Thursday, August 28, 2014

Car Maintenance Tips for Teens

Watching your son or daughter drive off all on their own can be pretty stressful. It’s important to give them basic maintenance tips so they are safe and prepared! Here are a few things to go over with your teen before they hit the road.

1. Teach them how to check the oil: Stress the importance of checking the oil at a regular interval. Let them know how often it should be checked and how to read the dipstick. Staying on top of oil changes can help prevent costly repairs

2. Check for a spare: Make sure your son or daughter knows to check and make sure they have spare tire at all times! You don’t want them getting stranded with a flat tire on the way to school.

3. Teach them how to check their battery: Extremely hot or cold weather can put strain on a battery. Make sure you teen knows how old their battery is, when it needs to be switched out, and how to check its condition.

4. Make sure they know where the coolant is:
Teach you teen how to locate the coolant and check if it’s low. It’s also a good idea to teach them how to add more if the light comes on on their dashboard.

5. Check the lights: Instruct your teen to check all the lights on their car regularly to make sure they’re all in good working condition.

Friday, August 22, 2014

How to Prevent Your Car from Being Stolen

Car theft is a huge issue in the United States. The odds of your vehicle being stolen are 1 in 186. It may seem that the odds would lean in your favor most of the time, but that’s not always the case. Here are a few tips to help you prevent your car from falling in to the hands of a thief.
· Don’t leave your car running during a quick errand! 1 in 3 people admit to doing this, and it’s not safe. All the thief has to do is jump in and drive away.

· Park in a well-lit area. The back of the lot may look nice with all the open spaces, but it’s much safer to park closer to you destination where there is more foot traffic and light. A thief is less likely to try anything if there are witnesses nearby.

· Hide your valuables when you leave your car.
If you have a nice stereo on have just gone shopping and have a bunch of bags in your backseat, make sure they’re tucked away out of sight. A thief will be more tempted to break in to your car if there’s a clear cash reward right in front of their face.

· Never leave your purse or wallet in the car. You may think it’s ok if you’re just running in somewhere for a minute, but it doesn’t take long for a thief to work their magic. Always be sure to take your wallet/purse with you wherever you go.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Heading Back to School? Remember to Drive Safe!

The summer is ending and it’s time for the kids to head back to school! It’s important to think safety first amongst all the excitement (especially when driving). Here are a few tips to keep you on your toes!

1. Be courteous around that big yellow bus: Driving a bus full of noisy excited children is already complicated enough, so don’t add to the bus driver’s stress! Yield when they are trying to merge, and make sure to keep your distance (they stop frequently). Also be sure to talk to your kids about walking in front of the bus when exiting or boarding!

2. Obey the school zone: Most school zones have a speed limit around 15-25mph. Make sure you know what the speed limit is, and obey it. Always be sure to pay attention to the pedestrians, they are everywhere in the school zone, and they’re not always predictable. Finally, if you’re near a high school you’re bound to have some newly licensed teenagers cruising around, so stay alert!

3. Be a good pedestrian: Drivers aren’t the only ones that need to think about safety! Pedestrians also need to be cautious. Drivers get pretty peeved when people jaywalk, cross at a red light, or text while walking. It’s not just annoying, it’s dangerous. Be sure to cross at corners/marked crosswalks and in clear view, never between parked cars.

Remember to be safe, and have a great school year!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Tips and Tricks for Surviving a Road Trip with the Kids

Are you thinking about packing up and heading out on one last family road trip before summer comes to an end? Have no fear! Here are some tips to keep you and your kids sane during the drive!

· Pack Strategically: Pack everything you will need access to while on the road separately from your other luggage. This way you won’t have to dig around in your suitcase for something small like bug spray or sunscreen. It’s also a good idea to keep a change of clothes handy for you and your kids. You never know when an unexpected mess will pop up.

· Plan your travel time around your child’s sleep schedule: Ensure your departure is timed just right so your child can catch some zz’s on the road. If you leave before lunchtime you can allow them to have lunch in the car. They’ll nod off in no time, allowing you to have some quiet driving time. Just try not stop while your child is sleeping, it’s a sure-fire wake-up call. Some people also travel at their child’s bedtime. This is effective as long as you’re not too tired to drive!

· Stop at regular intervals: Your kids will start to get a little antsy after 2-3 hours of driving. It’s important to make regular stops every couple of hours so everyone can stretch their legs. A quick game of tag in a park or exploring a “hokey” roadside attraction is a good way to help them spend some energy and to make the time on the road fun!

· Prevent backseat meltdowns: Road trips are no fun when you spend the whole time trying to keep siblings from fighting with one another. Keep you kids equipped with toys, well-fed, and well rested. This should help reduce the sibling squabbles allowing you to drive in peace.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ditch that Junk in the Trunk and Get Organized

An organized car is a safe car!

If you have a bunch of loose items lying around in your car, they can easily become dangerous during an accident. Imagine that stray shoe in your back seat flying at you going 50mph…not cool. Cleaning up your car will also help you avoid distracted driving. Digging around through the stuff in your car means taking your eyes off the road, which is never a good thing. Let’s get safe and organized!

Lighten You Load:

The first step organizing your car is taking everything out, and yes, I mean everything! Everything from the mess of papers in your glove box, to the clutter in your door pockets needs to be sorted through. Once everything is out you can decided what is trash, and what important documents you need to hang on to. Give your car a good vacuuming, and remember to get under the floor mats.

Purge the Trunk:

Most people unknowingly carry around the weight of an extra person in their trunk. Be honest with yourself, what do you really need? Keep basic items that you may need in an emergency situation. Seasonal items should only be carried during the season they are needed. Lightening your load may help preserve your tire ware and improve your gas mileage.

Get organized:

Car organizers come in all shapes and sizes! Get an organizer for the trunk, and seating area so you can have a place for everything you need to carry in your car. Try to avoid any organizers that hang on the back of the seat as a passenger may become injured due to a sudden stop or crash

Finally, enjoy your organized car! You are now ready to hit the road.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Car Safety Feature Must Haves

1. Safety belt features:
Safety belts have been a standard feature on cars for decades, but they’re not all created equal. You want the three-point lap-and-shoulder belts that provide the most protection, and you also want them to have safety-belt pretensioners and force limiters -- basically extra safety protectors. Finally, you want to make sure that there’s a safety belt for EVERY seat in the car.

2. Head Restraints:
Head restraints have been standard since 2009. They’re important for preventing whiplash, so double check and make sure they come with your vehicle.

3. Child Safety Seats: Of course this is something you have to purchase yourself, but you want to make sure that the LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) feature suits your needs. The best way to do this is to try your child’s safety seat in the car.

4. Electronic stability control (ESC): This is the feature that corrects the vehicle's steering by selectively applying brakes or cutting power if the car goes into a skid. This feature can really reduce of getting in to an accident, so make sure that it is up to par.