Seven Tips For Driving Safely in Wet Weather

Driving in fall weather in Oregon can be a beautiful experience with the colorful foliage and crisp air, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. The combination of rain, fog, fallen leaves, and shorter daylight hours can make the roads more hazardous.

Seven Tips For Driving Safely in Wet Weather

  • Check Your Vehicle: Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Check the tires for proper tread depth and inflation, test the brakes, and ensure all lights are working correctly. Fall weather can bring wet and slippery roads, so having a well-maintained car is essential.
  • Keep a Safe Following Distance: Wet leaves on the road can be as slippery as ice. Maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you to allow for extra stopping time. This will help prevent rear-end collisions and give you more time to react to sudden stops or obstacles.
  • Watch for Wildlife: Fall is mating season for many animals, which can lead to increased wildlife activity near roads. Be especially cautious in rural areas and near forests, as deer, elk, and other animals may dart across the road unexpectedly. Slow down and use your high beams when appropriate to improve visibility.
  • Beware of Fog: Fall in Oregon often brings dense fog, especially in the early mornings and late evenings. Drive at reduced speeds in foggy conditions, use your low-beam headlights, and avoid using high beams as they can reflect off the fog and impair visibility. Use fog lights if your vehicle is equipped with them.
  • Stay Alert for Rain: Oregon is known for its rainy Fall seasons. Roads can become extremely slippery when wet, so reduce your speed and avoid sudden maneuvers. Turn on your windshield wipers and headlights to increase visibility, and be cautious of hydroplaning, especially in areas with poor drainage.
  • Keep Your Windshield Clean: Fallen leaves, rain, and fog can quickly obscure your windshield. Ensure your wipers and defrosters are working properly, and keep your windshield clean both inside and out. Dirty glass can refract light, making it even more challenging to see in low-light conditions.
  • Adjust to Reduced Daylight: With Fall comes shorter daylight hours, meaning you’ll be doing more driving in the dark. Make sure your headlights, taillights, and turn signals are all functioning correctly. Also, clean your headlights to remove any dirt or haze that can reduce their effectiveness. When driving in low-light conditions, stay focused, reduce distractions, and be prepared for reduced visibility.

It’s The Law

Remember that Oregon law requires headlights to be on when visibility is reduced to 1,000 feet or less, including during rain and fog. Following this law not only keeps you safe but also helps other drivers see you better.

Driving in fall weather in Oregon can be a picturesque experience, but it demands extra caution and preparation. By checking your vehicle, maintaining safe distances, watching for wildlife, being mindful of fog and rain, keeping your windshield clean, and adjusting to reduced daylight, you can enjoy the beauty of the season while ensuring your safety and the safety of others on the road. Always prioritize safety when driving in adverse weather conditions, and remember that arriving safely at your destination is the ultimate goal.  

Have you purchased or leased a new vehicle or have a new driver in the family?  Contact Us and our team can help update your auto insurance policy making sure you are covered for every season.  


EPB&B welcomes a new Vice President of First Impressions

At Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker, the importance of the Receptionist position, aka the Vice President of First Impressions,  cannot be overstated. This person is the first point of contact for clients and customers and strives to make individuals feel valued and comfortable. At EPB&B, the VP of First Impressions, is often an initial stepping stone for those interested in a career in the insurance industry, and we are proud to say we successfully train our front desk team members, promoting them seamlessly into other positions within EPB&B; So successfully in fact, that the past eight employees that started at reception currently work in other positions at EPB&B. With this philosophy, we welcome our new Vice President of First Impressions, Jane Reed, to our team.  Here is more about Jane and her interest in pursuing a career in the insurance industry. 

  1. What is your background in the insurance industry? Having come from banking and medical offices, this is my first step into insurance.
  1. What interests you most about working in the insurance industry?  Being new to the insurance industry, I was ready to make a change to help serve the community. My grandfather retired after 35 years in the insurance business and I was told it is definitely in my gene pool. 
  1. What made you choose EPB&B as the next step in your career path? A friend and current employee knew I wanted a career change and suggested EPB&B because of the great people and dedication to serving the community. Not to mention EPB&B being selected as a Top Workplace caught my interest.
  1. Is there anything you’d like to share to let people know more about you? Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, I have called Portland my home for nine years. You can catch me taking in the Portland food scene or cheering on one of my many favorite sports teams in my spare time.

Welcome To the EPB&B team Jane.


School bus laws every motorist needs to know

School is back in session, which means school busses in the Portland Metro area are back on the road.

Driving safely around school buses is crucial to protect the lives of children and ensure road safety. To achieve this, strict rules and regulations govern how drivers should react when sharing the road with school buses. These rules are designed to minimize the risk of accidents and provide a safe environment for students getting on and off the bus. Here are some essential rules to follow when driving with school buses on the road:

Stopping for School Buses: One of the most important rules is to stop when a school bus is loading or unloading children. In most places, this means stopping when approaching a bus from either direction if its red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended. Failure to stop in this situation is not only dangerous but also illegal. Oregon law mandates drivers to stop 20 feet or more in this situation.  

Distance Matters: Maintaining a safe following distance when following a school bus. School buses make frequent stops, and children may dart out unexpectedly. Keeping a reasonable distance ensures you have enough time to react if the bus suddenly stops.

Passing School Buses: Passing a stopped school bus is prohibited in most areas when its red lights are flashing, and the stop arm is extended. Some jurisdictions, including Oregon, allow passing when driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway, but it’s essential to check local regulations.

Yield the Right of Way: Even if you have the right of way, you must yield to a school bus when it merges into traffic after dropping off or picking up students. Children may not always follow traffic rules, so exercise caution.

Obey Speed Limits: Attention to speed limits in school zones, especially when school buses are present. Reduced speed limits are enforced during school hours to protect children walking to and from school.

Be Patient: School buses make frequent stops, and they may take longer to get going again. Be patient and avoid aggressive driving behaviors when driving near school buses.

No U-Turns or Overtaking: It is generally illegal to make U-turns or overtake other vehicles near a school bus. These actions can put children at risk and are often against the law.

Follow School Bus Signals: Pay attention to the signals and lights on the school bus. Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop, while red flashing lights and the extended stop arm mean the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off.

Use Extra Caution in Bad Weather: Poor weather conditions can make seeing and stopping for a school bus more challenging. In adverse weather, increase your following distance and reduce your speed.

Know the Local Laws: Familiarize yourself with the specific laws and regulations in your area regarding school buses. Laws can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so it’s essential to know the rules that apply to your location. Oregon law 

Watch for Crossing Guards: When a school crossing guard is present, obey their signals and instructions. They are there to help children safely cross the road.

Driving around school buses requires extra care and attention to ensure the safety of children. Following these rules helps protect young passengers, maintain order on the road, and avoid potentially costly fines and legal consequences. Remember that the safety of our children is a shared responsibility, and everyone must play their part in keeping them safe on their journey to and from school.


SAIF declares $135 million dividend

Great news for policy holders. We are pleased to share the following press release from our professional partner, SAIF Corporation. It is a pleasure to work with a company that cares about their customers and the health and safety of Oregon workers .


September 6, 2023

Today the SAIF board of directors declared a $135 million dividend for its policyholders. This marks the 14th year in a row SAIF has been able to offer a dividend, and the 26th dividend since 1990. SAIF is one of the only insurance carriers in Oregon that has regularly returned dividends to employers. As a not-for-profit with a public mission to make workers’ compensation coverage available, accessible, and affordable, it’s an important part of our value to policyholders.

“Serving our customers with expertise and heart is at the core of what we do,” said Chip Terhune, president and CEO of SAIF. “We have carefully considered current economic trends and believe it is right that we offer this dividend to our employers.”

SAIF determines whether a policyholder dividend is appropriate based on capital levels, claim trends, and the overall economic environment. This year, SAIF is able to pay dividends because of its solid financial standing and continued success in managing workplace safety and health and controlling losses.

“In addition to dividends, we are proud to offer the largest network of workplace safety professionals of any insurance carrier in Oregon,” said Terhune. “Our vision is to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work, and we appreciate our policyholders’ efforts to ensure their workers go home safely at the end of each day.”

52,023 policyholders will receive the dividend. The dividend will be based on premium for policies whose term ended in 2022 and will be distributed in October.

About SAIF
SAIF is Oregon’s not-for-profit workers’ compensation insurance company. For more than 100 years, we’ve been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work. For more information, visit the About SAIF page on saif.com.

Contact EPB&B for more information on Worker’s Compensation options for your business.


EPB&B earns Top Corporate Philanthropist recognition

Taking care of our team members, customers, and the people in the Portland community is the mission of Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker.  Because of this steadfast belief in care, we are happy to announce that EPB&B has been recognized as a Portland Business Journal Top Corporate Philanthropist.  

“We are once again grateful for this recognition from Portland Business Journal, “ says EPB&B President Marc Baker. “In is an honor to pay forward our business success to the many well deserving small grassroots organizations in our community.”

Whether it’s helping families at risk of homelessness find housing,  serving hot meals to people in need, offering hope and dignity to kids in Oregon’s foster care,  promoting the arts through funding student scholarship programs, or offering support to our legged friends, we welcome the opportunity to pay it forward by supporting organizations in the community that help improve the lives of others.

To keep the mission of community giving at the forefront, the Baker Family Foundation was established in 2022 by Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker President Marc Baker. The mission is to provide an accessible way to provide financial support to small, local, non-profit organizations that provide services to those in need in our community. The Baker Family Foundation is a 501c3 that works with Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker, Inc. Community donations and corporate sponsorship money donated to the Baker Family Foundation are funneled directly to the local charitable organization  EPB&B so generously supports.

A big thank you to our customers and professional partners.  Time and time again, when we throw out a call to action, you all answer. It is in part because of your generosity and support of our mission that his recognition is made possible.  


EPB&B supports Children’s Healing Arts Project’s CHAP In a Box.

At Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker Insurance, we know a great idea when we hear one, so when we were approached by Children’s Healing Arts Project (CHAP) to sponsor their Chap In a Box program.  We were all in. 

What is CHAP In A Box?

Children’s Healing Arts Project (CHAP) CHAP is the only non-profit organization in Oregon dedicated to bringing the healing power of art directly to children and families facing any medical challenges. It doesn’t matter what diagnosis, disability, or mental health challenge a child faces. At CHAP, children are only known for their ingenuity and creativity. There are situations where, due to distance or health concerns a child cannot attend one of CHAP’s in-person art classes; that is where Chap in a Box comes in. 

How Does It Work?

Chap in a Box is available to any child with a medical or mental health issue. Thanks to sponsorship dollars, each child and their siblings receive four free boxes each year, and this year, EPB&B is proud to be that sponsor.   About one hundred and forty were sent to families last year.   Each of the four boxes has a theme: modeling clay, painting, spirit lamp decorating, and sewing, with inserts ( in both English and Spanish) to help inspire the imaginations to create their masterpiece. 

“When a child is being discharged from the hospital, we invite them and their family members to continue their creative journey through our weekly Art Club programs,” explains Barb McDowell, Executive Director of CHAP. “CHAP in a Box started when we noticed that many children we met at the hospitals either lived too far away from Portland or couldn’t attend Art Club for medical reasons (like immunity issues).“

 Says Barb, “EPB&B is an absolute gift to the community.” 

How Can I Get Involved?

If you know someone who may benefit from the CHAP art program, please contact: Haley at haley@chappdx.org or call 503-243-5294.