The summer months are here, with children being released from school for summer break, families gearing up to take vacations, and friends preparing for summer road trips. If you’ll be hitting the road this summer for long hours in the hot weather, you will want to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared. Here’s a guide on how to get ready for road trips.
Perform all routine maintenance before setting out: Before setting out on your road trip adventure, you will want to get an oil change and make sure you have appropriate fluid levels across the board. Coolant will keep your air conditioning running, and windshield wiper fluid will keep your visibility up.
Check your tires: Although a seemingly simple part of your vehicle, tires are incredibly important. They influence efficiency, traction, and control and overall handling. Check that your tires aren’t too worn, check their pressure, and have them rotated if you have to take your car in for an oil change.
Have a plan: To maximize everyone’s safety and comfort on the road, make sure you have a driving plan, maps to keep you on track, and entertainment options. If you rely on GPS navigation on your smartphone, have a charging cable and perhaps a phone mount for your windshield for convenient and safe navigation. Download your favorite playlists and podcasts or bring your favorite CDs to jam out to during the long drive.
Be prepared for setbacks and/or emergencies: It’s our worst nightmare: your car breaking down away from home. Just in case, keep your cell phone charged if you need to call for help and set up accommodations for the night, have extra water in the car, and be prepared to improvise if necessary.
Above all, if you need a new car to take that road trip with, stop in to Mama’s Used Cars—we’re sure to have something you will like.
Despite what the evening forecast is, weather can be an unpredictable factor in some climates. Rain can quickly turn to snow and vice versa, causing two incredibly different driving situations. Sometimes things can go from bad to worse and severe weather can strike unexpectedly. Here’s what to do if you get caught in severe weather in your car from us here at Mama’s Used Cars.
Stay in a Safe Place: In the event of a thunderstorm drivers should stay in your vehicle and don’t get out for anything. Those not in or near a vehicle or building should head for lower ground. Avoid sitting or standing near metallic objects and, if in a group, spread out.
Protect Yourself: If one is caught in a tornado, stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls and take care to protect your head. Many buildings have predesignated shelter areas. If you’re on the road, head to a ditch and cover your head and neck with your hands.
Beware of Water: Flash floods can come from seemingly nowhere which makes them much more dangerous. If there’s a flash flood warning or it’s raining, avoid going near water sources. Drivers should avoid attempting to ford more than a foot of water, depending on their vehicle. If water rises over the road and the vehicle can no longer move, exit and head to high ground.
Flood waters can severely damage almost every part of a vehicle but it might not be too late to salvage it. If your car has been covered any higher than halfway up the wheels, it’s time to take a damage assessment. Not sure what to do first? Don’t worry! Here’s what to do if you’re dealing with flooding from us here at Mama’s Used Cars.
Don’t Be Curious – Generally speaking, curiosity is a good thing but it isn’t something you want to let take the wheel when performing a damage assessment of your drowned vehicle. Avoid starting your car as any lingering water could damage the engine beyond repair.
Call Your Insurance – Flood damage is usually covered by comprehensive insurance which is something most drivers have. Don’t wait too long to call or you could find yourself waiting days or weeks for an adjuster.
Consider a New Car – A flood-damaged car can experience problems down the road so if the adjuster brings up the possibility of totaling the car, it might be worth considering. If the flood waters ruined the interior or you’re having problems with the electrical system, odds are it isn’t worth fixing. At best, some flood-damaged cars could be cleaned and sold with a salvage title.
If you have lasting damage to your vehicle, give Mama’s a call and we’ll see what we can do for you!
If you’re a new driver or have never been in an accident, you probably are on the fence about car insurance. When you’re a confident driver, is car insurance important? In short, the answer is a resounding yes. We here at Mama’s Used Cars have a few reasons why car insurance is important, especially if you’re on the road every day.
Peace of Mind – Even if you’re the most confident driver on the road, there’s always the chance someone else will hit you. If you’re both uninsured, you’re in for a lot of trouble. Even if you aren’t injured, shelling out the cash to fix your car can still be a huge hit to your wallet. With car insurance, you can drive confidently with peace of mind.
Required By Law – In many states, having a minimum amount of car insurance is required by law. Not having car insurance could lead to a suspended license, fines, or worse. Some states may even take your car until you can prove you have car insurance.
Save Money – According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of an accident in 2013 was $9,300 in property damage alone. Once you add in accidents that caused disabling injuries, that number soars to over $80,000. If you don’t have that much cash, car insurance is a necessity.
There were over 2,000 work-related deaths on company parking lots between 1993 and 2003. That’s a large number and it doesn’t include supermarket or mall parking lots. Parking lot safety is a major concern for both drivers and pedestrians. We here at Mama’s Used Cars have a few tips to keep you safe in the parking lot!
Caution – As a driver, you should always keep your eyes open for other cars and pedestrians in the parking lot. Follow the set speed limits and turn around corners slowly, especially if you can’t see around them. If you’re a pedestrian, walk on the sides of the lane and avoid walking behind vehicles taller than you. Try to stay in the view of drivers so they can see you as well as you can see them.
Dress Properly – If the parking lot is likely to be icy, come prepared with proper footwear. The last thing any driver wants to see is a pedestrian slip and fall in front of them. Making sure you can stay on your feet is a necessity in the parking lot.
Pull Through – As a driver, you should avoid reversing, especially out of spaces. When possible, pull all the way through so you can drive forward when you’re ready to leave. If you have to reverse, go slowly and have your lights on. Doing so will give other drivers and pedestrians a chance to see you and possibly avoid an accident.
When winter rolls in, drivers need to start thinking about what preventative measures to take in order to get themselves safe and their vehicles functioning properly. Things like performing routine maintenance, swapping out all-season tires for winter tires, and making sure your HVAC system is working properly are all crucial elements to preparing for winter. But other drivers may take it a step further and wonder if all-wheel drive vehicles are more suitable to the slippery roads of winter.
The number one benefit, and possibly the most obvious one, is that AWD comes with increased traction over other modes of driving. AWD allows all four wheels to spin independently, so if a one or two wheels lose traction or slip, the other wheels can still pull the vehicle forward. This comes in handy on icy roads during hazardous winter storms. Modern technology also calls for innovations in AWD systems; many AWD vehicles now function on computer systems that allocate more power to wheels with better traction. Additionally, AWD makes for excellent resale value, so someday when you need to sell your vehicle, it will be worth more.
As with any extra, beneficial features, all-wheel drive vehicles typically cost more than other types and lower the mpg of a given vehicle, but many drivers find that the added peace of mind that accompanies AWD systems pays off in the end. If you are in the market for a new car with the winter months coming up, you may be better off looking for a car with all-wheel drive.
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.
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 Edmunds.com, “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 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!
This month is Bicycle Safety Awareness Month! Take a look at our handy tips that will ensure you have a happy, and safe, bike ride!
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 726 cyclists were killed in 2012 due to motor collisions while another 49,000 were injured. In our humble opinion, even one is too many! So in an effort to promote awareness this May, which marks the advent of Bicycle Safety Awareness month, here are a few safety tips to remember as we share the roadways!
Wear a helmet – this is the quintessential protection that can ultimately be the difference between life and death. Period.
Before heading out for a ride, make sure your bike is road-worthy! Check the tires, brakes, lights, reflectors, etc. to make sure all are in working order.
Go with the flow! In other words, travel in the same direction as traffic while obeying displayed signs, signals, and lane markings.
Don’t make assumptions! Before crossing an intersection, be sure to make eye contact with drivers. Just because you see them doesn’t mean they see you – which reminds us…
Don’t blend in! Wear bright colors, reflectors, lights etc., to ensure that drivers can easily see you on the road.
Drivers: Be sure to leave ample room when passing a biker on the road and, please, be extra cautious and alert at intersections.
So while the month of May serves as a reminder to recognize bicycle safety, we hope the observance will not be limited to just one month. We at Mama’s Used Cars encourage all to slow down, share the road, and enjoy the ride.