3 Things to Do if Your Car Breaks Down

Imagine your car breaks down. On the highway. At 1 a.m. In the middle of winter. 

It sounds like a scene straight out of a horror movie, but experiencing a breakdown could happen to most of us at some point in our lives. We’ve all heard the saying, “hope for the best, plan for the worst.” While you can’t always prevent a breakdown, you can be prepared for one. 

Here are three tips to help you prepare for a breakdown:

1. Know How to Stay Safe

If you’re driving back to the hotel after an evening dinner, and there’s an issue with the car, there are a few things you could do to stay safe. If you’re able, pull to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights to stay visible. Also, put on the parking brake and turn the wheel away from the road to avoid rolling into traffic. If you’re in fast-moving traffic, it could be better to stay in the vehicle until help arrives. 

2. Have a Kit For Break Down

Stay prepared and stay safe by keeping these items in the trunk at all times, no matter the weather:

  • Mobile phone charging device
  • First-aid kit
  • Road atlas
  • Flashlight
  • High-visibility vest
  • Warning triangle
  • Carjack
  • Tow rope
  • Spare tire
  • Water bottles
  • Granola bars

3. Contact OKFB’s Roadside Rescue Team

If you’re an OKFB Insurance policyholder or OKFB member, remember to keep your Roadside Rescue card with you and have this number saved in your phone: 833-957-OKFB (6532). If your vehicle breaks down, the OKFB Roadside Rescue service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Enjoy the variety of services, including towing, flat tire assistance, battery jump start service, unlock service and more. 

Your safety is our top priority and if you’re in need of help, we will be there every step of the way. 

Holiday Travel Tips

The holiday spirit is in full swing and with it comes spending time with loved ones and enjoying the peace as the year begins to wind down. If you have plans to visit family or friends, consider these travel tips, whether you’re road-tripping or flying this holiday season. 

Focus on Scheduling

The end of the year can get quite hectic. Planning ahead is crucial for staying sane and avoiding feeling overwhelmed. One thing to remember is that the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve are the most heavily traveled days of the year. If possible, schedule your travel for several days before and several days after the holidays to save money and time by avoiding peak road and air traffic.

Prioritize Disinfectants and Sanitizers

Regardless of if you’re driving or flying, it’s important to travel with a supply of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. Winter is peak flu, cold and virus season so you’ll want to take steps to ward off these germs. Aim to wipe down high-touch surfaces, like car doors, seat belts and armrests, and remember to clean off hands before eating or touching your eyes, mouth or nose. 

Don’t Forget These Items

  • Passport – Nothing is more frustrating than arriving at the airport and realizing you don’t have your passport. Put this at the top of your packing list! 
  • Important documents – This may be car insurance cards, health insurance cards, boarding passes, etc. Any documents that might be helpful in case of an emergency.
  • Snacks – Traveling takes lots of energy and time, so be prepared by having some snacks on hand for the whole family. A reusable water bottle is a good idea as well. 
  • Don’t forget to check under the hood and/or your flight information. It’s always a good idea to ensure your vehicle is good to go, and it never hurts to double-check flight times and terminals.

Protect Holiday Gifts

If your travel plans require bringing gifts along, it could be helpful to hold off on wrapping the gifts until after you’ve reached your destination. This could make packing easier and help the wrapping stay in good condition. Additionally, if flying, it might help to ship the package ahead of time to the end destination, so you have one less thing to worry about when traveling.

Stay safe this holiday season! If driving, contact your OKFB agent to make sure your auto insurance is updated. Additionally, check-in on your home insurance if you’re going to be gone for a while. All in all, we wish you all the best and hope you have a merry holiday! 

Hot Car Safety Tips

As many of us hit the road to travel this summer, or just to head to work or school, we might enjoy the sunshine and its accompanying warmth! Summer heat, however, adds an extra layer of complications to our drives. As temperatures rise, so do risks of accident and injury as it relates to the vehicle, passengers and pets in the car. Take a look at these hot car risks as well as safety tips for avoiding these situations.

Complete Routine Maintenance Checks

Scheduling routine checks for the vehicle could help lower the chances of having a heat-related car breakdown. Check out the air conditioner, radiator/cooling system, belts, hoses and oil and replace or repair them if needed. Don’t forget about the tires – fill up the tires and the spare to the right air pressure level. Driving under-inflated tires can cause them to overheat easier and that can increase the chance of a blowout. 

Keep Your Vehicle Cool  

The vehicle interior of a parked car can heat up quickly, posing some dangers to your health when you first re-enter it. Take care when entering the car to avoid touching the steering wheel and seats until the surfaces have cooled down. Consider installing seat covers, steering wheel cover, permanent window tint, or windshield sun shades to help block the sun’s rays. These items could help keep your car cool and protect the interior. 

Never Leave A Child or Animal Unattended

If you’re running errands with a child or animal in tow, avoid leaving them in the car, even for a short period of time. Instead, consider using drive-thru services or curbside pickup. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a car’s interior temperature could rise 20 degrees in approximately 10 minutes. Even leaving the windows cracked or rolled down does not slow the heat acceleration. 

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Even if you’ve prepared your vehicle for summer travel, it never hurts to have a “just in case” kit in your trunk. Fill it with items like water, sunscreen, non-perishable foods/snacks, jumper cables, road flares, flashlight, first aid kit and more. 

Incorporating these tips can help keep you cool on the hot, sunny days in Oklahoma. While you follow these tips, also remember we offer auto insurance to protect you on your journey. Contact an OKFB agent to discuss your auto needs or current policy – you may be eligible for our roadside assistance policy addition. 

Tips for Driving Safely All Winter Long

As we begin the last weeks of winter, it’s tempting to look ahead to the joys of spring. However, we all know from living in Oklahoma that the weather can be 55 degrees and sunny one day and 25 degrees and snowing the next. Join us in driving safely these next few weeks by keeping these winter driving tips in mind!

Prepare a Winter Car Kit

A short, routine trip can easily turn into a long journey if roads are inundated with winter conditions. Prepare a winter car kit and include items you may need in case of a delayed trip, car breakdown or getting stuck on the road. Consider an ice scraper, gloves, blanket, road salt, shovel, snacks, bottled water, candle, lighter, car charger, flashlight and jumper cables. You’ll also want to have a copy of your auto insurance card and any numbers for roadside assistance handy.

Check Road Conditions Ahead of Time

There is nothing worse than hitting the road only to come across less-than-ideal road conditions. Even if it is a route you take every day, check the weather, watch the news and read up on road conditions. You’ll also want to check for road closures and any outstanding accidents that may require a change of route. Less-than-ideal road conditions mean you need to go more slowly, so leave yourself extra time for travel.

Inspect Your Car Before Each Drive

Each time you head out to your vehicle, make a lap around the car to inspect it before taking off. In cold weather, tires can lose pressure and deflate slightly; make sure they are still at a safe level to drive on. You should also check the tread thickness of your tires, ensure nothing is clogging your exhaust pipe and confirm that your headlights and tail lights work.

Drive With Extra Care and Caution

Less-than-ideal road conditions you must focus on driving safely and with caution. Reduce your speed, leave extra distance between your vehicle and others, start braking sooner than you normally would and try to stop strategically in a way that won’t leave you sliding downhill or struggling to take off again. Lastly, limit distractions in your car, including radio and cellphone use, and stay focused on making it home safe.

No matter where you drive, make sure you are protected with custom auto insurance to fit your needs. Contact an agent to discuss the coverage you need!