Spring Driving Tips

While spring is a beautiful time of year with flowers and trees in bloom, it comes with a few dangers as well. Here are some spring driving tips to help you along the way.

  • Potholes. Every spring, the potholes of winter make their appearance. The bigger they are, they worse they can affect your car. Drive around potholes, if possible, so you don’t knock your car out of alignment.
  • Tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Fully inflated tires can help decrease damage caused by potholes.
  • Puddles. Spring is one of the wettest times of the year due to the rain. This leads to slick road conditions. When the roads are wet, leave more following distance between you and the car ahead of you. In addition, try to avoid driving through large puddles. They could be hiding large potholes and the water could cause you to hydroplane or hamper your braking power.
  • Pedestrians. Warmer temperatures will bring more people out on the road. Be on the lookout for pedestrians as well as motorcyclists and bicyclists.
  • Animals. Along with people, animals become more active in the spring. Watch for animals crossing the roads. Be especially alert at dawn and dusk.

Here at Mama’s Used Cars, we want everyone to travel safely this spring.

Spring driving, wet tire

Parking Lot Safety

Parking Lot Safety

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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.

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 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.

Enjoy the Ride: Bicycle Safety Awareness Month

 

Bicycle Safety Awareness month

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!

Bikers:

  1. Wear a helmet – this is the quintessential protection that can ultimately be the difference between life and death. Period.
  2. 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.
  3. Go with the flow! In other words, travel in the same direction as traffic while obeying displayed signs, signals, and lane markings.
  4. 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…
  5. 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.

IIHS Lists Best Used Cars for Teens

Best Used Cars for Teens

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States is automobile accidents. With this in mind, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released a list of what it considers the best used cars for teens in regards to safety.

While many parents try to find the least expensive car they can for their teen, this can lead to gaps in safety. Newer cars are built better and have more reliable safety features.

“A teenager’s first car is more than just a financial decision,” says IIHS President Adrian Lund, in the report. “These lists of recommended used vehicles can help consumers factor in safety, in addition to affordability.”

The IIHS put its recommendations into two lists, used cars starting under $20,000 and used cars starting under $10,000. The prices are taken from Kelley Blue Book with the following considerations: vehicle in good condition, typical mileage, and private party purchase in Arlington, Virginia.

Here at Mama’s Used Cars, we have many of the recommended vehicles, including the 2012 Toyota Camry, 2011 Kia Optima, 2008 Toyota Highlander, 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, and more. Come visit us today and we’ll help you find the perfect used car for your teen driver.

Mama Supports National Child Passenger Safety Week

NHTSA highlights safety benefits of proper use of car seats during National Child Passenger Safety Week

National Child Passenger Safety Week

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is focusing on the safety benefits of using the correct car seat, booster seat, and seat belt during this year’s Child Passenger Safety Week. Mama’s Used Cars is happy to share the important information with parents.

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