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. 

8 Common Car Insurance Myths

There’s a lot of misinformation that circulates about Car Insurance. To help separate fact from fiction and ensure you’re on top of your Auto Insurance, we’re debunking the following 8 common myths.  

Myth #1: The color of my car paint impacts my Auto Insurance premium

The color of your car has no impact on the price of your premium. Some features that do impact your premium include the car’s make, model, body type, year, engine size, etc. With this in mind, feel free to drive the car color of your dreams. 

Myth #2: I only need the minimum Auto Insurance required by law

It’s true that you only need the state’s minimum level of Auto Insurance to drive legally in Oklahoma. However, purchasing the minimum level is usually not the best choice. If you are at fault in an accident and the other party sues you for damage, you may have to use your own money to pay any losses that exceed what the minimum level of coverage protects. Talk to an agent to see how much coverage you may need based on your vehicle. 

Myth #3: Personal Auto Insurance will cover business use of my car

Using your car for commercial reasons comes with its own set of risks. You may need to look into getting Commercial Vehicle Insurance in order to ensure that you, your employees and your inventory are protected.

Myth #4: Comprehensive and collision coverage are the same

Comprehensive coverage and collision coverage protect your vehicle in different circumstances. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car sustained by incidents not related to a collision. Some examples include hail, flood, falling tree limbs, break-ins, vandalism, and run-ins with deer. Collision coverage pays for damage to your car by a collision with another vehicle, tree, pole, pothole, or guardrail.

Myth #5: My insurance will pay off my loan or lease if I total my car

If an accident totals your car, your Car Insurance will pay what the market says your car was worth before the accident – the Actual Cash Value (ACV). Most commonly because of depreciation, a driver with a loan on their vehicle will owe more on the vehicle than the vehicle’s ACV, leaving the driver with the responsibility of the difference. Talk to an agent about extra coverage options to fill in this gap.

Myth #6: Auto Insurance includes towing or other assistance I may need on the roadside

A typical auto policy does not include this coverage, but you can add a Roadside assistance option to your policy. Roadside assistance will pay for costs associated with towing your disabled vehicle. Additionally, other services needed, like gas for an empty tank, battery jumping and changing a flat on-site may be covered.

Myth #7: Auto Insurance will pay for a rental car after an accident

Many people believe that car insurance will pay for a rental car after an accident. Unless you have a rental car reimbursement on your policy then typically your insurance will not pay for a rental. Luckily, this is an easy addition to make to your policy. 

Myth #8: A ticket will always increase my Auto Insurance premium

Insurance companies consider a number of factors beyond a speeding or driving ticket to set auto premiums. Drivers with speeding tickets may be considered higher risk, and may be charged more for Auto Insurance premiums. On the other hand, if the driver is over the age of 25 and has not had a similar violation in the last three years, the premium may not be raised, as long as the person avoids getting another violation. The best course of action is to drive safely at all times. 

Keep these facts in mind to stay protected and prepared for any auto-related incident. Contact your OKFB agent to be sure that your policy covers everything you could need.

Assemble a Roadside Emergency Kit

From unpredictable weather to unexpected emergencies, there are many things that could leave you stuck on the side of the road when traveling from point A to point B. No matter how short the distance you’re traveling, keeping a roadside emergency kit in your vehicle can help give you peace of mind. Follow these steps to assemble one of your own, and make sure to take routine inventory. 

Emergency Supplies

A first aid kit is essential to have in your vehicle in case of an injury while on the road. Consider assembling your own kit or buying a pre-made kit. Use the American Red Cross guidelines to ensure your kit includes all the essentials. Some other emergency supplies you may want to keep in your vehicle include:

  • Bottles of water
  • Nonperishable food items
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Matches
  • Phone charger

Vehicle Tools

Your vehicle will need its own toolkit in case of a roadside incident, like a flat tire or dead battery. You may be able to buy a vehicle toolkit or you can compile one of your own with these necessary items: 

  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Work gloves and rags 
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Hazard triangles or warning lights 
  • WD-40
  • Tow rope
  • Fire extinguisher 

Severe Weather Supplies 

Extreme weather events can happen suddenly and pose some serious risks if you’re unprepared. Should you find yourself facing freezing temperatures, ice or tornadoes while on the road, you’ll want to have these items stored and ready in your vehicle: 

  • Warm, waterproof boots
  • Hat, scarf and gloves
  • Antifreeze
  • Ice scraper
  • Shovel 
  • Road salt or sand

Keeping these items in your vehicle will help ensure you’re prepared for roadside emergencies, but you’ll also want to make sure you have auto insurance that offers you the protection you need. Contact your OKFB agent to discuss your auto policy and see if you may be eligible for our roadside assistance policy addition. 

Road Safety with Farm Equipment

Harvest season is here, which likely means an increase in farm equipment on the roads. Whether you’re driving a tractor or sharing the road with one, it’s important to know how to safely navigate with and around various farm equipment and vehicles. Follow these safety tips to help prevent accidents on the road this season. 

Safety for farmers and ranchers

  1. Make sure all your lights and flashers work properly before getting on the road. Doing so will allow you to use the necessary warning lights and slow-moving vehicle signs when driving your equipment. This is important because it helps other motorists see you down the road so they can slow down and use caution when approaching. 
  2. Be mindful of your equipment — ensure everything is strapped in and balanced, and know the height and width of your equipment to avoid disrupting low-hanging power lines and other hazards that may be near the road. 
  3. When possible, avoid well-traveled roads during high-traffic and don’t travel before dawn or after dusk. 
  4. Use your signals to communicate with other drivers, and always take precautions when traveling on gravel shoulders or narrow bridges. 
  5. Lastly, obey all the normal traffic laws. 

Safety for other drivers

  1. Be aware of slow-moving vehicles. Farm equipment must travel much slower than the average vehicle — between five and 15 miles per hour. 
  2. Watch for signals coming from operators of farm equipment. They may communicate with you about when it is safe to pass, so it’s important to pay attention to their signals. 
  3. Tractors and other farm vehicles need lots of room to operate. They take wider turns and might have to use both lanes to complete a proper turn. To help accommodate this equipment, make sure to give it plenty of room. 
  4. Don’t abruptly pull in front of farm equipment and then slow down suddenly. It’s much more difficult for the large, heavy equipment to slow down quickly. 
  5. Always pay close attention when sharing the road with farm equipment. Avoid any distractions and be attentive. 

Whatever you’re driving this season, OKFB can provide the right coverage for your vehicle. Check out our auto policy lineup to find customizable coverage that fits your lifestyle. And, while you’re at it, take a look at our farm and ranch line, too. 

If you’re not sure where to start, try out our new instant auto quote form. It’s a quick, easy process to get you on your way to the coverage you need.