Archive for the ‘Driving Tips’ Category
It’s been 15 years since I sat down at a little wood desk and took the driving test that was the last step in receiving my driver’s license. After a semester of driver’s education, I was still nervous when I sat behind the wheel with my father in the passenger seat. My dad? He promptly fell asleep. Lately, I’ve realized that I’ve forgotten most of what I learned in that class. I found this driving test online and thought I would share.
My score? An astounding 67%. Looks like I’ll need to review traffic rules again!
Google search “how to increase gas mileage” and you’ll receive over three million hits in less than one second. Every summer, as gas prices increase, new articles are added to the collection. Recycling the same tired hints. Reduce speed! Don’t use AC! Keep your windows closed! Use cruise control! All great tips, in theory. In actuality, not running the AC is not a viable option on days when temperatures are in the 100′s.
But they forget the most important way to reduce gas costs: keep your overall mileage down. The less you drive, the less you pay in gas. How do you do that? It depends on where you live, how many people live in your house and how much you’re willing to sacrifice. Here are a few key questions to ask yourself.
What is my current mileage?
Just like creating a budget for your household or business, the first step is to track your current usage. Keep a list of every place you drive to for a week or two. Get a good idea of typical trips.
How can I make my current car use more efficient?
After tracking data, focus on making each trip as efficient as possible. Take the shortest route, even if it uses a few extra minutes. Combine trips and errands. Use businesses like grocery stores and dry cleaners that are on the route to and home from work. Plan ahead and you’ll see a dramatic decrease in wasted mileage.
Do we need multiple cars?
Fewer cars means fewer miles driven. I know American tradition says that we need a car, or more, for each driver in our household, but the rest of the world doesn’t live this way. Do you really need to have a car for each driver? Is this something you can sacrifice to make more room for vacations or other extras?
Does using a car share program make more sense?
Most residents of metropolitan areas now have the advantage of car share programs. Use them! They’re way more efficient and cost much less than maintaining and driving your own car.
Can I use public transportation?
If you’re a city dweller, consider parking your car and using public transportation. An unlimited monthly pass that includes all busses, cable cars and rapid transit in San Francisco is $70. The current cost (as of April 2011) of one tank of gas in the average sedan. The same pass is $86 in Chicago, $104 in New York, $68 in Atlanta and $44 in Birmingham. And you can use the commute time by reading or planning out your day.
I hope these tips help! What’s your favorite tip for saving on gas? Comment below.
I don’t know about the rest of the United States, but we’ve been experiencing some pretty gnarly storms this spring. Driving in a severe thunderstorm is a skill you learn, just like driving in the snow. For those of you unfamiliar with driving in the rain, Weather.com has some great tips for you.
Here’s a few of them:
- Turn on your headlights (low beams) and slow down. Many states require the use of headlights during rain.
- Allow extra distance for braking.
- Do not drive unless necessary.
- An automobile provides better insulation against lightning than being in the open.
- Avoid flooded roadways.
- Check your windshield wipers and tires regularly to insure that they are ready for severe weather.
- Approach intersections with caution
- Treat traffic lights at intersections as stop signs.
I won’t name names, but a certain person I know wasn’t aware of low points in her town and went down the wrong road during a flash flood. The car stalled, she got out, and six hours later when the car stopped floating (literally, floating), the engine was ruined and had to be flushed.
Moral of the story? Be aware of your surroundings!
[Image via CNN]
Gas prices are predicted to soar this summer, reaching levels not seen since July of 2008. Something I’m not personally looking forward to with all the summer driving we have planned! I’m thinking we’ll need to make our trips longer and less frequent, and be a little bit smarter about planning our driving while running errand and getting to meetings.
What will you do to save money on gas this summer?
A writer for the New York Times Wheels section recently described his youth as â€œdriving down the back roads of America pretending his Volkswagen was a Porsche racecar.â€
The story (and the writer) may be old, but the dream hasnâ€™t changed. Teenage drivers, particularly males, still feel the need for speed â€“ a need that can be as devastating as it is enticing. According to the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, teenage car accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens, with those in the 16-19-year-old group four times as likely to crash as older drivers. Read more
These days, with equal rights dominating mainstream thinking, chivalry sometimes takes a backseat. Of course we’re all for men and women being equals but that doesn’t mean once in a while a woman doesn’t appreciate being treated with a bit of extra courtesy. Guys, perhaps you’ve forgotten some of the rules of chivalry since it’s just not expected of you. But will it make the difference when you go to ask for a second date? Your car is a great place to begin. (Women, give us your opinion here, does this make a difference to you or are you unimpressed by old-fashioned manners? )
While we wait for the debate to begin, here are some simple ways you can surprise and flatter your date the next time you take her out in your car. Guess what…they work if you’re married too.
- Open the door for her-The actress Eva Mendes recently was quoted in W Magazine as saying that despite being tremendously ambitious, “I do like to belong to a man. I love having a man in my life and being his woman at the end of the day. “ So when you pick her up from her doorstep next time, don’t head straight around to the driver’s side – pop open her door.
- Let her choose the music - if you’ve got the radio on in the car ask your date what she’d like to listen to. This is a great conversation starter since you’ll learn more about her interests. Take note, guys, if you make reference to her favorite song or band when she’s least expecting it, she’ll feel like you’re really in to her!
- Make sure she’s comfortable with the temperature – read your date’s body language to see if she appears to hot or too cold and adjust accordingly. Or better yet, ask her if she’s comfortable with the temperature and adjust accordingly.
- Take it easy on the roads – you might pretend you’re a NASCAR driver when you’re on your own, but slow it down when you’re out with a date. Yes, women do like bad boys, but they also don’t want to feel carsick before they’ve even had dinner.
- Make sure your car’s in good shape- the relationship won’t start out well if your poorly maintained vehicle breaks down and she’s stuck on the side of the interstate in heels and a slinky dress. Of course, if that does happen you can call 1-800-carhelp and impress her with your use of the latest and best new site for finding mechanics!
- Don’t drive under the influence – show her that you place her safety, and the safety of other drivers, above the desire to have an extra drink while at dinner.
If you’d like to learn more ways to impress your date with your automotive chivalry, read this article we found on AskMen . You can learn from those historical figures that were behind the whole idea.
Did you know it’s National Stop on Red Week? We started to write about it, but realized Kari DeVrieze at CarsforGirls.com had already written an excellent post. We’ll get you started here, but please visit the link to read the rest of Kari’s post.
August 1-7th Marks National Stop on Red Week
Yesterday, the National Safety Council announced its support for National Stop on Red Week August 1st â€“ 7th, an event organized by the National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running.Â NSC believes talking on handheld and hands-free cell phones while driving is a contributing factor to red-light running.
Drivers using hands-free or handheld cell phones experience a form of cognitive distraction called inattention blindness, meaning they â€œlook atâ€ but do not â€œseeâ€ up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment.Â These drivers miss visual cues critical to safety and navigation.Â They tend to miss exits and go through red lights and stop signs.Â Go here for the rest of Kari’s post!
No matter how good of a driver you think you are, the second you hear the sound of sirens on the road, you might find yourself frozen and unsure of how to respond. Weâ€™re not talking about a police vehicle flashing behind you trying to pull you over, but one that youâ€™re simply sharing the road with. If you thought we meant otherwise, you may have seen one too many episodes of the show COPS! Those police cars, ambulances and fire trucks have an important job to do as they come wailing down the road and the last thing any driver wants to do is stop them from getting where they need to be. The best way to make sure you respond correctly and quickly when you see an emergency vehicle on the road while youâ€™re in your car is to know the rules! Read more
According to a brochure developed jointly by the NOAA, the American Red Cross, and FEMA, almost half of all deaths from flooding happen to people trapped in vehicles. In fact, only in recent years has heat surpassed flooding as the primary cause of fatalities in the U.S. Flash floods are the most dangerous type of flooding, largely because waters rise rapidly and unexpectedly, especially in arroyos and irrigation ditches not normally associated with water, leaving most drivers (and their passengers) unprepared.
More important, water itself is a tremendous force. It weighs 62.4 pounds per cubic foot, delivering 500 pounds of pressure per square inch to doors and windows. It also makes cars buoyant, subtracting 1500 pounds from the weight of the vehicle for each foot it rises. Water a mere two feet deep can sweep away a vehicle, even a heavy-duty truck or SUV, as well as the bridge it is trapped on. Vehicles trapped in underpasses during rapidly rising water are in even more danger, and when flooding occurs at night drivers often canâ€™t see such danger until it is too late. As Carblog.com notes, even a burst water main can trigger dangerous flooding in low-lying areas. Read more