DIY Safety Upgrades for Your Car

 

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There have been many important innovations in auto safety in the last number of years, and even if you are driving an older vehicle, you can take advantage of these new technologies with some affordable upgrades and make your ride safer.

Upgrade your Headlights

Brighter headlights make it easier for you to see at night, and make your car more visible.  They are easy to install in about 30 minutes, and contribute enormously to your overall safety.

Collision Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control

Traditional cruise control systems will keep you going at a constant speed, but the latest systems work to adjust your speed when needed to help you to maintain a safe distance between yourself and the car by slowing your vehicle automatically if you get too close.  It will also send you an alert if it senses an object ahead of your car, and will even automatically apply the brakes to stop your car if you don’t respond to the alert.  It only takes a moment to become distracted, and this technology prevents that momentary distraction from resulting in an accident.

Object Proximity Sensors

These sensors use electromagnetic or ultrasonic sensors to detect unsafe distances between your car and objects around it, and will beep to alert you.  They don’t detect moving traffic, but will definitely help you avoid hitting parked cars, hydrants or low barrier walls.

Upgrade your tires

Tires are the only part of your car that touches the road, and for that reason, no matter whether your car is brand new with high-tech anti-lock brakes and traction control or is ten years old without any of that technology, your ability to stop ultimately depends on the quality of your tires.  For that reason, tires are one of the most effective safety upgrades you can make if you want to significantly increase the safety and also the performance of your car.  Buy the best tires you can afford.  If you are planning to hold onto your car for a few years then tires with a longer-lasting tread are worth the investment.

Backup Camera System

Sadly, it is not uncommon for children or other pedestrians to be hurt by people backing out of their driveways.  Not only do back up camera systems reduce the possibility of accidents, but they also make parallel parking much easier.  A backup camera system is thus a very important and life-saving upgrade. It is easy and affordable to install a safety view wireless backup camera system.

Driving an older vehicle does not necessarily mean you cannot benefit from latest advances in safety technology.  Many of the most important safety features can be added to your car with relatively little expense or time. And given the demonstrated life-saving advantages, you should definitely consider upgrading your vehicle with these easy to install upgrades.

 

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Tips for New Homeowners During the Winter

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The winter months are notorious for snow, cold and ice. While this may be bad enough for those who have to go through it, it can present additional challenges for homeowners. If you are a new homeowner, what should you know about keeping your house in good condition during what could be the worst weather conditions of the year?

Keep the Gutters Clear

The first thing that you need to do is make sure that the gutters are keep clear of snow, ice or any liquid that may accumulate in them. This is because water can easily freeze and create an ice dam. An ice dam can then force any additional melting snow or rain that falls to move back under the shingles and into the roof. From there, it could leak into the home and get all the way down to the foundation.

Keep Pipes Clear of Water

Just like water can freeze on a gutter, it can freeze in your home’s pipes. If that happens, it could lead to cracks or even a pipe bursting. That could then lead to water damage as well as a pipe that needs to be replaced. Therefore, it may be a good idea to drain your pipes and make sure that they are kept above freezing at all times. Keeping cabinet and other doors open can help circulate the air, which may prevent water from achieving a frozen state.

Hire a Snow Plow

While you may think that you are up to shoveling the driveway when it snows, it may not be in your best interest to do so. Although you may be able to keep it clear after a small snowfall, what happens if your driveway is covered in a foot or more of snow an hour before you have to go to work?

For new homeowners, buying a snowblower may not be feasible as you may not have hundreds of dollars sitting around after you spent thousands on closing costs and other expenses. A snowplow contract is usually less than $50 a month, and you can rest assured that your driveway will be clear before work in the morning.

Buy a Winter Car

It may be a good idea to buy a cheap winter car to take the wear and tear that the winter months put on a vehicle. For less than $1,000 you can have something that will take you to work or help you get to the gym or to the store down the street. Once the winter is over, you can sell the car to get back some of your original investment.

Since you only put a few hundred or few thousand miles on the vehicle, you probably don’t have to invest in an oil change or perform any other type of maintenance on the vehicle. However, you should get it inspected before you buy it to ensure that there are no major safety issues that could put yourself or other family members in danger.

You will learn a lot about your home after spending your first winter in it. However, as a general rule, you should make sure to keep the gutters and pipes clear from snow and make sure that all drive and walkways are kept free from snow or ice that can make traversing them treacherous.

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Protect Your RV and Extend Its Lifetime

Protect your RV, as you spent too much money on it for it not to live a full life
Photo by CC user Motorhomes on Wikimedia Commona

If you own an RV, what are you doing to make sure it lasts as long as possible?

Some RV owners go out of their way to take care of their prized possessions, while others certainly could do better when it comes to caring for a sizable investment in their lives.

That said storing your RV in a safe and secure place when not using it is your best option.

Yes, you likely have a number of questions as to how to go about this, but it is actually not all that difficult to find the right storage scenario.

So, if you’re looking to protect your RV and extend its lifetime, are you ready to do your research?

Research the Options Available

When it comes to finding the solution in where to locate RV storage near me, keep these tips in mind:

     

  1. Security – First and foremost, you want a secure place to store your RV when it is not in use. Yes, you certainly have the option of storing it on your property, but keep in mind that such vehicles take up a fair amount of space. As a result, if you have a smaller home, you could find yourself a little bit crunched with a big RV on the property in the driveway or backyard. As you look at different providers to store your RV at, check to see how secure the locations are. The last thing in the world you want is placing your RV in a locale where crime might be an issue. You also do not want it in a location where there is a huge amount of traffic, making it hard to get in and out of with your vehicle. Just as road accidents for cars and trucks can prove a big headache for their owners, RV owners do not want to find their prized vehicles damaged due to an accident. One of the ways to get a better handle on how secure such RV storage spots can be is using the Internet. In today’s digital age, more and more consumers use the worldwide web to talk about anything and everything. With that being the case, you can get some good consumer feedback on what RV storage spots come highly recommended and which ones are advisable to stay away from;
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  3. Pricing – Given the fact money is tight for many people, you are probably looking at how best to save on an RV storage spot. By doing your research (a lot of which can be done online), you can weed out which storage providers are just looking out for themselves and which ones offer fair deals. Make sure you understand all the fine print in any agreement you consider going with. The last thing you want to have happen is miss something in your contract, only to end up with a bill bigger than you originally had planned for;
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  5. Weather – Last but certainly not least, you are likely wondering (perhaps even concerned) about storing your RV outside without any protection from Mother Nature. It is important to remember that RV’s are built to be durable, especially when it comes to all the weather conditions that can come their way. While you could store your RV in an inside storage unit, keep in mind that you will pay more for such an arrangement. Another option is having it outside, yet undercover. This at least protects it to some degree from inclement weather, especially snow, ice, hail etc. No matter where you end up storing your RV, weather will get to it over time, so do your best to keep it in good shape. Making sure the paint is not peeling away, replacing worn tires, staying on top of all fluids under the hood etc. are all important upkeep priorities.

 

Whether you are young or old, an RV could be your ride to many years of happiness and seeing the countryside.

That said taking care of the major investment is something you never take for granted.

If the time has come to find the proper storage situation for your RV, do your research both online and offline, looking to drive on over for the best spot.

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Road Safety in 2016: Top 10 Causes of Car Accidents in the US

Within just a few days it will be the official first day of spring and within just a few weeks the weather will turn warm and sunny. During late spring and early summer, an increased number of motorists hit the road after being cooped up all winter due to snow and freezing temperatures.

This year, take the time to re-check your road safety tips to ensure that you, your passengers and occupants of another vehicle are safe from crashes that could have been avoided. As a preventative measure, read and understand the following top 10 causes of car crashes in the United States.

First Some Gruesome Statistics

According to ASIRT, The Association for Safe International Road Travel, more than 37,000 individuals will lose their lives in car accidents in the United States each and every year. In addition to that, it is estimated that almost 2 million others will be injured or become disabled as a result of a car crash. Here is where it gets really sad, although loss of life is sad at any time:

  • More than 1600 of those that die every year will be children under the age of 15.
  • Of those that die in car crashes, almost 8,000 deaths involved drivers between 16 and 20 years of age.
  • Of those US citizens traveling abroad, car crashes are the leading cause of death in foreign countries.

And if those statistics aren’t gruesome enough, consider the cost. It is estimated that driving accidents cost US taxpayers almost $231 billion each and every year. Not only is there a cost in human life but a financial cost as well.

Leading Causes of Crashes in the US

Although these may be off by a place or two in the actual ranking, the only one that is for sure would be that in the number one position as the leading causes of crashes. The top ten causes of car crashes in the US according to the latest statistical data released by the Department of Transportation include:

  1. Distractions while Driving – Typically this is due to illegal use of cell phones but other causes include reaching over to tune the radio, talking to passengers and believe it or not, lighting a cigarette while trying to handle the wheel. Many driving teachers suggest using disposable e-cigs that can simply be puffed with no distractions as they aren’t ever lit up.
  2. Over the Speed Limit (Speeding) – Many times the driver is going anywhere from 10 to 30 miles (or more!) above the speed limit and it is a fact that driving fast does reduce reaction times. Want to avoid an accident? Obey the speed limits.
  3. DUI (Drunk Driving) – Each state has a legal blood alcohol limit but no matter what it is, the rule of thumb is that even if you’ve had a single drink you should let someone else do the driving.
  4. Reckless / Careless Driving – This can be the result of a number of careless behaviors when behind the wheel. From speeding to improper change of lanes to tailing too close, if you are not obeying the traffic laws, chances are you are being careless.
  5. Weather (Especially Rain) – Not only does heavy rain create poor visibility but rain on oil-slicked roads makes it difficult to stop on the drop of a dime. Snow and high winds are also weather-related causes of traffic accidents but not nearly as numerous as those related to rain.
  6. Failure to Stop at Traffic Lights – What needs to be said about running a red light? If you fail to yield the right of way while another car is traveling through the intersection, an accident will probably ensue with you being at fault.
  7. Failure to Obey Stop Signs – Next in line is failing to stop at stop signs. Just as in failure to yield the right way at red lights, failing to stop at stops signs is a leading cause of crashes.
  8. Teen Drivers – No one is singling out teen drivers to be mean. The reality is that they are simply inexperienced and typically more careless than older, more seasoned drivers. With age comes experience so if you are a teen, it is better to be slow than sorry. Slow down, learn the rules of the road and be patient. Good driving will come in time.
  9. Impaired Vision of Night Driving – Typically it is elder drivers who have trouble with night vision but there are younger adults who also suffer this impairment as well, so if you have trouble seeing at night either find an alternate driver, wait until daylight to travel or simply slow down and take it easy.
  10. Defects within the Design of the Vehicle – Every day you hear of a class action lawsuit involving recalls that were never made. Defects within the design of the car come in as number 10 in the leading causes of traffic accidents in the United States.

So here you have the top ten causes of car crashes in the United States and some pretty gruesome statistics. Don’t leave yourself open to being on the wrong side of the coin so learn these causes and work to avoid them. Your life and the lives of those you love could depend on it.

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Facing a Lawsuit After a DUI? Here’s What You Need to Do

A car accident is an unexpected experience, and can be extremely emotionally draining on all parties involved. In the event you were involved in a car accident because of a DUI, you could be facing a court appearance or jail time for your decision to drive under the influence.

In many cases, if other parties were injured in the accident, you may also be facing a lawsuit. If being sued for driving under the influence, you may be wondering what you need to do next. For most people, this is unchartered territory and is an incredibly complicated process. Knowing what to expect in the coming days and months can help you resolve the issue as best as possible.

Are You Being Sued?

For those unfamiliar with the law, it can be confusing to decipher all of the jargon being used. However, if you are being sued, you should be served with a formal lawsuit complaint. Typically a police officer or some other court official will give you your summons to appear in court.

Insurance Company

If you have been served with a lawsuit summons, it is important you let your insurance company as soon as possible. In some cases, your insurance company will step up to defend you if the lawsuit is suing you for reasons that your car insurance policy covers. Most insurance companies will hire San Diego DUI attorneys, or DUI attorneys local to your area, to represent you well throughout the lawsuit.

However, in some instances, your insurance company may not defend you, especially if the situation falls out of the lines of coverage from your insurance policy.

Lawyer Up

Because insurance companies only cover an injury lawsuit if the accident is covered by the insurance policy, it is a smart move to hire a personal attorney if you were charged with a DUI. If you are being sued, it is important that you act quickly and respond to the lawsuit as soon as possible. One of the best ways to ensure you are doing everything correctly is to hire a good lawyer. DUI attorneys are well educated and experienced in these areas and can provide you with the stable foundation you need to settle the lawsuit amicably.

If You Dont Have Insurance

While most areas require drivers to have insurance, or at least liability insurance, if for some reason you are not insured and are involved in a DUI car accident, hire a lawyer immediately. Not only do you need someone capable to represent you in court, you also need their expertise to file the right paperwork and prepare you for your court appearance. The court charges extreme penalties if there is any late or missing paperwork.

How Long Is the Process?

The lawsuit process can be a lengthy one, especially if the lawsuit was filed a couple years after the fact, as in some states, people can sue up to five years after the accident. While some lawsuits are over within a few weeks, it could take as long as years, depending upon the severity of the situation, the age of the accident, and other factors regarding the circumstances of the accident. When going through the process, your lawyer should be able to give you a timeframe.

Trial

Most car accident lawsuits are resolved by settlements that do not require you to go to trial. But, if the opposing party does not want to accept a settlement, or if the insurance company does not want to settle (your company or their company), you could be facing a trial.

Am I at Fault?

While it is illegal to drive under the influence, in some instances, the cause of the accident may not have been your fault. There are many factors to consider, including the other drivers involved. While you may be given a DUI for being over the legal limit, if someone else caused the accident, you are not at fault.

If you are faced with an injury lawsuit, these tips can help you defend yourself and resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/drink-driving-drunk-alcohol-808790/

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How to Protect Your Car in Winter

The winter months tend to wreak havoc on cars, especially the ones that sit outside in the cold temperatures. Between the below freezing temperatures, hail and ice, melting snow, and salted roads, cars are extremely vulnerable to damage during the winter.

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While there is no way to protect cars completely from the winter season, there are some preventative measures you can take to keep it protected throughout the season. Taking the time to care for your car can help it continue to run smoothly in the future years.

Cover Your Car

If possible, try to keep your car covered when it is not being used in winter. Whether that is parking it in the garage, under a carport, or using a quality car cover, keeping your car protected from the elements can not only keep it safe, but also make your morning commute easier.

Moreover, keeping your car covered will keep it from getting covered in snow, which can protect your windows and windshield. Extreme temperature changes can crack glass, which could lead to damaged windshields and windows. Additionally, in extremely wet areas where it hails frequently during winter, a car cover can shield your glass and paint from chips. While using a company like Phoenix auto glass can help repair any damages, preventative measures can help you keep your car looking beautiful all winter long.

However, if you cannot cover your car, be careful when removing snow and ice from your car. Never use warm water to remove the snow, as it can shatter windows, and be gentle with your actions when chipping ice away in order to avoid damaging your car.

Be Prepared

Before winter arrives, stock up your garage with all the necessary tools you may need, including socket wrenches, screwdrivers, good cleaners, and the right glass cleaners. If you have a problem with your car, such as a flat tire, you will be happy you have all the tools you need right in your garage.

Car Maintenance

Take some time to take preventative measures such as washing your car before the first snowstorm comes. Bugs and other debris can actually freeze onto your car, making them exceedingly difficult to remove.

Do not forget about keeping the inside of your engine clean as well. Gravel, dirt, and other outdoor elements can get stuck in the crevices, which can prevent water from draining out of your car properly. If water is stuck anywhere in the car, during freezing temperatures, it can freeze inside of the car. This can lead to the car not running properly, to mildew growing inside, and even rust.

Wash Your Car

Many people do not think about washing their car during winter, as the weather often prevents it. Additionally, many think the snow and rain naturally wash their car. However, the outdoor elements have minerals in them that can damage the paint of your car. Plus, the salt used on roads can damage the underside of your car, as well as the tires, and washing your car in winter can help remove those road salts away.

Antifreeze

If the antifreeze in your car is old, it can lose its effectiveness. If it is not doing its job properly, you may notice some trouble with the way your engine runs in winter. While engine trouble is more common in winter than other seasons, by using antifreeze properly, it should help keep your engine from seizing.

Oil

Cars work harder during winter, which can mean that your oil might need to be changed more frequently. Most people follow the mileage rule or wait until their car alerts them that it is time for an oil change. In winter, however, the rules are slightly different. Keep an eye on your oil, especially in extreme weather, and make sure it is clean in order to keep your car running at optimal performance.

Floor Mats

Due to the wet grounds, your shoes can damage the interior of your car if you are not using the right floor mats. Look to use rubber floor mats that can withstand mud, rain, and snow, otherwise, your car might start to mildew on the interior.

Following these tips can help your stay protected and you driving safely during the winter months.

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