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Being in an Auto Accident: What to Do

Being in an auto accident can be really scary. You can never be fully prepared for an accident, no matter the circumstance. However, if you are aware of what to do after an accident, things may feel a little less overwhelming. Learn what you should be doing after being in a car accident.

Being in an Auto Accident: Keep These Things in Mind

Check for injuries

The first thing to do after being in an auto accident is to check for injuries on yourself and your passengers. Once you have determined if you are able to move or not, try to find a safe space outside of the vehicle. However, if you think that staying in the car is safer due to the environment where the accident happened, then stay in the vehicle.

Call 911

If you are able to move to safety after being in an auto accident, do so, and also call 911. While you are waiting for emergency services to arrive, make sure to turn off your vehicle’s engine and turn on your hazard lights.

Once the police and other emergency services arrive, make sure any people injured are addressed first.Next, have the officer file a police report. They will get information from you and any other driver that was involved in the accident. Some states require that an official report be made by local law enforcement of any accidents.

Keep calm

Emotions will be high after being in an auto accident, so try to stay calm. The police will determine fault, not you or the other drivers. Keep any conversations cordial and make sure to get insurance information from all the other drivers involved.

Take Photos and Videos

After being in an auto accident, it may be a good idea to take several pictures at the site of the accident. You can use your smartphone or any other camera you may have. Make sure to take pictures of all vehicles involved from multiple angles and also pictures of the location where it happened. These pictures may prove to be very helpful when filing the accident with your insurance provider.

Log Everything

Log everything you remember happening and contact your insurance provider after being in an accident. A dash cam is incredibly helpful. If you do not have one, make sure to note down all the events leading up to the accident. Try to remember every detail you can as this may help later with claiming the accident with your insurance provider. After you have noted down all the details you can remember, call your insurance provider and report the accident.

How-to Navigate Stormy Roads: Trucking Hazards

Having to drive in the rain isn’t an easy task for most drivers out there. For truck drivers, stormy roads can be especially dangerous. As such, it’s important to know what sort of hazards to watch for, and how to best handle them…

How-to Navigate Stormy Roads: What To Avoid

Remember the wind

Understandably, most people are going to be concerned about the rain when driving on stormy roads. However, you can’t forget about the high wind which usually comes with it. This wind can be a danger in a multitude of ways, especially when you’re on a haul.

For starters, this wind will make the rain hit harder, making it especially hard to see. The wind can also start pulling on your truck, causing it to start swerving. In fact, if the wind is severe enough, then it may even cause your truck to flip if you aren’t careful! As such, you need to be mindful of how bad the wind is, and how much you can control your truck.

Watch for high water

Stormy roads also tend to experience a lot of flooding. Now, most drivers in standard cars won’t be able to handle these floods. Some may think that trucks can tackle high water easier, due to being taller and more powerful. In reality, high water is still as dangerous to truck drivers as it is to anyone else on the road.

With high water, it’s very easy for your truck to lose traction and effectively get stuck. Plus, you may not be able to tell just how high it is from your cab. Many times, high water will also hide debris on the road which could end up damaging your truck. In general, it’s best to play it safe and find an alternate route.

Keep track of the weather

The best way to handle stormy roads is by avoiding them altogether. This means you should be keeping track of what the weather conditions will be like. Be sure you check what the weather and roads will look like for the route you plan to go on. If the weather seems to be poor, then try and find a backup route just in case.

These days, you can also keep up with the weather in real time. Practically all smart phones come with weather apps which can track your location and provide you with real-time updates. That way, if the weather suddenly starts to turn, you can react properly and find either another route or a place to wait it out.

How-to Prepare for Winter Driving: Get Your Car Ready

Although it is summer now, winter weather will be here before you know it. Keeping this in mind, it is good to be thinking through what you will need to do prepare for winter driving. Depending on where you live, winter weather could look very different than in other parts of the country. Some areas will have mild winters, and others could have blizzards. Even if winter just means cooler temperatures outside for you, there are things you should do to make sure your car is road ready.

How-to Prepare for Winter Driving: Things to Check

Battery

Car batteries can really be affected by cold temperatures. To prepare for winter driving, you should definitely test your battery. To do this, you can use a voltmeter to make sure it’s in good condition. A healthy battery should have a reading of 12.4 volts or more.

In older batteries, certain substances that the battery needs to function may freeze if temperatures get too low. Also, some grades of motor oil can thicken in cold weather. Thick oil could make the battery and starter have to work harder to turn the engine over. Having a healthy battery could help prevent overcome this problem.

Tires

Next, to prepare for winter driving, you will want to check your tires. If you live in an area that gets snow or ice, consider putting winter tires on your car. These tires have a deeper, more flexible tread, and will give you better traction in slippery conditions. On the other hand, if you decide to stick with all-season tires, check your tire tread regularly. Tires should be replaced if the tread is anything less than 2/32 of an inch. If a tire is bald and worn out, it will not have good traction.

Another thing to keep in mind is to check the tire pressure. As the outside temperature drops, tire pressure usually drops as well. If tire pressure is too low, too much of the tire’s surface area will touch the ground. This could make tire wear out too quickly. Additionally, it could cause your tires to overheat. If a tire overheats, your tire tread could separate, which could be dangerous.

Windshield Wipers

Your windshield wipers are something you should check in order to prepare for winter driving. Make sure they are in condition, and replace them if needed. If they are not properly removing rain or snow from your car windshield, you could have a difficult time seeing out. Also, add wiper fluid that is rated for -30 degrees. This will help to keep your windshield wiper fluid from freezing up in cold weather.

As you can see, there are small steps that you can take to make sure that you are safe on the roads when the weather gets cold. These tips will help you prepare for driving in winter weather.

Battery Terminals

Your car battery is one of the most important parts of your car and regular maintenance. That’s why it’s important to take care of your battery terminals properly. Cleaning them right will ensure your battery lasts longer and keeps working the way it should…

Battery Terminals: Keep Them Clean

Checking the terminals

The first step of maintaining your battery terminals to give them a quick check. The terminals should be on top of the battery itself. Usually, there will be a plastic or rubber cover on top of them which helps to protect the clamps from the outside elements.

What you may see is a buildup of a white, powder-like substance. This residue builds up over time and is what causes so many battery-related issues. As an extra precaution, put on some work gloves and safety glasses to prevent that residue from contacting your skin and eyes.

Disconnect and clean

To remove this residue off your battery terminals, you’ll want to disconnect the battery itself. Loosen the negative clamp first, and then the positive one next. You might need to use a pair of pliers if there’s a lot of built-up corrosion. Avoid touching any metal while doing this, or else you risk shorting out the battery.

Once you’ve disconnected the battery, then you can clean it. Most people like to use an equal mixture of two tablespoons of baking soda and water and use a toothbrush and wire brush to scrub off the residue. You can also use a can of soda which’ll do the job just as well!

Rinse and reconnect

Now that your battery terminals are clean, it’s time to clean off any remaining cleaning paste or soda. All you need is a spray bottle of water and a clean rag. Just spray the terminals and use the rag to rinse and remove anything that’s left on the terminals.

When you’re reconnecting the battery, this time start with the positive clamp, then do the negative clamp. Be sure that the clamps are properly secured and use a wrench if needed. From there, just re-secure the covers and your battery will be good to go.

Car Smells: Sniffing Out Issues

Whether you’re in the kitchen or behind the wheel, what you smell can tell you a lot about a situation. When it comes to car smells in particular, there are a few in particular that you need to watch out for. From sweet to sickly and everything in between, our guide is here to help you be prepared in case something strange wafts up your nose when you’re behind the wheel. Furthermore, consider performing routine maintenance to combat these issues before they ever begin.

Car Smells: What to Watch For

Sweet syrup

The smell of sweet syrup might seem like one of the more pleasant car smells. However, it actually can indicate a major issue. In particular, this sort of smell could indicate a possible problem with your engine’s cooling system.

This sweet smell tends to come from ethylene glycol, which is a crucial component in your engine’s coolant. When you smell this, it may be because your radiator or a hose has sprung a leak. This is something you’ll want to get fixed as soon as you can, and thankfully, it usually isn’t too complicated. You may just need to get a new hose or heater core, and then you’ll be good to go.

Burning smells

 Other car smells to watch for are any burning ones. A constant burning rubber smell probably doesn’t have anything to do with your tires. Rather, it could be due to a shifting drive belt, which may be rubbing up against another engine component. This can be seen just by looking into the engine, just make sure you give it time to cool down first!

A burning carpet smell, on the other hand, may be coming from your brakes. Now, if you’ve been using the brakes a lot, this isn’t something to worry about. However, if it lingers, then you may have a problem with your brake pads and should inspect them to see if they need replacing.

Rancid smells

Rancid car smells are definitely not pleasant. Not only that, but they could indicate some serious issues with your car. For instance, old locker room-like scents could be due to mildew forming in your car’s air filter. Running the fan on high for a few minutes can fix the problem.

A rotten egg-like smell coming from underneath your car might be from a failed catalytic converter. It could be that all you need is to replace your fuel filter. More-serious issues may need you to go even further and have the entire converter itself replaced.

Car Breakdown Management

No one likes to think about what happens when things go wrong while on the road. However, it always helps to be prepared just in case of emergencies. That’s why it’s important to know how to handle a car breakdown. That way, you can keep yourself safe even when on the busier roads…

Car Breakdown Management: Roadside Trouble

Get off the road

The first thing you’ll want to do when handling a car breakdown is to get off the road as soon as you can. You should turn on your hazards lights to let other drivers know something is wrong. That way, they’ll know they should give you some space for you to get off the road. You’ll want to keep your hazards on until your car is either fixed or towed. 

Ideally, you’ll want to pull over on the right shoulder of the road in the event of a car breakdown. This will give you the most space away from the road. If that’s not an option, try and get into the right lane and look for a place to pull off if you can. Only go onto the left shoulder if you have no other options. If you’re in a residential area, then you can try to pull into a parking spot or lot.

Make sure you’re safe

Once you’ve pulled over, your priority should be making sure you’re safe. Make sure that the coast is clear before you get out of your car, especially when on a busy highway. It might be a safer idea to stay in your car instead, for example if the weather is poor. However, if you see any fire or smell smoke during a car breakdown, you should get out of your car quickly.

Once you’re safe, you can give your car a look over. You can try to see if there are any obvious signs of problems. Popping the hood is handy not only for checking your engine, but also as a universal signal to others of a car breakdown.

Call for help

​Once the situation is under control, it’s time to call for help. Much like with other car problems, you won’t want to handle a car breakdown by yourself. If you have a roadside assistance provider, then you’ll want to give them a call. If that’s not an option, then a local towing company or even 911 can help you with getting yourself and your car to safety.