Your Teen And Distracted Driving

 

I have a teen driver and let me tell you, it’s scary. Every time she leaves the house I worry until she gets home. I know she has to watch other drivers but I also worry about her. I know she is smart and capable but sometimes teens are dumb. All I can do is talk to her about distracted driving and hope she remembers each time she puts the keys in the ignition.

Driving a car is a big responsibility and distracted driving is a big problem. Whether your child is driving a brandnew jeep or a hunker that gets them from point a to point b, the tips below will help them be safe.

 

Friends

It is better to make the rule that your teen can’t drive with others in the car. Teens distract each other by making jokes, talking, or even dancing in the car. But if your teen does drive around with other teens in the vehicle please talk to them about not letting their friends distract them.

Phones

Teens love their phones and I have yet to see one that doesn’t have it glued to their hand. However, phones and driving don’t mix. Talk to your teen and make them promise to turn the phone off while they are driving.

Tunes

If your teen must listen to tunes while driving tell them to make a playlist before hand or choose a station and leave it there. I actually had a friend that was killed when he was 17 because he was changing the radio station and drifted into oncoming traffic. Also, make sure your teen keeps the volume down. It helps to hear emergency vehicles and horns.

The sensible solution

Is to not let them drive. No, just kidding. The best solution is to keep talking to your teen. Ride with them and observe them driving. Make sure they understand that a car is not a toy and they are most certainly not invincible. Make sure that when they get behind that wheel driving is the priority. The second priority is making it home safe.

Summer Road Trip Tips To Make Your Trip More Enjoyable

 

It’s getting warm out there and soon it will be time to hit the highway for vacation or just for fun! Make sure you spend more time on the road instead of the side of the road with these summer road trip tips!

 

Get your car ready to go

Check your tires and make sure they are properly inflated, wiper blades, work, fluids are topped off, air conditioning works, and hoses are in good working order. Check all your lights and turn signals. Remove any “excess” baggage to make the car lighter. Also check your spare tire and make sure it is inflated and usable. Don’t forget jumper cables and a jack.

Have an emergency kit ready and in the car

Sometimes something will happen on the road and you may need something. Pack a mini tool kit, extra cell phone charger, flares, paper towels, drinking water, first aid kit, work gloves, and nonperishable food. That way if you are stuck on the side of the road you have the essentials. Also it may be a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes just in case you have to change a tire and get the ones you are wearing messed up. It seems like a given but make sure you have a cell phone to call roadside assistance, 911, or a tow truck if needed. We actually keep a prepaid cell phone in the car for emergencies. Just make sure you charge it before leaving. If you have a service such as OnStar make sure the bill is paid up and you have minutes for phone calls.

Also, please, please buy a window punch and put it in the glove box. If anything happens and you are trapped in the car this is a must needed tool to break the window and exit the vehicle. Every car should have one.

Know your way

GPS is wonderful and a great invention for road trips. It is great to be able to just enter in a destination and go. But sometimes they are not reliable. I remember one time we used the GPS in Florida and it took us to a not-so-safe neighborhood. Study your route, get to know it, and figure out stops along the way. That way if the GPS has you turned around, you will be able to figure it out. Also, bring a paper map. People used paper maps for hundreds of years and found their way. Technology is a tool, nothing more.

Get plenty of rest

It is easy to say “I will drive another hour, I will be fine.” If you find yourself trying to talk yourself into another hour it is time to stop and rest for the night. If it is during the day it is best to stop and stretch your legs, rest, and even let the kids run around for a little bit. Driving while fatigued is just an accident waiting to happen.

Keep your passengers safe

Stay buckled up at all times. If you have to retrieve a spilled drink, talk on the cell phone, or text, please pull over. Keep your doors locked while you are inside the vehicle and make sure all children are restrained properly.

Have Fun!

Safety is important but so is having fun! This is a road trip and is a great way to see all of those things off the beaten path. Plan for added stops in your trip. Want to see the worlds largest ball of yarn? Do it! Just think of the memories and pictures you will get. Take the scenic route, the country road, or the city path. If you are on a time limit and must continue play games. How many different state license plates can you find? How many of the same color car? Road trips can be stressful, yes but they can also be a great bonding experience. So have fun and make some memories

 

5 Essential Items for Road Trips

 

You have bought your new (or new to you) car and now the world is your oyster! The best way to test out that car is to take it on a road trip! Below are some essential items for road trips!

Auto Essentials

A gas can, spare tire, proper tools, and some motor oil are all things you don’t want to get stuck without when you are on the side of the highway. These basic items are in case you underestimate the distance from A to B or wind up with a minor accident. Most important of all, take an extra set of keys with you, along with an AAA card in case of emergency. Everyone should make it a point to get their vehicle serviced before setting out for a long road trip.

First Aid Kit

The item you hope most not to use but can’t afford to go without. Wraps, gauze, band aids, ointment, liquid antacid and some anti-inflammatory are small enough to fit comfortably in even a packed vehicle. Whether you cut yourself gathering wood for a campfire or just eat the wrong thing on the menu these items are handy more often than you think.

Cooler/Food

If you can pack two coolers into the vehicle, absolutely do it. You’ll find your wallet will get empty a lot quicker if you’re constantly eating out. This will also allow you to eat healthy while on the road. Eating at different restaurants or famous meals is one of the best parts of a road trip but for the sake of your health and your wallet, try to limit yourself to eating out for one meal a day.

Toiletries

One can’t always predict when nature calls and sometimes there isn’t a bathroom around for miles. Take a fair amount of bathroom supplies along with the must-have utensils such as toothbrush, soap, shampoo, razors, etc.

Sleeping Supplies

Even if you plan on staying in a hotel every night you’ll still want a blanket and pillow for those times when you just want to pass out in the backseat. For the more adventurous types, I recommend taking a tent and sleeping bags. There are so many good places to sleep under the stars, why waste money by staying in a hotel every night.

Automotive Tools Every Car Owner Should Have

In todays highly mobile world, many spend countless hours and miles traveling in their automobiles for work and vacation. Modern cars are also far more reliable than the cars of 30 years ago. We have begun to take them for granted. We expect them to just work day in day. However, the time to learn the lessons of basic car repair is not on a deserted highway at 2 am on the way up to the ski slopes! Automobiles still breakdown, have flat tires and batteries run out of juice. Most people think that you have to be a space shuttle engineer to even open the hood of a 21st-century car. While it is true that computer technology has drastically changed the way engines and cars operate, there are still some basic car repairs that you can perform in a pinch. You must carry some basic automotive tools with you at all times in order to carry them out.

A basic kit with automotive tools doesn’t have to break the bank or require you tow a trailer full of tools. You can go as basic as you want and add more tools as your needs change. The first thing to do is put together a list of automotive tools that you will probably need. (I have included one in this article.) You will be surprised to find that you own many of them already. The real chore is to get them together in one place and carry them with you. You will also need something to carry them in. First see if you have an old duffle bag stuffed in a closet. If not you can probably get one cheap at an Army surplus store. Now it is time to look at our automotive tool list and start collecting them.

Your Automotive Too Kit should include the following:
Screwdrivers (both flat head and Phillips)
Crescent Wrench
Pliers
Torque Wrench
Pocket Knife
Jumper Cables
Battery Terminal Brush
Spare Fuses
1 Quart of Oil
Duct Tape
Flashlight
Gloves
Medical Kit
Road Flares
Reflective Vest
Blanket
Funnel

Make sure your car jack and tire iron are in their proper place in the trunk of your car. After you have gathered these items and put them in your old duffle bag, store it in your truck so it is there when you need it. These items can prove to be invaluable to help you fix a minor problem and be on your way.

Fuel Up For Summer Driving

As temperatures begin to rise, so does the anticipation of being able to drive with the windows down and the wind blowing in your hair during America’s hottest season. Amid today’s ever-changing fuel landscape, it is important for drivers to educate themselves about how to make smarter decisions for their vehicles, especially during the summer months. Car owners, it is time to get “fueled-up” for summer driving.

Inspect the cooling system. Prevent your car’s engine from rapid overheating by inspecting its cooling system. Make sure to keep an eye on the coolant level if low, refill using a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze. If your antifreeze is dirty or weak, have your cooling system flushed at your local auto repair shop. Also, while you’re there, have your auto technician test the cooling fan and thermostat for proper operation and repair or replace as needed.

Fill up with quality fuel. When at the pump, be sure to rejuvenate with a quality fuel such as Amoco UltimateÆ premium fuel at BP. With continuous use, it can help clean up dirty engines by cutting away deposits from intake valves. A cleaner engine can give your car better performance-ensuring less hesitation and smoother acceleration. It may even help improve your gas mileage for a more cost-efficient summer road trip.

Replenish fluids. Don’t let your car dehydrate; make sure that all fluids are replenished accordingly. Remember to check and/or replace the transmission, brake, washer and power-steering fluids. All can be easily located by reviewing your owner’s manual or consulting your local auto technician for expert help.

Examine the AC system. The air temperature coming from the air conditioning ducts should be approximately 35 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, you should have it inspected by a licensed AC repair facility or your local auto technician where they will inspect for leaks, repair them and recharge the system with the proper amount of Freon for your vehicle.

Change your oil more often. Start the season off with premium motor oil for maximum engine protection. This is especially important in the summer because hot weather requires extra lubrication for the engine.