America’s love for dogs is getting stronger and stronger. In 2017, there were 89.7 million dogs living in household as pets. Our furry companions make life more joyful. Now that summer is approaching it is time to plan your next road trip with your best friend! With a little bit of planning, patience and a lot of love, your vacation will go smoothly!
- Check with the vet. Since he knows Fido good enough and holds his medical record, he’s the best person to talk to about your plans. You can also consider purchasing an identification microchip for your pet before a road trip. These chips are embedded beneath your dog or cat’s skin and provide your contact information. If Fido does run off, the chances of getting him back will be higher. While you’re at the vet, it is also a good idea to get a record of any vaccinations your pet has received, and any medication that might be needed for the trip.
- Get the right equipment. The two best ways to travel with your pet inside of your car are with harnesses and crates. Check out this list of top performing harness for your dog here.
- Few weeks before the big trip, start taking your pet on short car rides. This way, you can try out your travel equipment and see how great your dog is doing in a moving car.
- Plan wisely your itinerary by looking for dog-friendly-stops. You can use com, a road trip planner that will list all of the dog-friendly hotels, campgrounds, restaurant, activities and more. They also list beaches and off-leashes parks, veterinarians and pet supply stores. Just to give you an idea, experts suggest stopping every two hours to let your pet walk around and relieve itself. Best way to prevent pet accidents and discomfort!
- Pack his belongings! Collar, leash, food, water, bowls, medications, blankets and pillows. Everything to make him feel safe.
+ If you were looking for a pet-friendly new ride, check out the best cars for dogs.
Why is it important to restrain your dog in the car
Unrestrained pets can become missiles, injuring you or your passengers. An 80-pound pet colliding with your seat at 30 mph exerts 2,400 pounds of force. Unrestrained pets can also be ejected into traffic, endangering themselves and other motorists.
On the road
- Some dogs get very excited to be in the car. You know, the jowls and ears flapping in the breeze kind of happiness. Right before hitting the road, take him on a nice walk to relax him.
- Make him feel comfortable and safe. To do so, make sure that his harness is tighten and fits properly.
- Act like usual. Do not use the sad nor apological voice. Stay positive and calm.
- Turn off power windows!
- Try to stop ~ every 2 hours. When stopping, always keep an eye on him and never leave him unattended inside of your car. Many dogs die each year because of heatstroke. More and more places are making it illegal to leave a pet in a hot car. If you leave your pet inside you might come back to a car with a broken window, no pet, and a police officer with handcuffs waiting for you!
- Give him snacks that are high in proteins.
Enjoy your trip 🐶
Saying your tires are crucial to the safety and performance of your vehicle is likely one of the understatements of the year. To ensure the four tires on your car stay in great shape, they must be regularly checked and maintained.
With this in mind, here are four tips to help keep your tires as safe as possible and performing at their peak:
- Perform Regular Rotations
Tire rotation is a lot like exercising — it’s something we know we should be doing, but don’t always set enough time. But just like being fit might help us live longer, performing regular tire rotations can extend the life of your tires and vehicle. In general, tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles — and failure to do so can cut the life of your tires in half.
Additionally, most tire manufacturers will not honor warranties if the tires aren’t regularly rotated on schedule. Getting your tires rotated isn’t overly expensive, and some installers will do it for free if you purchased the tires directly from them. But no matter how much you wind up spending, this small investment will come back many times over in the form of extended tire life and vehicle safety.
- Ensure Proper Balancing and Alignment
If you notice one or more of your tires are wearing unevenly, it might be time to have all four balanced and the wheels aligned. According to Exchange.AAA, properly balanced tires last longer, vibrate less and make for a quieter ride. Tires should be balanced when they’re first installed and when a puncture is being fixed. When you purchase new tires, spring for the additional wheel alignment to ensure the tires wear evenly. Then, once you’re on the road, listen for any odd vibrations in the tires; if you hear anything, bring your vehicle in to have the tires rebalanced.
- Check the Air Pressure
To optimize vehicle control, get the best fuel mileage possible and help your tires last as long as possible, they must be properly pressurized. As Tread Wisely notes, be sure to check the air pressure when the tires are cool. You can find the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure located on a sticker inside your car’s door jamb or in the owner’s manual.
Make sure to follow these steps: Remove the valve cap, take a tire gauge and press down on the valve stem of each tire; if the reading is too high, push on the metal stem in the middle of the valve with the tip of a pen to release air. If the reading is too low, immediately add air and then recheck the reading until it’s at the correct level.
- Examine the Treads
Every time you drive, the tread on your tires gradually wears down. Over time, tires can become bald, which increases the chances of it going flat or you being in an accident. To ensure your tires have plenty of life left in them, examine your treads regularly and have a penny or quarter handy.
Brand new tires have a tread depth of around 10/32nds of an inch, which is about 1/3 of an inch. Once the tread wears down to 2/32nds of an inch, your tires are considered legally worn out. To check the depth of your treads, insert a penny into the tire grooves with Abe Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see the top of Honest Abe’s head, the tires are at 2/32nds of an inch or less, meaning you should buy new tires right away.
If you do the same trick with a quarter, using George Washington’s noggin as a guide, you can see if your tires have 4/32nds of an inch or more left. This may be the more prudent approach, as you will know when your tires are “almost” worn out as opposed to totally bald and dangerous.
Read more about tire treads here.
Regular maintenance prevents big time tire problems
Proper tire maintenance doesn’t have to be time-consuming. In fact, simply checking all four tires on a regular basis will only take a few minutes, and scheduling regular rotations and checking the air pressures should also be a quick process. By following these easy and important tips — and making tire safety a priority — your tires will last longer and keep you safe on the road.
Jiro from social monsters
Driving in any season is risky, but driving in winter weather can be downright treacherous, especially if you have a job that requires traveling in all road conditions. Before you get behind the wheel, take time to prepare. Follow these life-saving tips to keep your winter commutes as safe as possible.
Winterize your vehicle.
Schedule a tune-up with your mechanic to check for any leaks, worn hoses, and any other parts that need repairing or replaced. Ask about recalls, and do a little research yourself by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s current list of recalls. If anything on your vehicle has been recalled, have it replaced immediately or as soon as possible.
Specifically, make sure these are maintained or replaced if needed:
- Car battery – tighten cable connections, check voltage, amps and reserve capacity
- Headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals
- Windshield wipers and blades – fill washer fluid reservoir, replace worn wiper blades
- Front and rear defrosters
- Tires – make sure you’re using the right tires for your vehicle and road conditions.
Stock emergency supplies.
Having some essential items stored in your car could mean the difference between life and death if you happen to get stranded. Some things you should have on hand at all times, such as a good spare tire, jack, tire tool, pressure gauge, flashlight, flares, warning triangles and jumper cables.
For winter driving, you should also stow these items:
- Small snow shovel, broom and ice scraper
- Kitty litter or sand for traction if you’re stuck in the snow
- Extra blankets
- Tow and tire chains
- Extra wiper fluid and antifreeze
- Water and non-perishable snacks
- A car escape tool like the resqme tool
For every trip, make sure your cell phone is fully charged. Make sure you have a charger that can plug into your cigarette lighter, or bring a portable charger. Pack extra doses of necessary medications to avoid possible medical emergencies.
Keep your children safe and warm.
Protect your most precious cargo. All children under the age of 13 should ride in the backseat with proper child restraints. Review the NHTSA’s guidelines to make sure you’re using the safest booster or convertible car seat for your child’s age and size. Check for any recalls and replace your child’s restraint if needed.
Keep these items on hand, depending on your child’s age:
- Extra winter clothing – hats, gloves, socks, snow or hiking boots
- Small, vehicle-safe space heater
- Sleeping bags
- Water and snacks
- Extra diaper bag stocked with diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, etc.
- Trash bags and toilet paper
- Coloring books, crayons, mp3 player, earbuds, books, hard candy, etc. to keep them occupied if you get stranded
Drive with extra caution.
Before setting out, be as well-rested as you can. Since winter driving requires an extra level of alertness, it’s extremely important to stay awake at the wheel. The NHTSA estimates that an annual 83,000 vehicle accidents are caused by driver fatigue. Stay safe with a drowsy driver alert like the alertme®. This electronic device helps prevent accidents caused by falling asleep behind the wheel.
Check local weather conditions to be prepared for incoming snowfall or ice. If at all possible, wait until road conditions improve before you drive. But if you must be on the road, remove all ice and snow from your vehicle, including lights, mirrors and windows. Make sure your gas tank is full or close to full. When warming up your vehicle, don’t keep the engine running in a closed garage. Every year, nearly 20,000 to 30,000 people die of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can come from car exhaust.
When you get behind the wheel, put on your seatbelt, and make sure any passengers are properly restrained as well. Avoid all distractions. Plan your route so you won’t have to take your eyes off the road to look at your GPS. Stay off your cell phone – don’t talk or text! Avoid eating, putting on makeup, and listening to loud music or other audio content.
On the road, slow down, and don’t use cruise control. Don’t follow too closely behind other vehicles to allow more braking time in case you need it. Keep your headlights on in poor visibility conditions. Watch out for ice, especially on overpasses and bridges. If you start to skid, don’t panic. Take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go. Don’t slam on the brakes or accelerate. If you cannot see the road in a snowstorm or conditions become too hazardous to continue, seek shelter, and wait it out if possible.
What if you become stranded?
If you get stuck due to road conditions, an accident or a vehicle breakdown, try to pull off the road and out of traffic. Stay calm and call for roadside assistance or 911. If you’re in an unpopulated area, unless you know there’s a busy road or building nearby, stay in your car with the doors locked. Be cautious if a stranger stops to offer help. Crack the window and ask him/her to call for emergency roadside service. If your only alternative is to accept his/her help, ask for identification, phone number and address. Write this down, along with where you are going and why and leave this in your vehicle.
While you wait for help, take these steps to stay safe and to alert other drivers and first responders:
- Turn on your emergency flashers.
- Watch for oncoming traffic while setting out warning triangles 100 – 300 feet behind your vehicle. The bright orange color will alert approaching traffic by day, while the red reflectors make it visible at night.
- Clear your tailpipe of any snow and ice to prevent buildup of carbon monoxide in the vehicle’s interior.
- Start your car if possible and run the heater occasionally.
- Stay warm, and try not to overexert yourself if attempting to push or dig your way out of the snow. Excessive sweat can cause loss of precious body heat.
- On a very busy road, it may be safer to exit the vehicle. Turn on emergency flashers, exit the car on the side away from oncoming traffic and seek shelter as far from the road as possible (preferably in a gas station or other public building) until help arrives.
Slippery roads increase the risk of skidding or slipping that can cause a car to go into water. If you get trapped inside of your car, follow these lifesaving steps.
By following these winter driving tips, you’ll be well prepared to venture out despite the road conditions. To help you remember, print out this brochure from AAA, review it before every winter season, and keep a copy in your car for reference when you need it.
Emma from BestCarSeatHub.com
A little note on safety
Road safety rules are meant to be followed. They are, after all, not there just to punish you with tickets. Road safety rules are primarily in place to protect lives, including your own, so follow them at all times. While this may sound preachy, it also sounds like common sense. To know more about road safety rules everyone must follow at all times, check out the infographic below (courtesy of arizdui.com)
Believe it or not, summer is winding down, and it’s time to start thinking about going back to school! To make the transition as easy as possible, we’ve got you covered with a fresh to-do list. We’ve covered it all and are here to help you get ready for a new year of student life.
- Get a fresh haircut. “New start, new you” they say. Why not try something different? You always wanted to rock bangs or a bob haircut but you were never brave enough? There’s no time like the present! Set up an appointment with your favorite hairdresser. And if you end up not liking it, which we highly doubt, it will always grow back!
- Pack wisely. Think twice when packing. Space can be limited when moving from home to attend school. Remember, free time will be at an all-time low so don’t fill it with all those books you have but never got a chance to read. Same for your clothes, only pack what you wear the most and feel confident in. eBay, consignment stores, or better, donate the stuff you don’t wear anymore.
- Invest in things you’ll use again and again. A new laptop, a sturdy back pack, cozy jacket, a top quality set of headphones and an extra phone charger!
- Create a space you love. Everything from wall decals to pillows, picture frames and scented candles, can help make your dorm feel like home.
- Edit your resume. Before getting into a school routine, update your resume. So that the moment when you encounter the perfect side-job to finance your weekends you’ll be ready for hire.
- Pick up a new planner. You might get one for free but it won’t reflect your true self as much as a furry mermaid cover one would. Get some new school supplies, too.
- Try a new activity. Always wanted to try indoor climbing? Check out the Student Activities and Campus Life for clubs and student groups. Experiencing activities outside the classroom is a great way to socialize!
- Stay safe. College can be an incredible and rewarding experience. But as busy as you will be with adjusting to independence, new classes and new friends, don’t forget to stay safe and to maintain awareness. Sadly, at campuses big and small, rural and urban, safety is an issue. During 2015, more than 36 thousand criminal offenses were reported. Always have somebody to walk with after dark. Stay safe off campus as well: ask a friend to walk you home, keep your door locked, and keep a safety device with you. Our defendme personal safety alarm comes with a powerful siren that immediately draws attention to you when needed and it’s ideal for campus students. Pepper spray is also a good option. Get our combo deal here!
- Finally, trust and be yourself. Be confident: it’s time to blossom into your best self and enjoy a great time in your life!
Summer is here, which means new adventures are ahead! And so we’d like to share our ultimate summer bucket list with you. Of course, summer marks the start of barbecuing season, camping, campfires, berry picking and wearing white slacks, but what about taking some fun road trips?
Plan your next road trip!
There are many road trip planner websites to help you find the perfect spot! Plan your trip using an online planner such as RoadTrippers.com. Depending on what you like, you might stop at an amusement park, for a hike, or end up at the beach. RoadTrippers.com even offers to show you “Weird stuff”, and who doesn’t like seeing cool, weird stuff?
With MyScenicDrives.com, find a beautiful scene according to the State you are currently in. It also automatically divides your trip into days and gives you the option of sharing what you’re doing with your loved ones.
If you want to take the perfect shot and become the next Instagram guru, we might direct you to TripMaker.com. From here, select the Picture Perfect check-box and add them to your trip. Et voila!
To stay or to go?
Okay, nice view and all, but by now you must be getting hungry. How about we take a road trip to eat something delicious? Roadfood.com is hands down the best guide to road trip food. Now a website, the guide was originally a book that came out in 1977 when the writers Jane and Michael Stern started documenting American regional food. It then turned into a magazine column in Gourmet, and several more books, and now is an online database of great meals that you can find along highways, in small towns and city neighborhoods. Let’s pick one (or a bunch?), and make it a summer goal to get there! 
If you have a good amount of vacation time, why not try taking the ultimate US road trip, that has been defined by an algorithm and represents the optimal, most beautiful route across the country? Consider giving it a try, since it includes 50 points of all American awesomeness. Check out the interactive map here.
How to prepare for the best Summer ever?
During the Summer, nobody wants to think twice…so let’s get it right the first time! This summer, AAA (the American Automobile Association) predicts that more than 7 million drivers will have to be rescued from the side of the road. And it’s not only because of the heat: “Summer driving is very taxing on a vehicle, and the heat can affect a number of your car’s systems. But a lot of Americans also are not taking the steps that they could for preventative maintenance on their vehicle,” says AAA’s Director of Public Affairs. In fact, dead batteries, flat tires and vehicle lockouts are the main reasons that people call AAA during the summer. More than 3 million drivers will experience significant vehicle issues this summer that require being towed to a repair facility. With low-profile tires or no spare tire, many cars are especially susceptible to roadside trouble. To learn more about tires, check out our blog post “7 Types of Tires Tread Wear and What They Say About Your Driving”.
“You can minimize the risk by planning ahead and preparing properly!”
This summer, be a prepared driver!
- Have your car looked over by a mechanic before your trip
- Bring an extra car key to not be locked out
- Remember snacks and water
- Pack your phone and charger
- Pack an emergency, first aid kit. Our 4 lifesaver prepareme kits conveniently combine high quality safety tools and must-have first aid items to allow for a wide variety of protection and preparedness when seconds count! They are the only first aid kits on the market to include the Made in USA award winning car escape tool, resqme. They easily fit in the trunk, glove box, back pack or wherever you need them!
Get them here!
10% of all drownings occur in vehicles
400 North Americans will drown in their vehicles this year
3 minutes: the time that a vehicle floats on the water surface
1 minute: the time you have to exit safely
1 MINUTE CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE
DON’T PANIC! STAY CALM – DON’T TOUCH YOUR CELL PHONE! – FOCUS ON FINDING A WAY OUT
FOLLOW THESE 3 STEPS
1 SEATBELTS off or cut
2 WINDOWS open or break
3 CHILDREN: undo their restraints. Oldest to youngest
OUT: through the window. Children first. Then climb on the roof to: wait for help, or prepare to swim to shore.
Speed has consequences
We all know someone who likes to speed because he/she’s an experienced driver, and feels like he/she’s in control. But this does not always lead to good things, as about 1.25 million people are killed each year internationally because of traffic related accidents. This affects children walking to school, elderly crossing the road, people driving to work and all other road users. In 2015, 146 people died in crashes because of speeding, either travelling above the speed limit or too fast for the road conditions. Thousands of these people were injured, and will carry their injuries for life.
It’s time to do something. Accordingly, the United Nations General Assembly has taken action and will be holding their fourth United Nations Global Road Safety Week from May 8-14, 2017. This week of learning will focus on safe driving, and what can be done to prevent deaths and injuries. The powerful name of this campaign is self-explanatory: Save Lives, #SlowDown.
Decade of Action for Road Safety
On May 11, 2011, dozens of countries around the world kicked off the first global Decade of Action. The campaign operates on the principles of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020. From New Zealand to Mexico and the Russian Federation to South Africa, governments are committed to taking new steps to protect lives on their roadways. The Decade of Action seeks to prevent road traffic deaths and injuries which experts project will take the lives of 1.9 million people annually by 2020. The #SlowDown campaign has been modeled after the Decade of Action for Road Safety – promoting the same principles that each organization holds dear.
“Every day we have good reasons to go somewhere important, whether we leave our homes for work, school or play. However, getting safely to where we are going is as important as getting there at all.”
Out of control
Speeding is a major risk factor. When the unexpected happens on the road, the speed that you’re travelling at matters a lot. ‘Just a little bit over the limit’ can be the difference between being able to stop in time or not at all. If the worst happens and there is a crash, any extra speed means extra impact force – and the human body can only tolerate so much before death or serious injury are inevitable. We need to be responsible when on the road, a mistake does not need to cost someone their life or well-being.
Is slowing down really safer?
The answer is yes. A 5% cut in average speed can result in a reduction of 30% in the number of fatal crashes. In fact, studies have proved wrong to a lot of common thoughts: mathematically, speeding only helps on long car trips. Unless you’re going on a really long car trip, the time savings for speeding are already pretty minimal. The most time saved on a trip shorter than 500 miles is about 12 minutes!
The ‘Slow Down’ campaign encourages drivers to reduce their speed because it’s difficult to know what is up ahead.
Get involved by taking the pledge here: https://www.unroadsafetyweek.org/en/get-involved
Tire Tread Wear
Think of your tires as the foundation of your car. After all, tire tread affect how your car handles, the comfort of your ride and, most importantly, your safe driving experience. Proper tire maintenance includes keeping your tires inflated to the correct tire pressure, maintaining an adequate tire tread, checking the air-level balance, and keeping the wheels in alignment.
Plus, the amount of wear on your tires can tell you a lot about the problems your tires — or, more specifically, your vehicle — are facing. With that in mind, make it a point to check your tires regularly for wear in order to prevent long-term problems. Additionally, be sure to consult a professional about what is a safe amount of wear and then replace your tires as needed. If you do need new tires, search on reputable websites like Tire Buyer to determine the best type of tire for your vehicle.
Below are seven types of tire wear and how you should respond when these situations pop up.
1. Center Wear
If one or more of your tires are worn down the center — but not on the sides — the culprit is most likely an overinflated tire. Tires bulge from overinflation — and continuing to drive it on the road — hits the middle of the tires. To avoid center wear in the future, keep your tires inflated to the pressure listed in your owner’s manual.
2. Side Wear
If you have consistently under-inflated tires, you’ll often find that your tread is worn on the sides, but not down the middle. However, if you are vigilant about checking your tire pressure, yet still have side wear, this may be an indication of a bent or worn steering arm or a car out of alignment.
3. Cupping Wear
Cupping looks like scoops worn in your tread and is caused by a repeated up-and-down motion. Generally, you can see or feel the tire bounce as you drive with this type of wear, which is why you’ll often see cupping on trailer tires. Cupping on cars is caused by a worn shock absorber or a bad suspension system.
Feathering is harder to catch with a visual inspection, but easy to feel when you run your hand along the tread of your tire. You can feel an individual tread worn on one side and sharp on the other. Feathering is generally caused by either excess toe-in or toe-out, which can be adjusted with a proper wheel alignment. However, feathering might also be a symptom of aggressive driving; specifically, taking corners at high speeds.
5. Flat Spot Wear
Flat spot wear is often caused by aggressive or emergency braking, although it may also be an indication of a larger brake issue. If you spot this type of wear — and don’t remember making any sudden or hard stops — have your brake system checked for a foundation issue.
6. One Side Wear
Another indictor of a misaligned vehicle is when either the outer or inner part of the tire wears faster than the rest of the tire. A new alignment will generally solve the problem. But, if it doesn’t, make sure to have the springs and ball joints checked out.
7. Sidewall Wear
Sidewall wear is usually caused by a driver who parks too close to the curb. Additionally, this type of wear is often seen in urban settings with street parking. And, in excessive cases, sidewall wear can weaken the tire’s core and cause a tire to buckle.
Authored by Social Monsters
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.
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:
- Rock salt to melt ice
- Snow shovels
- Emergency gear, like insulating blankets, crank flashlight, updated first-aid supplies
- 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
Create a family plan
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Headlight Safety Tips
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
One 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