They say only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. But there’s a third thing missing from that quote, and that’s gasoline. Anyone driving a gas-powered vehicle has to fill up their tank, and that’s just unavoidable. But perhaps you can fill yours less often by learning how to save fuel when you drive. Next time you’re cruising in your Lancer from Larry Jay Mitsubishi, follow these guidelines for better gas mileage.
The heavier your car is, the more gas it needs to move. If you’re the type of person who leaves clutter in the trunk or back seat, you’re wasting gas. Clean out your car for less drag and better efficiency.
Cool Off the Right Way
Windows up or windows down? It’s the age-old question. The truth is, it depends on the speed. If you’re driving at highway speeds, having the windows down makes a vehicle less aerodynamic and therefore uses more gas. In this case air conditioning is more efficient. However, when driving in town, it’s better to do windows rather than AC.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Under-inflated tires aren’t functioning as well as they could be, and require more gas from the car to function. Check your tires’ PSI regularly to make sure your tires are inflated properly and giving your car the best mile to the gallon possible.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “defensive driving,” but have you ever wondered what it really means? For many, this type of driving is associated with driving school—tips you pick up when first driving, but that you rarely use in the real world. However, there are some important defensive driving techniques to keep in mind to keep you and your family safe as you drive.
What Is Defensive Driving?
According to Kids Health, defensive driving skills are a set of techniques that help you avoid the dangers of the road, especially when others drive dangerously. Most importantly, defensive drivers always stay focused. This means turning the radio down, putting both hands on the wheel, and observing all traffic signals and laws. If something is distracting you from the task at hand, pull over or eliminate the distraction. Even a fraction of a second could be the difference between life and death.
Next, maintain a safe following distance. For many, this refers to the three-second rule. As the car in front of you passes a post or other object, count the seconds until you pass the same object. If it’s less than three seconds, you’re following too closely. Allowing a safe following distance prevents you from rear-ending other drivers by giving you enough reaction time. Adjust this time if the road conditions worsen.
Don’t depend on other drivers. Offensive drivers assume that other drivers will get out of the way for them; however, when two such drivers meet, the results are disastrous. Never assume that other drivers will slow down or get over to allow you to merge. Never assume that they’ll wait for you, and always plan for the worst scenarios.
Finally, slow down! Driving the speed limit keeps you and the driver’s around you safer. The speed limit is carefully set with safety in mind. By exceeding it, you could lose control of your vehicle much more easily, especially around corners. Keep these tips in mind to be a truly defensive driver.
Any road trip enthusiast will tell you that careful planning can make or break a trip—including the proper snacks. Although it might sound like a silly concept, it is true that many drivers eat while they’re on the road. That’s why we’ve put together a post on snacks for road trips to give you an idea of the dos and don’ts of eating on the road.
According to How Stuff Works, the ideal foods for the roads make you feel full and don’t distract you from driving. They also give you energy and keep you alert. First, bring a mini cooler and keep it within reach. If you have passengers, put them in charge of snack distribution. The best snacks tend to be nuts, granola bars, and bananas. What do they have in common? They aren’t messy and they can be eaten with one hand.
What should you avoid? Obviously, you don’t want to bring messy foods that might distract from the road. Chips make your hands greasy, sandwich and hot dog condiments tend to get everywhere, and foods with pits or that have a lot of fluid can also be a problem, including cherries or peaches.
Other favorites include: fruit leather, jerky, celery and carrot sticks, and good old-fashioned trail mix. For drinks, go light—you don’t want to pull over every five seconds. Generally, you can’t go wrong with water. Avoid sugary drinks that may give you a rush and then a sugar crash. Though there are mixed feelings on caffeine, it is a stimulant, making coffee, tea, and energy drinks a possibility for late nights.
Travelling with pets can make any road trip more enjoyable. Plus, many pets love riding in the car, as it gives them a chance to get out of the house and experience the world. However, there are important things to keep in mind when you are driving with pets.
According to the ASPCA, you should first assess whether or not your pet will be comfortable travelling in the car. While many animals enjoy the open road, some can get incredibly stressed when they’re in the car. Before a long trip, make sure to take short trips with your animal to get them used to the experience. If they are too stressed, consider leaving your animal behind at a kennel or other facility.
Always secure your animal. Although it can be fun to have them in the cab with you, it is essential that you place them in a carrier and secure them with a seatbelt or other device. In the event of an accident, animals can not only harm you, but they can also be seriously injured. Many animals also run away after an accident, making them difficult to find afterwards. Carriers are safer and smarter.
Finally, never leave your animal alone in a car. If you go in, even for a moment, take your pet. Cars can get extremely hot and extremely cold, which presents health risks for your animals. Cracking the window isn’t enough: always take your pets with you!
We’ve all experienced it. We are driving down the road—and doing a good job of it—when someone in the backseat leans forward to offer some unsolicited advice. While your passenger might mean well, the advice itself is typically unwanted—and distracted.
Backseat driving is a well-recognized phenomenon and has even attracted the attention of psychologists. According to Psychology Today, the need to “backseat drive” finds its source in a positive personality trait—namely, confidence. But it’s more than that. It’s about the confidence you have the power and the knowledge to help, “that you’re capable enough to influence any situation for the better.”
Recognizing that backseat drivers are really only trying to help can make it easier to deal with them. That idea can be a great way to dialogue with them. Try explaining to them that you know they are only trying to help but in reality, from your perspective, they are hurting the situation by making you doubt yourself.
Your driving experience is going to be significantly easier if you know how to handle a backseat driver. Make sure you keep this in mind the next time you have a backseat driver! Check out our new inventory today and decide which vehicle is best in preventing backseat drivers!