APRIL AUTOMOTIVE ARTICLES
Top 7 Tips to Help You Drive Safely in the Rain
By Cathy Smith
Driving in the rain is not as easy as walking. Driving during a heavy shower or ghastly winds may not cause fear in the drivers' mind, but none of them can ignore the challenges associated with it. Adverse weather conditions are sure to increase the potential risk of falling into a grave danger and cause a situation for you along with your family. Evidently, driving in such conditions requires your undivided attention.
Enrolling for driving lessons may help you remain prepared for emergency situations and make you confident to drive in inclement weather. Moreover, you should be well accustomed with the possible downturns that may come in your way and take necessary safety precautions. Here are some quick tips for driving in the rain.
· Turn on wipers: This is possibly is the foremost thing you should do when it starts raining abruptly. It not only helps in keeping your windshield clean but increases your visibility. It will be wise for you to replace the wipers every year for preventing any unwanted occurrence. Moreover, it is advised to use hydrophobic washers that will make the water drop.
· Switch on the headlights: Turning the lights on is the other essential thing you need to do as soon as it starts pouring even if there is daylight.
· Drive slow: It can prove to be foolish on your part to keep a high speed while it is raining. High speed will increase the chances of the skid and ultimately lead you to meet with an accident. To ensure your traction with the wet roads, you must slow down your speed.
· Eyes on the road: You are required to be extremely focused while you are driving in the rain. Turn off the music if possible and stay glued to the road ahead. Moreover, it is the best time to drive utilising both of your hands.
· Don't smash the brakes: An essential tip you can follow is to not be harsh the brakes whenever you want. If you do it often on the wet roads, you may end up sliding or skidding forward. You may lose control as you wallop the brakes. Moreover, as you smash the brakes hard, your car brakes will be filled with water and cause malfunction as well. Slowing down the accelerator is a better option for such occasions.
· Maintain safe distance: It is mandatory that you don't act smart and try to speed up when there is too much traffic. Keep at least 5 feet distance from the car in front of you. Leaving the required space in front of the car will help you to avoid accidents.
· Take slow turns: Drive as slow as possible while you are taking turns. Making sharp turns during rain may lead you to skid and meet with an unexpected accident. According to the experts, you need to decrease the speed of your car for about a third, while it starts raining.
You may also try wearing polarised glasses for obtaining better visibility. Following the guidelines of driving learning schools will help you in acquiring necessary knowledge regarding driving in adverse climate.
How to Deal With Car Accidents
By Sean Coady
An accident when driving can occur at any moment. You may assume that because you are a fantastic driver you will not have an accident. Wrong. Even the best driver in the world can be hit by a rogue driver. Not everybody on the road has a licence to drive. Not everyone will be in a fit state to drive. And, worst of all, some people will deliberately cause an accident to claim injury compensation from YOUR insurance.
So what is the best way to deal with an accident?
1. Safety. Your first priority is to ensure you and your passengers are not hurt in any way. If so, immediately call the emergency services and give them an exact location. If possible, get help nearby from someone who may be medically trained. Get yourself to a place of safety as soon as possible. Do not wander around a live busy carriageway.
2. Witnesses. Get people who may have stopped to look to give you their recollection of what just happened. Then ask them for their names and telephone numbers. If you can, write down THEIR vehicle registration (if they were in one) as this can prove useful if they've given a wrong phone number by mistake.
3. Photographs. Take photographs of damage to your car. The other person's car and any other property damaged. Even a picture of the location can be useful as it will help when going through the insurance company. Street locations signage indicating priorities and weather can be useful when insurers have to assess a claim. If you have in-car CCTV make sure it has locked the footage. Take pictures of any injuries (if appropriate) and... the really useful one... take a picture (I suggest subtly) of the other driver as scammers may fake details later on. Some people may give false names to make bogus claims. Some people will even add extra passengers in their car (on their insurance claim) to claim personal injuries for more people than were actually there.
4. Swap Insurance details. In most countries, as in the UK, it is a legal requirement to swap insurance details at an accident. You need to give your name, phone number or address or the details of your insurance company as well as your vehicle registration. Never admit any fault, even if you think it may be your fault. You are not in the correct state of mind to make these decisions.
5. Report the accident. In some countries, like in the UK, you should report any accident that involved injury or damage to another person's property including damage to 'street furniture' such as streetlights, walls or signage. Not doing this within the specified time frame may render you liable to prosecution for separate offences. Check with local law enforcement agencies as soon as you can to protect yourself. If you suspect the other person may have been driving illegally (I.e drunk) call the Police immediately as once the person has left the scene it may be hard to prove they were guilty of such an offence. Also, this may assist you with your claim through the insurance company.
6. Check your vehicle. If possible move your vehicle to a place of safety and see if it can still be driven. DO NOT attempt to drive it if looks like it is un-roadworthy - get it towed.
7. Report the accident to your insurers as soon as possible. This is usually a part of the policy and failure to report it quickly may render it void.
8. If it was a very frightening accident and you feel scared to drive again afterwards seek help from a qualified diving instructor. That's what they're there for. You can quickly build up your confidence again.
By Michael McGowan
As we think about learning to drive where ever you are isn't it time to think about how your driving will change over the years. With all this talk about self-driving cars and now there is news that one company is thinking of designing a car that can fly too, where are we going.
I have sat down and thought what were people thinking about when the main form of driving was riding a horse or riding in a carriage which was drawn by a horse. If they were to travel forward in time what would be their thoughts on our driving.
Would they be thinking that we are all crazy driving around the country at what they would call fast speeds? They probably think that we would be crazy doing all this stuff. So what are your own thoughts on a car driving its self around with you sat in the driving seat with you reading or watching something?
The cars that are being tested for driving on their own are being slowly introduced onto the roads around the world. So let's put you in a situation, You are being driven down the Motorway in your self-driving car and you see problems ahead do you jump in before the car reacts to the situation or do you see what the car is going to do as you have been told it is totally safe to let the car drive for you.
In the world, we have slowly become more technical but also a lot lazier and for me, a lot fatter as I do less walking and more sitting. So why do we need to have the car drive for us, we have to learn to dive even if the car is going to drive for us, we still may need to take over. So why not leave the self-driving car and let us do something as we travel around.
I am totally happy for changes but maybe we should take a step back and look at what we are doing to ourselves making even lazier than we are at the moment. I am guessing next the scientist is going to start looking at ways to grow wheels out of our feet so we do less walking as well.
Within today's world let's just start being happy with how we are now and enjoy what we have and make use of what we have got. I agree with the hybrid cars but definitely, don't agree with self-driving cars.
By Lance Winslow
Many believe that one day, soon in fact, that EVs or Electric Vehicles will be the way everyone gets around. Personally, I have my doubts, and it's not that EVs do not offer some great advantages, it's just that for wide spread adoption, they also have a number of disadvantages especially if we are talking about everyone owning an electric automobile instead of gas driven. Let's talk shall we?
Here are 5-major points of contention and disadvantages to electric cars:
1). Battery Life: Proponents say battery life is getting better for electric vehicles, whereas this is true, and the advances remarkable, the low-hanging fruit has been picked and it will be harder in the future to continue this incredible trend of battery-life for volume size and cost - and yet, we need better extended life now to help compete against other power systems available.
2). Why Switch to Batteries if Hydrogen Fuel is Our Future: Proponents say that EV technologies are here now, are efficient and better than fossil fueled engines and we should rapidly expand the number of EVs on the road. Well soon Hydrogen Fuel will be viable as new storage materials come to fruition, and to market. There are big breakthroughs for this, now being proven. Will the EV revolution be short-lived, disrupt and destroy fossil fuel vehicles only to be up-ended in 2030 by hydrogen fueled? If so, why bother? All we do is have massive amounts of batteries in our landfills.
3). Bolivia and China have large deposits of Lithium that is easy to get to, and in the US our lithium is harder to get to, requires more work and thus, more costly to extract. If we buy from Bolivia, we are propping up a socialist dictatorship type government that doesn't like the US. If we buy from China, they will do the same thing they did with REEs before, and make their EVs cheaper and sell them into our markets - that hurts the US Automakers and will cost jobs - something that is problematic on the political spectrum - meaning headwinds for the industry. Being held for ransom by China or Bolivia isn't wise.
4). Extracting Lithium at 2000 feet below the ground as we are doing in the desert of CA and near the San Andreas fault using fracking methods may not be such a wise thing to do, considering the nearby Earthquake faults.
5). Electric Vehicle owners have enjoyed such things as "Diamond Lane" hi-occupancy highway or freeway lane benefits in many states even when only one person is in the vehicle. As more people buy EVs those benefits disappear along with incentives to buy an EV to save traffic congestion and time during commutes.
There are many more disadvantages, but these are a few we ought to be considering before we are sold on this mode of transportation as our mainstay. Think on it.
Lance Winslow has launched a new series of eBooks on the Mobile Auto Services Business. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a The Oil Change Guys, a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net.
By Kaitlin Miller
While planning to buy a car, you must have come across the terms: 'Cost of buying a car' and 'cost of ownership'. Let's understand the difference between the two terms.
· Cost of Buying a Car: It involves the retail price of the car that you pay to the dealer in order to purchase it. It is also called the MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price).
· Cost of Ownership: It means the amount that you need to pay for the car during a year. The cost of owning a car includes the cost of fuel, depreciation, service, maintenance, etc.
Let's understand the cost of ownership in detail. According to a comprehensive report, the cost of ownership is more than $8,500 per year. Do you believe it is too big a number to keep the car running? Well, here are different aspects that contribute to it:
· Service and Maintenance: The service and maintenance cost of the car depends on the manufacturer and the warranty policy. The rest depends on how you use it. On an average, the yearly service and maintenance cost sums up to $914 including the cost of tires.
· Fuel: Considering that the car travels an average distance of 12000 miles in a year, the fuel price may range up to $1682 for one year.
· Insurance: The insurance payments are constant and you can calculate the cost for the same easily. On an average, the insurance amount is $1115 per year.
· Depreciation: The depreciation rate of a car depends on the purchase price of the car, its current age and its life span. If you use a car to travel a distance of 15000 miles, with normal wear and tear, the depreciation amount will be $3655 per year.
· Other costs: Finance charges and fees related to license, registration and taxes cost around $1334 per year. Car buyers often ignore the registration fees and charges. But, in reality, the costs contribute heavily to the cost of ownership.
· Additional costs: Accessories that you install after the purchase of the car contribute to the expenditure. Also, parking tickets contribute to the overhead charges. The parking tickets may cost you a lot more than you can imagine. Plus, if you live in a metropolitan such as New York City, you will have to pay an additional charge for the parking space.
The cost of ownership shows you how much you need to save for a car. Buying a car is a big responsibility. Plan well and make judicious decisions so that the car doesn't become a burden for you.
By Mark Marlee
Aggressive Driving is becoming a worldwide problem. Aggressive drivers not only put their lives in danger but also the lives of other drivers. Almost every driver has experienced some form of aggressive driving in their lifetime. Aggressive driving is on the rise worldwide on every continent from Africa, Asia, Americas to Europe. We may blame it on overpopulation, stress, global warming or signs of the Last Days but the fact is that aggressive drivers are here to stay. It is best that we find a way to co-exist with them. We have to take aggressive drivers seriously as currently they cause more accidents than drunk drivers, large vehicles and congestion. Almost one third of road fatalities are caused by over-speeding and aggressive drivers overspeed.
It's Not Only Anger
It is a common belief that most aggressive drivers are neurotics with no outlet for their inner rage and of course angry people make a large portion of aggressive drivers. Impatient people in a hurry to get to their destination though can be just as aggressive. Unsafe driving may also be caused by stressed and irritated individuals. Aggression from one driver goads other drivers into aggression and we have a chain reaction to contend with. Your life is much too precious to lose over momentary anger, stress or boredom.
Congestion Breeds Aggression
Every passing year we get more and more new cars on the road. This leads to congestion on the roads and waiting on the crowded roads raises frustration that eventually leads some into aggressive driving.
More and more motorcycles are now on the road and many motorcycle drivers weave in and out of lines at full throttle. In developing countries motorcycle riders are a leading cause of fatalities and things are not much better in developed countries either. Be more alert when motorcycle riders are passing by your vehicle and slow down if feasible to let them overtake you.
A chain reaction
Aggressive drivers start a chain reaction by getting other drivers angry and frustrated. Too many otherwise good drivers become a part of the problem by reacting instinctively into unsafe driving
Around Larger Vehicles
Large vehicles as trucks and buses have larger blind spots and are not always able to see drivers that are following too closely or speeding past them. It also take a lot longer for larger vehicles to come to a stop; and, in a crash, a truck or bus on a car is like a sledge hammer on a tin can. All drivers need to keep a safe distance from larger vehicles. Pickup truck drivers feel more secure but increasingly pickup truck are being made of lighter materials and they are no match for large commercial trucks.
Here are some tips on how to avoid aggressive drivers.
· Get out of their way and steer clear of them on the road.
· Stay relaxed. Remember that reaching your destination safely and calmly is your goal.
· Don't challenge them. Avoid eye contact. Ignore rude gestures and refuse to return them.
· Give them the benefit of the doubt. Not all aggressive driving behavior is directed at you.
· Don't block the passing lane, especially if you are driving slower than most of the traffic. Move to the right lane
How to avoid being an aggressive driver
· Allow more travel time to get to your destination. It reduces stress dramatically.
· Come to a full stop at red lights and stop signs. Never run yellow lights.
· Let other drivers merge with you.
· Obey posted speed limits.
· Don't ever follow other drivers too closely.
· Resist temptation to teach someone "a lesson."
· Concentrate on driving, not on cell phones, stereo, passengers or other distractions.
· Remember that you can't control traffic, but you can control yourself, your driving, and your emotions.
By Satvik Mittal
For defensive driving, you should know a few important tips. The tips are great for any driver, but they are more useful for new drivers like you. The tips given below will help you in many situations and you will be able to drive safe and sound.
TIP 1: Don't Use Cell phones While Driving
Chatting when you are behind the wheel is not a good idea, as you won't be aware of your surroundings. As a matter of fact, using a cell phone while you are driving is a very dangerous habit. The only time you can use a cell phone is when the car is parked. However, if you need to make an important call, you can pull over.
TIP 2: Watch the Traffic Signs
While driving, you should pay attention to the road signs. This will help you stay within the speed limit. Unlike most drivers, you shouldn't do what the drivers ahead of you are doing. They may not be following the traffic rules. Make sure you don't cross the speed limit or you may be at a higher risk of having an accident.
TIP 3: Keep a Distance
Keep a distance from the vehicle ahead of you. This will help you prevent a collision in case you have to apply brakes all of a sudden. If you don't maintain enough distance, you may end up hitting the vehicle ahead of you.
If you are driving on icy roads or roads that are covered with snow, you may want to leave more room as you will take longer to stop. Vehicles tend to slip on icy surfaces when breaks are applied. So, keep this in mind.
TIP 4: Don't Drive in Bad Weather
Bad weather may cause accidents. So, we suggest that you don't drive when it's raining or snowing. This is more important for beginners. Driving at night is more difficult so you need to be more careful. However, you can driver at night if you have an expert driver with you. They can teach you how to drive in bad weather. Once you are confident enough, you can drive at night as well. However, you should avoid driving in bad weather to be on the safe side.
TIP 5: Don't Make Haste
At times, while driving you may be in a situation where you may not know whether you should pass or let the other driver pass. This can happen in a four way stop. In this type of situations, you may want to let the other person have the right of way. In the worse scenario, if you and the other drive pull out at the same time, you may have a collision. So, it's best that you wait a few seconds before you pull out.
By Mike Kelly
We all love to complain about the price of fuel, and few of us understand the mysteries around the seemingly random increases and decreases in costs at the pump. There are things we can all do to improve our gas mileage, however, whether we drive a brand new car or an old beater. Take a look at these fuel saving tips and put some extra money in your pocket.
Get used to checking your tire pressures regularly, at least once a week. Under-inflated tires cause excessive rolling resistance which results in burning more fuel. Conversely, the right tire pressures will reduce rolling resistance and therefore use less fuel.
How heavy is your load?
It makes sense that if your vehicle is loaded down with stuff your car is going to have to work harder in order to run, which means that it will take more gas to operate. Obviously there will be times when this cannot be avoided. But there may be an accumulation of stuff in your car that doesn't really need to be there all the time, such as sporting equipment or tire chains. Lighten your load as often as possible and enjoy the perks of fuel saving.
Watch your lead foot
If you are one of those drivers who like to punch the accelerator to make quick manoeuvres, you are likely not going to enjoy any fuel saving. Try to maintain a more consistent speed, and even use cruise control when highway driving. These tips will help you to consume less fuel and may even have you arriving at your destination in a much calmer state!
It's all about smooth
There's a reason why jets are smooth and curved on the outside. They are specifically designed so that the air slides on by, rather than creating resistance to air flow. The same principle applies to your vehicle. If you have piled luggage on the roof and opened all your windows, the air can get "caught" and pull on your vehicle, slowing it down and causing it to work much harder to keep a steady pace. Once again, anything that works against efficiency will reduce your fuel saving.
Plan your trips carefully
Did you know that a cold car burns more fuel? Consider doing all of your errands in one trip rather than taking several trips from a cold start. A warm vehicle provides significant fuel saving over a cold one.
Premium versus regular fuel
Many people are under the impression that buying premium fuel improves their fuel saving. This is actually not true. Some studies have indicated that only about 6% of all vehicles on the road actually require premium fuel. If your car's manufacturer isn't recommending premium fuel then you are wasting your money!
Schedule regular maintenance
Having your vehicle serviced and maintained can help to support your fuel saving plan. Even small things, such as under-inflated tires, poor quality oil or corroded battery cables can cause your car to work too hard and end up costing you money.
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