measures, we can collectively contribute to safer roads and a more enjoyable driving experience for everyone. In addition to taking safety measures, and before hitting the road, drivers should make sure their auto insurance coverages are updated and their current proof of insurance is in the vehicle.”