OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

Gobble gobble – time out for holiday travelers

Posted on: November 18th, 2014 by Madeline MacGregor in News & Press | No Comments

Reminder to stop and rest while traveling on the road

Be safe, buckle, buckle, buckleNext week, thousands of Oregonians (and their out-of-state visitors) will be travelling our state’s major roadways. Drivers may tend to be distracted as they conjure up dreams about mom’s pumpkin pie, whipped cream, or yummy stuffing. However, once all the food has been ingested, it’s important to remember that an abundance of super rich foods may cause fatigue.

Since we tend to travel all hours of the night or the day after the big holiday meal, there are many long hours over the holiday weekend to connect to trouble on an Oregon highway. Since data shows that many accidents occur when a driver is fatigued or distracted, we encourage you to use all of the tools in the collective toolbox to stay safe and ahead of traffic congestion.

Buckle, buckle, buckle

One of the biggest responsibilities for Oregon parents of toddlers to teens, is to buckle precious cargo up according to age, weight and height. For babies and toddlers, be sure to follow the recommendations of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The following video demonstrates which seat is designed to keep your child safe.

Winter driving preparation

Before your trip, review the following tips from our friends at the Oregon Department of Transportation. Winter driving requires a little more attention and care. Even small steps towards preparation for snow and ice can lead to a happy and safe holiday with friends and family.

For example, here are some steps to make sure your vehicle is ready for the changing season:

  • Ensure the heater and defroster are working properly.
  • Test all lights. Carry spare light bulbs.
  • Use antifreeze that’s good to -25°F; check and fill washer and other fluids and make sure hoses aren’t loose or brittle.
  • Keep wipers clean and in good condition; fill the windshield washer tank.
  • Make certain your battery is fully charged (also check battery age and cable conditions).
  • Ensure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated for best traction, including your spare.
  • Carry chains or have traction tires installed for winter.
  • Keep an automotive safety kit in your vehicle (see below for some things that should be in the kit.)

If you are driving in areas experiencing heavy rain or windy conditions, adjust your driving to fit conditions and remember these driving tips:

  • Turn off your cruise control.
  • If you lose traction and your vehicle feels like it’s floating, gradually slow down. Don’t slam on the brakes.
  • Be on the alert for downed trees, especially around a blind corner.

The following video is a humorous reminder to stay safe.

Know before you go

For up-to-date travel conditions via the internet, visit www.TripCheck.com, ODOT’s travel information website. With more than 1.6 million visitors per month, TripCheck.com provides valuable road and weather information to enhance safety around the state. The site features:
  • Detailed maps updated in real time display road conditions and trouble spots, including weather, construction, maintenance and traffic incidents. TripCheck also displays high impact incidents (alerts) on multiple pages to make them easier to spot.
  • TripCheck provides approximately 300 camera images from urban areas, mountain passes and other key locations throughout Oregon, as well as southern Washington and northern California. Users can create and bookmark custom camera pages with up to 10 different cameras for quick checks of specific routes.
  • A color-coded speed map of the Portland area provides average travel speeds on Portland highways.
  • TripCheck also has links to bus, airport, train, bicycle and trucking information; commercial roadside services such as hotels, motels and restaurants; and detailed information on scenic byways, safety rest areas and Sno-Parks.
  • A mileage calculator lets users estimate distances and choose the most direct route.
  • TripCheck also provides detailed information on the use of traction tire and chains in Oregon.
  • Tripcheck is available in a special format for mobile devices such as smart phones and other mobile devices. Visit www.TripCheck.com/mobile for a handy menu of TripCheck features.
  • TripCheck TV is a new feature of TripCheck.com that allows users to create a custom display of road conditions information and camera images. Found under the “On the Go” tab,TripCheck TV displays only the information and images that most interest you. A handy wizard takes you through a few easy steps to create your own display.

TripCheck information is now also available in text format via Twitter. Visit TripCheck.com and click on the Twitter page to learn more.

Grab coffee after your power nap

new_coffee-copyDid you know that OTE serves fresh hot free coffee in many of its rest area locations? OTE administers the ODOT sanctioned highway safety Free Coffee Program and helps drivers rest up and refresh between mile-points and cities. Local non-profit volunteers who staff the free coffee program use motorist donations to fund their charitable organizations. For more information about free coffee service locations and a calendar displaying non-profit volunteers, visit the Free Coffee Program page on our website.

If you’re not fond of coffee, many of the volunteer groups offer hot chocolate or tea. Sometimes (if they don’t run out) there are cookies as well.

While you nibble and sip java, take that much needed stretch along some of our rest area walking paths. Many of our locations boast up to 50 acres of public park-like land. It’s yours to use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If rest area safety is a concern, note that our staff is on the grounds seven days a week and 12 hours a day. Our security is enhanced with cooperation from local law enforcement and the Oregon State Patrol. A 24-hour dispatch operator is available to call. They can contact OTE staff after hours for rest area facility malfunctions or emergencies. Law enforcement are familiar with each of our rest area locations and staff, and are accessible by telephoning 9-1-1.

For more information about OTE rest area locations, please link to our Highway Safety Rest Areas page on our website.

Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey timeWe hope you enjoy your holiday on the road and celebrate good times with family and friends. Stay safe everyone! Remember to follow us on Facebook for real time updates on rest area closures or other news affecting your trip.

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