A Resolution You Should Keep: Be Car Care Aware

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To be car care aware, incorporate the following service interval schedule items as part of your New Year”s resolution:

  • Perform monthly checks of tire pressure and the condition of tires, lights and windshield washer fluid. The vehicle should also be cleaned monthly.
  • Every three months or per the owner”s manual, check the engine oil and filter, check the levels of other fluids including automatic transmission, power steering and brake, and check the battery and cables, belts and hoses. The exhaust and fuel filter should also be checked at this interval.
  • Every six months or 6,000 miles, the chassis lubrication should be checked and windshield wipers should be replaced.
  • Every 12 months or 12,000 miles, the brakes, spark plugs, coolant and steering and suspension should be checked.

Seeing is Believing When it Comes to Road Safety

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Following a few auto care visibility tips can be illuminating, helping to ensure the safety of you, your passengers and other vehicles around you.

  • Replace any exterior or interior lights that are dimming, rapidly blinking or non-functioning, and be sure headlights are correctly aimed.
  • Make sure that vehicle mirrors are clean and properly positioned.
  • Check windshield washer fluid level and when it gets low, replace it.
  • Replace wiper blades if they show cracking or if they chatter or streak when operating. Don’t forget to check the rear wiper blade.
  • When in doubt, turn your lights on to help you see and help other drivers see you. Some states have laws that require headlights to be on when windshield wipers are operating.
  • Don’t overdrive your headlights. Maintain a speed that will allow you to stop within the illuminated area, otherwise you create a blind crash zone in front of your vehicle.

Auto Collision Tips

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Staying calm and on task after an auto collision can save lives and get you back on the road quickly

An auto collision can be an emotional and exhausting experience. Many motorists drive defensively, take driver education courses and prepare for stressful driving situations, but unfortunately vehicle collisions still occur.

A driver is responsible for knowing what to do if they are involved in a collision. Even the most prepared and competent drivers sometimes find themselves involved in a crash. It does not matter who is at fault, the most important thing to do first is make sure everyone is OK, then seek medical and law enforcement help and know what to do to protect yourself from legal or financial problems down the road.

The best defense to avoid any problems after a crash is to be prepared. Keeping a pen and paper, disposable camera or cell phone camera, and copy of your insurance card easily accessible at all times will help keep you organized and decrease stress moments after a collision. Use of a mobile app can help you properly document the event. Continue reading

Tips for Pedestrian Safety

Be Alert

  • Look out for pedestrians at all times. When you are operating a vehicle, you have accepted a heightened responsibility for other people on the road. Safety is a two-way street. Often, pedestrians— especially younger ones— are not where they should be or where you would expect them to be. Remain vigilant at all times.
  • Follow posted speed limits at all times, especially in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic. This is even more important in areas that have lower speed limits, such as school zones and neighborhood streets where pedestrians may appear suddenly.
  • Overall visibility is limited in bad weather conditions and poorly lit areas. Not only is it more difficult for drivers to see oncoming pedestrians, it also is harder for pedestrians to see you. Make sure your lights are on and you use your signals properly. Use extra caution in these circumstances.
  • Be mindful of pedestrians when pulling into and out of driveways – especially if you are backing up. Pedestrians can easily enter your path without your knowledge.

Crosswalks

  • Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
  • When approaching a crosswalk, reduce your speed and be prepared to stop.
  • When you are stopped at a crosswalk, allow enough room between your vehicle and the crosswalk so other drivers can see the pedestrians you have stopped for.
  • Do not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They have stopped to allow pedestrians to pass or make sure the way is clear.

Driving Tip

driving carBe kind to your clutch, and your brakes. If you drive a car with a manual transmission you know at some point you will likely have to replace the clutch. But you can extend the life of your clutch, and your brakes, by not riding either one for long periods of time, and by using your accelerator (or not using your accelerator) to coast a bit as traffic ebbs and flows.

Helpful Safety Tips for Older Drivers

Get a reliable car

This can help prevent many future problems. Make sure the car works well in snow, rain or other situations and has great safety ratings . Double-check that it has great visibility with easily adjustable seats, mirrors, etc. Also, be sure to find a car that’s comfortable and easy to drive.

Get snow tires for winter driving

If you live in an area where it snows regularly, you’re going to have to drive through it at some point. So mind as well get prepared ahead of time.

Consider a safety driving course

Keep headlights, taillights and mirrors clean

It’s a simple tip, but keeping these areas clean and functioning can greatly improve visibility.

Keep a pair of sunglasses in the car

Driving straight into a sunrise or sunset can be one of most challenging driving situations. It’s very tough to see no matter what age you are. That’s why it’s always best to keep an extra pair of sunglasses in your car at all times.

Keep up on maintenance

Most car’s manuals clearly outline a detailed maintenance schedule. It’s best to follow this as closely as possible to make sure your car is staying in great shape. And this can help prevent future breakdowns or complications.

Always bring a cell phone and get a car charger

Keep the charger in your car at all times, so your phone’s battery never runs out.

Make sure your driver’s license is still valid

Regulations on how frequently (and at what ages) you need to renew your driver’s license can vary by state. Just check the expiration date on your license to see if it’s expiring soon and renew if necessary.

Tips for Driving Through a Hailstorm

Here’s what to do if you drive into a hailstorm:

Stay inside the vehicle. Hail falls at fast speeds, and it can cause injury to those in its path.

Stop driving and pull to a safe place so hail doesn’t break the windshield or any windows — driving compounds hail’s impact with your car. Stop under an overpass, and don’t forget to pull out of traffic lanes and onto a shoulder. Avoid ditches due to possible high-rising water.

Keep your car angled so the hail is hitting the front of your car. Windshields are reinforced to withstand forward driving and pelting objects. Side windows and backglass are not, so they’re much more susceptible to breakage.

Lie down, if possible, and keep your back to the windows. If you have a blanket, cover yourself with it to prevent possible debris from hitting you.