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How-to: Manage Salt on the Road During Winter

Winter brings slick driving conditions. Depending on where you live, snow and ice can build up on the road. In order to counteract that, many regions put down road salts to help melt ice. While this can really help melt the ice on the roads, it can negatively affect your vehicle. Learn how to manage salt on the road during winter.

How-to: Manage Salt on the Road During Winter: Protecting Your Vehicle

Why Salt?

Cities and states put salt on the road because it actually lowers the freezing point of water. 32 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which water normally freezes. However, when water is exposed to salt, the temperature needs to be lower than 32 in order to get the water to freeze. In fact, the more salt you add, the colder it needs to be for water to freeze. If you treat the roads with a layer of a salt and water mix, this helps to keep the roads from freezing over. Therefore, they are safer for vehicles to drive on.

However, if the road temperature goes below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, the salt may not be enough to keep the roads from freezing. In this case, road crews may add sand to the top of the ice to provide more traction.

Salt and Your Vehicle

While salt on the road is helpful for keeping drivers safe, it is actually not good for your vehicle. Salt can cause any exposed metal on your car to start to corrode. This can be an issue for people living on an island surrounded by salt water, or those who drive on roads with salt brine on them. The brake and fuel lines are located near the undercarriage of the car. This area is where most of the salt damage happens. Therefore, the brake and fuel lines are very susceptible to rust and corrosion.

What to Do

In order to protect against salts on the road during winter, it’s important to be proactive. Give your car a good wax job to help protect the finish. If you have any scrapes, chips, or rust spots, go ahead and have those fixed before winter weather hits. Make sure to wash your car often. Spray down your car to wash away the salt. Invest in a car wash that will clean the undercarriage every few weeks in order to clean the areas of your car most likely to be affected by salt. Also, if you get on the road behind a truck spraying salt on the roads, stay back. This will keep your car from getting sprayed with salt too.

How-to: Decide if Someone Should Borrow Your Car

If you would like to learn more, check out this video about the risks of letting someone borrow your car.

We have all had it happen before. A friend or family member could be without a car for any given reason, and they ask to use yours. Maybe theirs is in the shop for maintenance or even for repairs after an accident. They could have flown into town to visit you. Perhaps their kid needed to borrow theirs so they are without one. There are plenty of reasons that someone may ask you to borrow their car. What you need to decide on is if you are willing to let someone borrow your car.

How-to: Decide if Someone Should Borrow Your Car: Weighing the Risks

Driving History

Before you let anyone borrow your car, you should consider what kind of a driver they are. Do you know they are a terrible, reckless driver? You may want to think twice about letting them drive your car. They will be unfamiliar with your car, so putting a bad driver in a vehicle they are unfamiliar with could be a total disaster. Also, consider things such as if your friend or a family member has a history of having a DUI. Anything that could mean a bad driving record should be a red flag to you.

Insurance

You will also want to consider your car insurance before you let someone borrow your car. This could come into play if the person driving your car is involved in an accident. Car insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. When you allow a friend, family member, or babysitter to borrow your vehicle, your insurance takes primary coverage. For example, the person if your car is not at fault, the driver who is at fault will have to use their insurance to cover the damage. However, if the person who is using your car is at fault,  your insurance would likely cover the damage to the other driver’s car. In addition, your liability coverage would likely pay for any injuries or damage to the other driver as well.

Unless you have collision coverage, your insurance would not cover damage to your own car. Plus, if you do end up repairing damages using your collision coverage, you will probably have to pay your deductible. This would be the case even though you weren’t driving at the time of the accident. Keep this in mind when you consider whether or not you want to loan out your car.

How-to: Host a Holiday Gathering During Covid

The holidays are coming, and that means visiting friends and family, attending parties, and indulging in festive foods and drinks. There are parades, crowded stores filled with holiday shoppers, and indoor gatherings. However, with the pandemic this year, is any of that even possible? This year, there are more things to consider for these gatherings than just drunk drivers after a holiday party. Before you invite all of your friends and family over, it is important to know how to safely host a holiday gathering during Covid.

How-to: Safely Host a Holiday Gathering During Covid: Be Wise and Considerate

Reconsider

The only guaranteed way to safely host a holiday gathering during COVID is to reconsider having a get-together this year at all. COVID is certainly not a holiday gift that anyone wants to receive. The more people you are around, the higher your risk is for getting COVID. While it is not replacing gathering in-person, many medical professionals recommend finding virtual substitutes for family holiday traditions. While masks and social distancing can help, the only way to completely reduce the risk of infections is to remain separated.

Testing and Precautions

If you do choose to host a holiday gathering during COVID, there are some added precautions you can take. For example, your guests can agree to quarantine before the event. This will reduce the risk that they will contract the virus from someone else who has it, then bring it to you. You do run the risk that your attendees may break the quarantine or not be as diligent as you would like.

Another option would be for you to have your guests take a COVID test as close to the event as possible. Then, they should quarantine up until your event. This may be easier to ask for a family gathering than it would be for friends attending a party. Neither of these options is guaranteed to prevent COVID, but they can lower the risk.

Meals and Logistics

You may need to rethink the menu options you have at your holiday gathering during COVID. Instead of a buffet-style set up, a better option would be to serve individual plates of food. This keeps the number of people coming into contact with the food to a minimum. The person plating the food should be wearing a mask. When possible, use touchless garbage cans during cleanup.

Instead of opting for an indoor gathering, hold your event outdoors. However, this is not always possible depending on where you live. If your event has to be indoors, invite fewer guests. Also, have your guests wear masks when they are not eating.

While there is no perfect way to have a holiday gathering during COVID, these tips can help keep you and your guests safer. However, it’s good to remember that the best way to reduce your risk of COVID at a holiday gathering is to make it a virtual gathering instead.

Marriage Annulment: It Never Happened

It is difficult to get a marriage annulment, but there are some situations that allow for it. This is different from a divorce, because it completely cancels the marriage. For example,  a divorce declares that a marriage happened and is now over. On the other hand, an annulment declares that the marriage never technically existed and was never valid.

Marriage Annulment: What It Is

Reasons

There are not many reasons someone would be able to go through with a marriage annulment. However, there are several situations that do potentially allow for it. An example would be if one spouse is forced, or coerced, into getting married. Or, if one spouse lied about something that was essential to the marriage. Examples include things such as mental health issues or impotency. Bigamy is when someone gets married while they are already married to someone else. This is another cause for an annulment. 

Another reasons would be if one spouse younger than the legal age of marriage. Keep in mind, this is only if they don’t have their parent’s consent. Other examples are incest, mental incompetence and never living together. No cohabitation means that the married couple has never lived together.

Alternative Options

Most people do not qualify for a marriage annulment. If you are not eligible for this, you still have options. If you do not meet the requirements for an annulment, you will have to file for divorce. Before making this decision, you can speak with a lawyer. 

Differences by States

Many states have different rules and laws regarding a marriage annulment. States may vary in what they view as a prohibited marriage. They also have different laws about the time limits with annulments. There are websites that have a different laws around annulments and prohibited marriages by state. 

Impact

A marriage annulment voids a marriage completely. Thee impact will be different than that of a divorce. This will affect spousal support and the division of assets. After an annulment, you are single and never married. This is unlike divorce, where it leads to someone being single and divorced. 

While marriage annulments are rare, some people are able to get one. You should now understand what an annulment is, and what the grounds are for being able to get one. Also, you now know the impact of going through this process.

How-to: Spot a Drunk Driver on the Road

No one wants to be out on the road with a drunk driver. They are a hazard that can cause accidents, injuries, or even death. Their judgement will be impaired, making them very dangerous. When you are driving, you will want to know what to be on the lookout for so that you can avoid an intoxicated driver.

How-to: Spot a Drunk Driver on the Road: Safe Driving

Not Staying in Their Lane

It is common for a drunk driver to not be able to stay in his or her lane. Watch out for anyone who seems to be swerving or zig-zagging in and out of their lane. Another sign of someone who is driving while intoxicated is drifting. This is when someone is moving in a straight-line at a slight angle to the roadway. Additionally, it is possible for someone who is drinking and driving to be in the center or on the wrong side of the road. This could lead to a deadly, head-on collision.

Delayed Reactions

An impaired driver will have delayed reactions and erratic movements. This is because alcohol impairs your judgement and reaction time. Slowly reacting to traffic signals. A drunk driver may be slow to react to traffic signals. The car may signal lane changes that are not consistent with the driver’s actions. Also, they may also turn very suddenly, abruptly or way too wide. Another sign would be speeding up or slowing down too quickly or slowly for the conditions. These reactions are going to be things that police officers will look out for as well.

Night Driving

Keep in mind that is may be difficult to even see a drunk driver coming at night. This is because they may not remember to turn on their lights. This can pose an even greater threat to the possibility that they could also be driving on the wrong side of the road. You have to make sure that you area alert and prepared with defensive driving techniques so that you can react as quickly and safely as possible.

How-to React

Do not try and chase down a drunk driver. You never know how the driver could react, so certainly do not attempt to detain them if you do catch up to them. Put distance between your car and their car, because you do not know how they will react. Do a check to make you that all of your passengers buckle up, in case you do get in an accident.

One of the best steps you can take is to call the 911 and report the driver. Give them as much information as you can about the car and driver. This may include the location of the car, or the vehicle’s color, make and model. Try and make note of the license plate as well, so that it helps the police or medics be able to easier find the driver. Keep in mind that a person who looks like they are driving impaired could actually be having a medical emergency. Therefore, getting them help right away could be crucial to saving their life, and preventing an accident.