Traveling for the holidays? Our team offers tips

With gatherings limited due to the pandemic there may not be as many people on the road these next few weeks. If you do need to travel, our team has some tips to make sure your trip is trouble-free.TripCheck logo

Tip #1 TripCheck.com is your friend

“My best piece of advice for travelers,” said ODOT’s central Oregon Spokesperson Peter Murphy. “Add Tripcheck.com to your favorites. Check the forecast before you leave and again on your way home.”

It’s important to know before you go. ODOT offers travel and road condition information 24 hours a day via TripCheck.com. The site features:

  • Maps updated in real time that display road conditions, color-coded traffic speeds on most roads across the state, trouble spots, weather, construction, maintenance and traffic incidents. You’ll also find high-impact incidents prominently displayed as “alerts.”
  • More than 700 camera images from key locations throughout Oregon as well as western Idaho, northern Nevada, southern Washington and northern California.

  • The ability to create and bookmark custom camera pages with up to 10 different cameras for quick checks of specific routes.

  • Links to bus, airport, train, bicycle and trucking information and detailed information on scenic byways, safety rest areas and Sno-Parks.

  • Information on the use of traction tires and chains in Oregon plus a winter driving guide to help you be prepared.

  • Waze user reports and traffic jams; these are overlaid on the TripCheck map, providing real-time traffic and road conditions from Wazers in the area.

  • “Travel Time,” showing current travel times from key highway connections throughout the Portland metro area.

  • TripCheck information is also available via Twitter. Visit TripCheck.com and click the On the Go tab to learn more. TripCheck TV allows users to create a custom display of road condition information and camera images.

Tip #2 be prepared for anything

ODOT’s southern Oregon Spokesperson Gary Leaming says, “Oregon’s weather can change quickly. Conditions can change dramatically in just a few miles – or even just around the corner.”

Winter preparedness kit
It’s always a good idea to carry an emergency kit.

Gary recommends keeping your vehicle stocked with the following:

  • Working flashlight
  • Cell phone charger

  • Water and extra food

  • Flares

  • Tools – jack, lug wrench, and shovel

  • Road maps (get one free from us)

  • Blanket

  • Jumper cables

  • Gloves, hat, boots and a warm coat

  • Ice scraper

  • Extra washer fluid

  • Chains or traction devices (practice putting them on before you leave)

  • A full fuel tank

Tip #3 Use common sense when using GPS

Navigation systems and smartphone apps are great tools, but they may not take current road or weather conditions into consideration. They may direct you onto remote roads that are neither maintained nor passible in all weather conditions.

If you are not familiar with an area and current road conditions, stay on state roads and don’t attempt detours onto road you don’t know. Stop and ask local folks for information.

Consult an official state map (you can get one for free) and use TripCheck.com or 5-1-1 for 24/7 road conditions.

 “No matter where you’re going and how you’re traveling,” said Gary. “We wish you safe journeys.”