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Although the calendar says winter in the Northern Hemisphere doesn’t actually start until Dec. 21, the weather forecast seems to communicate otherwise. The extreme weather in parts of the United States has even made headlines recently as “colder than mars,” according to figures from Nasa.extreme weather

When extreme weather is headed your way, make sure you and your family are prepared for Old Man Winter’s worst. Ready.gov gives some helpful steps about what to do 1) before snowstorms and extreme cold 2) during snowstorms and extreme cold and 3) after snowstorms and extreme cold. When you receive a weather storm alert from the National Weather service, take heed of the following:

 

Be Prepared for Extreme Weather

Is your car ready for winter? As winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit and car:

  1. Rock salt to melt ice
  2. Snow shovels
  3. Emergency gear, like insulating blankets, crank flashlight, updated first-aid supplies
  4. Have your mechanic check antifreeze, heater and defroster and tires. For a complete list of items to check, visit https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

extreme weather

 

Create a family plan

  1. Your family might be in different places when a storm or extreme weather hits, so know how you’ll contact one another if cell towers or internet isn’t working
  2. Remember pets: bring them inside during cold weather and you should have a plan for them, as well, and even make them their own emergency kit with extra food.

 

Know How to Weather the Storm

Try to stay indoors and off the roads, unless it’s necessary.

  1. If you do have to go out, stay on the main roads and never cross road closures or flooded roads! Let someone know when you’re leaving and expected arrival time. It’s a good idea to let them know your route, too, in case you get stuck and they need to send help.

If you’re stuck in a vehicle during a blizzard, pull off the road and turn on hazard lights.

  1. This is when your prepping will come in handy. You’ll likely be relying on the contents of your emergency kit to get you through until help arrives.

 

Most importantly, experts say you’ll want to learn from every storm. Keep your emergency supplies up to date and stocked in your house and in the car. For ready-made emergency kits stocked with our lifesaving tools and devices, visit our prepareme kits page.

LED lights

From built-in WiFi and backup cameras, to driverless cars, it seems there is no limit to tech’s stronghold in the automotive industry. The majority of high-tech advancements in the auto world typically revolve around your safety. One of the largest contributions to driver safety has been the introduction of LED lighting. While the majority of manufacturers are still using regular incandescent bulbs, pioneers in the business are pushing for LED lights to be the new standard.

Making LED Lights the New Standard

The simple answer is, they are better. LED technology breaks the mold in several different ways; the most obvious is their versatility. There are more dynamic choices for headlights, back-up lights, brake and taillights, fog lights, side markers, interior lights, underbody lights, and license plate lights to name a few. They are brighter, use less energy, last longer, and are comparable (if not cheaper) than traditional bulbs in cost due to their longevity. To top it off, LED lights are proving to be the safer choice, because they greatly improve driver visibility.

Changing Your Automotive Lighting Mindset

When it comes to safe driving, and automotive upkeep, we tend to focus on the basics. Make sure the oil is changed, get tune-ups regularly, change and rotate tires often, get a yearly smog inspection, and so on. Often your vehicle’s lights are overlooked. You only think about them when you forget to turn them off and kill the battery, another motorist lets you know you have a light out, or a police officer is tapping at your window with a “fix-it” ticket.

The lights on your vehicle are extremely important. They alert drivers behind you when you are braking, and making turns; at night they are what guide you and help you see other vehicles. So don’t make your automotive lights an afterthought when they should be a priority.

LED lights

Headlight Safety Tips

  1. Keep exterior car lights clean. When you wash your car, give special attention to the lights. Make sure they’re in good working order, and one isn’t dimmer than the others. Check both low beam and high beam headlights. Clean headlights allow you to see better and prevent glare.
  2. Keep lighting balanced and even. If you notice you have one light out that needs to be changed, change them both. Auto bulbs are sold together for a reason; you want the quality to be the same on each side. Having one light dimmer than the other can be disconcerting to both you and other drivers.
  3. Change lights annually. Even if you don’t see any real need to change your headlights, and they are all functioning properly, change them at least once a year anyway. Most people wait until one burns out; they’re already malfunctioning before this happens. Keep them balanced and at their brightest by changing them regularly. Choose a specific date each year to get all new lights.
  4. Enlist an inspection buddy. If you want to forego the stranger at the stoplight telling you that your brake light is out, recruit a friend to help with inspections. Have your friend sit behind the wheel of your car and systematically turn on and off all of your lights, and pump the brakes while you inspect them. The low and high beams, daylight running lights, brake, and reverse lights should all be inspected.
  5. Align your lights. There is nothing more annoying for you or oncoming drivers than misaligned headlights. Besides being annoying, they are also distracting, which makes them dangerous. Aligned headlights reduce the uncertainty of drivers that is caused by wonky lighting conditions. Be sure to you have your auto headlights aligned regularly or learn to do it yourself.
  6. Get regular eye exams. Night vision is the first thing to go as you age or if you already wear corrective lenses. If you have contacts or glasses, or are over 50, it is recommended that you get annual vision screenings. Any time you feel as though your vision may be impaired, making it more difficult for you to drive, get an exam.
  7. Switch to LED headlights. A recent study showed that most headlamps are woefully inadequate for night driving, some offering as low as 130 feet of vision ahead of the vehicle. The best rated vehicle was the Toyota Prius V, which uses LED headlights. It reaches 387 feet ahead, giving a car moving 70 mph enough time to stop for an obstacle in the road.

Appreciating LED Lighting’s Stylish Side Too

Now that you are armed with the technological benefits of LED lighting, and all the ways you can use LED lights to make your vehicle safer, it’s time for the fun stuff. One of the best things about LED lighting is the design options. They are incredibly versatile; you can be as low-key cool, or limo party flashy as you want to be.

LED lightsOne can choose from a selection of interior lights that glow on the floor beneath your driver and passenger side seats. They come in a variety of colors, red, blue, green, yellow, purple, and orange. You can even choose multi-color, which allows you to change the colors based on your mood. Wheel well LED lights, and underbody LED lighting are other options for your car’s glam lighting. Make your life even easier by choosing kits that are Bluetooth capable, and remote or smartphone controlled. Not only will you be making the streets safer, you’ll look good while you’re at it.

What are some new automotive technologies you think will keep us safer on the road? Are there any that haven’t come out yet that you are looking forward to?


Author: Lauren Jones via www.ledunderbody.com​

Here are four of the deadliest highways in the US, as well as a few tips on how to tackle them and still make it home in one piece.

deadliest highways

With more than 28,000 miles of land spanning from east to west, the U.S. highway system offers some of the most exciting and scenic thoroughfares in the world. To Americans, the term “road trip” brings to mind thoughts of good tunes, open air, serenity and the occasional Slim Jim. But not all road trips are relaxing and serene.

The U.S. is home to some of the most treacherous and dangerous roads known to man. Here are four of the most deadly roadways in America, as well as a few tips on how to tackle them and still make it home in one piece.

Interstate 285

Interstate 285, which circles the city of Atlanta, is not technically the most fatal highway in all the land. But when the numbers are crunched into fatalities per each 10-mile stretch, it ranks as No. 1 of the deadliest highways. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows Interstate 285 is one of America’s deadliest freeways. I-285 saw 26 fatal wrecks (second only to Florida’s Interstate 92) and 29 total deaths in 2013. That number may not be startling to everyone. But when considering the length of the highway, that’s 3.5 deaths for every 10 miles, with Interstate 4 reporting three fatalities for every 10 miles.

There are several theories concerning what makes I-285 so dangerous. For starters, there’s the Tom Moreland Interchange, an 18-lane freeway informally known as “Spaghetti Junction, where the I-285 merges with I-85. The confusing and jumbled stretch of highway can often overwhelm out-of-town drivers. Additionally, I-85 sees more than 2 million vehicles on its asphalt per day, many of them tractor trailers, which some believe to be a contributing factor to the high number of accidents. That’s because drivers of smaller vehicles must often change lanes to pass these slow-moving vehicles. As if those two issues were not enough, Interstate 285 is often covered in snow.

Tip:

If you are driving around Atlanta, know the lay of the (highway) land and never pass a tractor trailer on your right.

deadliest highways

Interstate 10

One of the longest interstates in the country, Interstate 10 spans all the way from Florida to California, and crosses many routes and highways along the way. Though there are plenty of tricky and perilous parts along the way, the stretch of highway from the California border to Phoenix is perhaps most perilous. This 150-mile section runs through the desolate desert and tallied a total of 85 fatalities in one year, making the I-10 one of the deadliest highways across the US.

Tip:

If you’re traveling through the desert terrain, make sure your vehicle’s fluids are topped off. Pulling off to the side of the road, particularly at night, increases the likelihood of an accident.

Interstate 92

Officially known as the deadliest highway in the United States, the roughly 400-mile stretch of Interstate 92 running north from Miami to the Georgia border has a rate of nearly two fatalities per mile, when measured over a five-year period. At its peak, the highway had 12 open lanes of traffic, but is still overcrowded and constantly busy. Add to the mix the state of Florida’s reputation for extreme weather and a number of out-of-town drivers and you have tragedy waiting to happen.

Tip:

Do not drive uninsured. I-92 experiences so many traffic collisions that just this section of interstate alone has a state-designated attorney eager to find someone at fault.

Million Dollar Highway

U.S. Highway 550, also known as the Million Dollar Highway, is one of the country’s most beautiful routes, as parts of it winds through the scenic Rocky Mountains. Twelve miles of one 25-mile highway stretch were actually carved into the Rockies in the 1880s and were designed for the transportation of ore. Though those 12 miles are breathtakingly gorgeous, one wrong turn will take you right off a cliff and into a jagged ravine. From Ouray and continuing through to Uncompahgre Gorge, there are no guardrails in sight — nothing between you and the bottom of the canyon.

Tip:

In an area like this, with tight curves and a steep gradient, your vehicle had better be equipped with ultra, high-performance tires for sharpened steering response and high-speed control.

Taking a Road Trip? Be Prepared for the Deadliest Highways in the US

Though America’s highways may offer unbelievably panoramic landscapes, these scenic sights may come at a high price. Make sure you and your vehicle are ready before hitting America’s open roads to ensure you will have an exciting and safe journey.

deadliest highways

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There is a car accident every 60 seconds somewhere in the world, according to data from The National Highway Traffic Administration. It’s estimated that there are at least 5.25 million car crashes around the globe on a yearly basis.

via GIPHY

While car accidents like fender-benders and side-swipes are inevitable, there are a few things you can do after the fact to make it better. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Take Notes About Your Car Accident

You will probably be quite shaken up after being in an accident no matter the severity of the crash. But you must do your best to take detailed notes while at the scene. If you are in need of medical care, however, seek help and assistance first. Later on these notes will help your case if you have to go to court.

Record as much as you can, such as who was driving, where they were driving to, what direction they were driving, what led up to the accident, your speed, the current road conditions, any distractions like texting and any witnesses to the accident. Also take note of information about the other driver including their name and car insurance information.

2. Document With Photos

In addition to taking notes at the scene, it is wise to document the accident with photos. This is where your smartphone comes in handy. Smartphones like the Galaxy S6 have high-resolution cameras can capture the detailed damage ranging from large dents to faint scratches.

Time_ Date_Location_

Any photos you take strengthen your case and will help you get fair compensation after your accident. If you can safely do so, get photos of the exterior and inside damage of all of the cars involved. Be sure to include shots of all four corners of every car. Also, try to capture the positions of the cars and include any landmarks and traffic lights so people who look at the photos can have a clearer picture. It’s also advised to get photos of the license plates, skid marks, debris and car parts from the accident.

2. Keep Everything

After the accident, keep any and all documentation. This includes anything about the wreck such as bills, receipts and estimates that are related to your car accident. Additionally, it is advised to keep all documentation from rental cars or alternative transportation used because of your car accident, towing fees and all repairs. An insurance claims adjuster can effectively investigate your case and claim with proper documentation if it is provided.

4. Make a Claim

After the dust has settled and it is time to file your claim with your car insurance provider, submit all documentation, notes and photos that you took with a police report. All of the supporting materials you collected will be used in your case. After your report has been submitted and looked at, you will be contacted by an adjuster who may have more questions for you.

For more information about documenting an accident in your home state, visit DMV.org.

 

 

 


 

Authored by Social Monsters

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