The Importance of Winter Driving Safety

winter, tips, safety

With winter coming up, drivers may start to worry about potential hazards posed by winter weather like snow and ice. Truthfully, the safest way to deal with these hazards is to simply avoid them. Listen to snow emergencies and closures and stay inside when you can. However, for many people, staying in is not a possibility. In that case, winter driving safety is good to know when braving the slippery roads.

Oftentimes, a change of tires can make all the difference. Cold temperatures can reduce the malleability of rubber, making normal tires more prone to sliding. Old, worn tires should be replaced anyway, even if you aren’t interested in seasonal snow tires. Traction can have a big influence on how far you slide while stopping.

Either way, drivers should be cautious while stopping, as vehicles will take longer to come to a full stop and sudden starts will cause fishtailing on slippery roads. If you do happen to slide, don’t hit the brakes or gas – ease off and turn into the direction you are sliding. Overall, be slow and cautious when stopping behind another vehicle or passing them.

Winter driving safety and maintaining a cautious and defensive outlook can prevent many emergencies and accidents in the colder months. Being prepared and exercising these simple tips can keep you getting where you’re going safely. However, keep in mind that it’s always better to stay home or be late than put yourself in potentially life-threatening danger.

What are the Best Used Cars for New Drivers?

Best used cars for new drivers

Getting your first car is always a milestone in a teenager’s life, and many of them dream of getting something ‘cool’ like a convertible or some sort of luxurious muscle car. However, not only is that typically not practical for the family’s budget, but parents are often concerned about the safety of their first-time drivers. Young drivers simply don’t have the experience and knowledge to be defensive on the road, and as a result, they can get into more accidents. That’s why the IIHS put together a list of best used cars for new drivers.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety published a similar list last year, but the 2015 year’s list of safe, used vehicles has grown by more than 50 percent, reflecting an increase in availability of safety features such as electronic stability control and more airbags. However, despite the recommendation of large, older sedans, the IIHS warns parents they should still consider spending a bit more money in the interest of investing in better safety features.

Cars on the list include the Ford Taurus, Volvo S80, Chevy Malibu, Kia Optima, Buick Encore, GMC Terrain, Chevy Traverse, and many, many more. The best used cars for new drivers span a wide array of classes, sizes, and model years, and the list is worth a look for parents looking to get the safest vehicles for their teenagers.

Tips for Handling Driving Emergencies

driving emergencies

Do you ever look at traffic and think how miraculous it is that the situation is as consistently predictable as it is? The truth is that for the most part, everyone knows what is at stake. And for the most, people practice the golden rule on the road. Yet despite our best efforts, driving emergencies do happen.

# 1 – Tire Blowout

This emergency occurs most often when a tire is underinflated on the highway and the temperature is hot. According to, “The repeated flexing of an underinflated tire causes the failure.”

The first thing to do is not brake, and then try to get off of the road as quickly as possible. Maintain as much of a straight line as possible while allowing the vehicle to coast toward the side of the road.

# 2 – Going Off the Road

The problem comes about when there is little shoulder and particularly when your left tires are on the pavement, the left tires are off, and the pavement is slightly elevated.

Here’s the plan: “release the accelerator, keep the steering wheel straight, allow the vehicle to slow on its own and smoothly steer back on the road.”

# 3 – Sudden stops

To help you prepare for the time you may need to stop suddenly, you should know more about ABS.

Anti-lock brakes are required by law and have been since 2012. And yet they only work when you use them properly. When a vehicle skids, steering is unavailable. ABS pumps the brakes so you don’t have to, allowing you to also steer as you brake. Here’s another thing: you need to stomp on the brakes to engage the ABS.

The best way to plan for an emergency is to expect them. Then you will never be surprised.

The Best Driving Apps: Spice Up Your Commute

best driving apps

Is your commute starting to grind a bit? Need to mix things up? Here are a few of the best driving apps that can make your commute better, or at least temporarily bearable.


  • For iOS, this app allows you to enjoy different kinds of ambient sounds. Imagine listening to the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop in your car while enjoying your morning coffee. Okay. That does seem a little depressing. Try the sound of rain or white noise or mix and match them (rain in a coffee shop near the beach?).


  • Designed for both iOS and Android systems, Audible is like Spotify except for books. The app has over 180,000 books available for streaming. It has lots of cool features, such as if the narration is too fast, you can actually adjust the pace.


  • Do you enjoy podcasts? According to Buzzfeed, Overcast features “access to the entire podcast library.” You can download podcasts and listen to them offline (handy if your cell connection is spotty along your route).

Spotify or Apple Music

  • If you don’t subscribe to one of these music streaming services yet, you are truly missing out. Music streaming makes it so easy to discover new music and what better way to spend your commute?

Brian Kent Goes on Countrywide Road Trip with his Nissan LEAF

countrywide road trip

Brian Kent, a Nissan LEAF owner determined to bring to light the use of carbon in the U.S., is celebrating National Drive Electric Week early by going on a countrywide road trip with his Nissan LEAF. Beginning August 24th, he set off behind the wheel of his EV from Albion, NY, on a journey that will take him across all 48 contiguous US. states—we wonder how close he’ll get to Mama’s Used Cars!

Kent will plant a tree in each state, which is why he’s calling his adventure the Negative Carbon US Road Trip: in 40 years, the 48 trees he plants should absorb about 10 times more CO2 than his LEAF will produce on the 26,000-mile journey. The trees will be planted at some of the 485 sites owned by Kampgrounds of America, which is sponsoring the adventure.

“Not everyone can or needs to drive across the country,” said Kent, “but most Americans drive less than 40 miles per day, and an EV costs the equivalent of less than a dollar-per-gallon of gasoline to drive, so these cars are ideal for most Americans and we need them for our environment and our children’s future.”

You can get your own Eco-Friendly vehicle at Mama’s Used Cars. Drop by today at 1627 Savannah Highway in Charleston, SC!

2016 Honda Pilot Earns 2015 Top Safety Pick+ Rating from IIHS

2015 Top Safety Pick+

The 2016 Honda Pilot has earned a 2015 Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), once again showing that Honda knows exactly what it’s doing when it comes to automotive safety. Then again, we already knew that from all the Hondas that have come and gone through the years at Mama’s Used Cars.

The mid-size family SUV earned the highest possible score of “Good” in all categories, including side, roof strength, head restraint, moderate overlap front, and the tricky small overlap front crashworthiness evaluations.

The optional Honda Sensing suite is what allowed the Pilot to earn that extra + rating, rated “superior” by the IIHS. It combines a windshield-mounted camera and radar behind the grille to provide collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assistance, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, and forward collision warning.

“The Pilot demonstrates Honda’s commitment to achieving the highest levels of safety performance,” said IIHS president Adrian Lund. “The Pilot’s crashworthiness ratings set a high standard, and its optional front crash prevention system will help drivers avoid some kinds of crashes to begin with.”

If you’re looking for any other Top Safety Pick+ car options, come down to Mama’s Used Cars today. We’ll find you the best vehicle for the best price, that will fit your lifestyle!


Helpful Tips for Buying a Pickup Truck

tips for buying a pickup truck

Thinking about a pickup truck for your next vehicle? There are a lot of good reasons to get one but you should find out what kind of truck works best with your lifestyle. Here are a few tips for buying a pickup truck.

Before you start looking at options, you should decide what you are willing to pay first. recommends that your monthly payment be no more than 20% of your monthly income.

What are you going to use the truck for? This question will go furthest in helping you decide what to get.

Is it for work, recreation, or both? If it’s for work, you might to forego some of the interior amenities to get a bigger engine and more towing capacity. If it’s for recreation, you might want to consider a larger cab for your family and more creature comforts like a quality stereo.

This question will also help you decide what bed size to get. Most trucks come with two size beds. Those using a truck for work are more apt to get a longer bed. But if you are just going to use the bed to store kayaks and bicycles, then you might want to go for a shorter bed.

In the past, buying a truck almost always meant sacrificing fuel economy. That’s not so much the case anymore with the advent of so many fuel saving technologies. But you still want decide what’s important: power or efficiency. If it’s equal, find a truck that strikes that balance for you.

When you are thinking about buying a truck, it’s all about finding out what’s important for you and seeing what’s out there, so come in to Mama’s Used Cars to get your own!

EPA Declares Toyota Mirai Miles Per Tank: 312; Far Surpassing Tesla Model S

Toyota Mirai Miles Per Tank

When Toyota announced it would produce a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to rival the likes of Tesla’s Model S when it comes to low emissions, we knew that the model would be a game-changer.

Now, Toyota has released the official stats on its incredible Mirai fuel cell vehicle, which received an EPA rating of 312 miles per tank, with zero emissions. Comparatively, the Model S, which was previously the longest-range electric car, gets a mere 270 miles per tank.

The EPA also releases information on “MPGe,” or “miles per gallon equivalent,” which aims to fairly compare the gas mileage of traditional cars to newer, more innovative models. The Toyota Mirai received an astounding rating of 67 MPGe.

Plus, one of the Mirai’s greatest advantages over EVs is that its fuel cell engine can be refueled very quickly—just like how a gas tank can be filled up in minutes—unlike EVs, which take a while to charge entirely.

What do you think of the impressive Toyota Mirai miles per tank? Let us know in the comments.

Flying Car Companies Release Plans for 2017

Flying car

A flying car may be your next vehicle! Sure, it may take a few years, and a few hundred thousand dollars, but it’s a FLYING CAR!

Sometime in the distant future, we’ll have flying cars. Well, maybe not that distant. In fact, several new companies have recently released details about plans to produce, sell, and deliver several flying cars within the next few years, some as early as 2017. The future is finally here.

So, like the Jetsons, right? The flying cars companies like Terrafugia, AeroMobil, Moller International, and PAL-V are developing are basically small engine planes with foldable wings. Nonetheless, they work as both cars and planes, assuming you can find an airstrip nearby.

What are the advantages to having a flying car? Aside from being able to say you have a flying car, there aren’t many pros to owning one of these cars, unless you fly everyday of course. According to CNN, the regulations and red tape involved in these vehicles are the biggest hurdles, especially because they have to pass both FAA and automotive safety regulations.

How do I get my hands on one? Right now, companies like AeroMobil are only targeting the wealthy, with the cheapest flying cars coming in around $300,000. Whether you like it or not, flying car companies may always remain a thing of the future.

Since it may be awhile before you can get your flying car, maybe you should stop by Mama’s used cars to try out our more “grounded” models!

Auto-Related Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Ok, our tips are great, but if you just can’t bear a trip to the store, just let dad have a nap!

Father’s Day is right around the corner, a perfect opportunity to show dad how much you really care. While neck ties are a tried-and-true gift to get, believe it or not there are other gifts out there. We’ve put together a list of (car-related) Father’s Day gift ideas to help you get the perfect present.

  • According to, one of the best things to do is grab some tools and get to work on an old car. Working on cars has brought fathers and sons (and daughters!) together for generations, and there’s nothing quite like fixing a car with someone you care about.
  • If you and your dad are looking to avoid manual labor, consider going to an automotive museum. There is a car-related museum in virtually every state, a perfect opportunity to learn something new and spend some quality time with dad. Plus, if you have to drive a few hours, you can get in a mini-road trip.
  • Although they can be a bit pricey, going to a driving school with dad can be a memorable experience. There are tons of these schools, ranging from basic to high-speed exotic cars, which let you get behind the wheel and burn some rubber.

Last but not least, make something homemade. This is great way for kids to show their appreciation by making a key lanyard or rear-view mirror decoration. What better way to say you care?

If these ideas don’t do it for you, check out the selection at Mama’s Used Cars for some amazing Father’s Day deals!