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Highway Driving: First-Time Prep

For new drivers, highway driving can be the cause of a lot of anxiety. The faster speeds and increased traffic can make them worry about if they’ll be able to manage. However, keeping a few important things in mind can help them ease into it and get more comfortable…

Highway Driving: Pull It Off Safely

Pick a good time

Timing is very important for a person’s first highway driving experience. For instance, you won’t want to practice your driving early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This is when there’s a lot of heavy traffic as people are rushing to and from work. You’ll also want to make sure the weather is good before doing any driving.

In general, it’s good to try and practice say in the mid-afternoon, when not too many people will be driving. Ideally, this will also be on a bright and clear day without any risks of rain, snow, or fog. That way, you can clearly see and won’t feel as much pressure.

Stick to the right lane

Your lane choice is also important for when you start doing highway driving. The right lane is intended to be the general travel lane. This is where most drivers should be while on the highway. The left lane is the passing lane, allowing for other drivers to pass ahead if say there’s an accident, or if someone is going well below the speed limit.

For a new driver, it’s best they stay in the right lane. That way, they can stick to the speed limit without worrying about those behind them getting frustrated. Should they ever need to use the left lane, it should only be to pass someone. After that, they’ll want to get back into the right lane.

Keep calm and focused

The biggest thing about highway driving is staying calm and focused on the road. It’s important not to take things personally when driving out there. For example, if someone cuts them you off, don’t get upset. Instead, let it go. It could be the case that they genuinely did it by mistake!

Also, avoid unnecessary distractions while you drive. This especially includes your cell phone. Things can change very quickly on the highway, so you always need to give it your full attention.

Driving Safety: RV and Motorhomes

With airports and cruise lines being closed around the world due to Covid-19, many people are turning to domestic road trips this year. Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and Motorhomes are quickly growing in popularity due to safety concerns and regulations associated with public transportation, hotels and restaurants. RV driving safety is very important to familiarize yourself with. These vehicles are much larger than what many people are used to driving.

Driving Safety: RV Driving Tips

Get Familiar with Your RV for Your Safety

Just as you practiced when you first started driving a car, it’s important to practice driving safety in an RV. You should definitely do this before taking it on a long road trip. Find a wide open parking lot, and practice driving, turning, backing up and parking. For inexperienced drivers, it may be necessary to have someone stand outside of the RV and help direct you while navigating into a parking spot. In the meanwhile, get familiar with its size and weight. Since an RV is heavier than a car, they will be harder and slower to stop when breaking. The turning radius will be bigger as well, so practice getting comfortable with wider turns.

Also, make note of your RV’s height. This will be important when deciding if there is enough clearance to pass under an overpass or overhang. Oftentimes, bank and fast-food drive-thrus are not tall enough for an RV to pass under. A quick tip is to write down the height of the RV and tape it somewhere it will be easily visible while driving. 

Practice Safe Driving Habits in an RV

Since RVs are taller and have a different weight distribution than a car, be you may have to adjust your driving habits. Taking sharp turns too quickly could cause an RV to flip over or lose control. This could also cause pull behind camper vans could fishtail, which could lead to an accident. An important driving safety tip is to be mindful of speed limits and weather conditions. Keep in mind that oftentimes RVs may need to drive slower than other cars on the road. 

Gas Station Safety in an RV 

Driving safety is important to remember at gas stations. This can be a tricky pit stop for inexperienced RV drivers. First, gas stations often have tight turns and small spaces. In addition, canopy height may be too low for your RV to fit under. Plan gas stops carefully, keeping in mind that truck stops may be more RV friendly than traditional gas stations. 

With more people hitting the road in RVs this year, it’s important to make sure to be comfortable with RV safety before heading on a trip. By taking time to practice, following road rules and adjusting to road conditions, and knowing where your RV can and can’t fit, you’ll set yourself up for a safer and more enjoyable vacation.

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.

Motorcycle Rain Gear

After you ride long enough, you’ll have to deal with riding in the rain. Being prepared with the right motorcycle rain gear can help make these rides more tolerable. However, it’s important to know all your options so you can make the best choice for you and stay safe in unforeseen road conditions..

Motorcycle Rain Gear: Keeping Dry

Material construction

Not all motorcycle rain gear is created the same. In fact, there are several different options and materials to choose from. For example, PVC is very common for waterproof jackets and pants. However, these days, more breathable waterproof options like Gore-Tex are becoming popular as well. 

How breathable your gear is is also important. PVC gear is the cheapest option, but it also builds up heat and moisture. This could leave you just as wet after your ride if the heat isn’t vented out properly. This is why Gore-Tex materials are becoming more popular, but they do cost a bit more.

Visibility

Visibility is also important to consider when picking out motorcycle rain gear. Rainy weather lowers visibility on the road, making it harder for other drivers to see you. Combine this with the tendency for drivers to focus less on what’s around them, and you can be at serious risk.

It’s always good to make sure your gear has reflective patches or stripes. These should be on places which will be visible to other drivers too, like your back or arms. Many rain gear manufactures also offer high-intensity color options which can help with your visibility.

Boots and gloves

It’s important to not forget about your hands and feet as well. Rainy weather could loosen your grip on your bike and cause your hands or feet to slip. That’s why you should make sure to get some good boots and gloves for rainy riding.

Recently, many rain gear manufacturers have started making their own boots and gloves. Gore-Tex, for example, has begun making gloves and boots for motorcycle riders. Still, any good kind of waterproof material will work. These boots and gloves often will come with additionally straps or lacing to help increase their waterproof seals.

Just like when riding in the cold, it’s important to have the right kind of gear for riding in the rain. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for you to choose from. You can find the right combination of style and protection that will best suit your needs are a rider.

Spring Driving: Seasonal Hazards

With springtime in full swing and the winter weather long gone, you might think driving will be a bit easier. However, spring driving comes with it’s own hazards that you’ll want to watch for. Being mindful of these risks will help keep you safe and enjoy the spring weather while on the road…

Spring Driving: What To Watch For

Rain & floods

If winter is a time for snow, then spring is a time for rain. Springtime rain will make the roads wet and slippery, making your spring driving much more dangerous. Rain itself accounts for almost 50% of weather-related accidents. This rain could even cause flooding, which could completely block off roads and water-log your car. That’s why it’s important to know how to handle this kind of weather. You’ll want to watch your speed and give plenty of following distance when driving in the rain. This will allow you to slow down and stop safely as well, preventing potential hydroplaning. If the rain really bad, it’s probably best to just stay off the roads until it passes.

Road wear & tear

Winter weather can cause some serious damage to roads. Ice can cause cracks and holes to form in the asphalt, which remain well after the ice is gone. Snowplows, salt, and sand can also tear up the roads, causing potholes and other problems. As a result, your spring driving could be taking place on some pretty worn-out roads. Due to these less-than-ideal roads, you’ll want to pay extra attention to the roads ahead. Try to be on the look for any potholes or cracks which could cause problems for you. If you can, try to avoid these hazards. When you can’t, slow down and drive over them slowly to avoid serious damage to your tires and suspension.

Increased activity

​Spring also brings about some increased activity on the roads. Bikers, cyclists, and even animals will be much more common on the roads now. That’s why you’re going to want to be extra attentive when doing your spring driving. Make sure to share the roads properly, and avoid any distractions which could lead to accidents.

Cyclist Safety: Protecting Bicyclists

Despite a recent decrease, biking still remains quite popular in America. Because of this, it’s important for drivers to know how to handle cyclist safety. Knowing how to properly share the road can make things safer for both you and the cyclists….

Cyclist Safety: How To Share The Road

Keep your eyes open

Bike riders can sometimes be hard to spot on the road. This is especially true if you’re trying to check for them in your mirrors. Due to the fact that they aren’t as big as cars, they can slip into your blind spots pretty easily. This is why a large part of cyclist safety is keeping an eye out for them.

Make sure to fully check behind and beside you when you’re turning or switching lanes. Also, pay extra attention at intersections or when parallel parking on the street. Double check that a cyclist isn’t coming when you open your car door too!

Reduce your speed

Of course, cyclists can’t go as fast as cars. This means that being stuck behind a bike rider is often a point of frustration for drivers. However, it’s important for proper cyclist safety that you slow down when approaching one on the road.

Slowing down when getting near a cyclist does two things. One, it lets the biker know they don’t have to worry about you potentially hitting them. The other thing it does is alert drivers behind you that there’s something they need to be aware about. This prevents them from trying to speed up or go around and potentially cause an accident.

Pass when appropriate

It’s important to think of cyclists as you would other drivers. That means you should only try to pass them when it’s safe to do so. Trying to quickly pass them can just cause huge risks for them, you, and other drivers. Make sure there is plenty of space between you and the cyclist before attempting to pass. If you’re on a two-lane road, make sure there aren’t any other cars coming down the opposite way as well. Additionally, pass cyclists slowly to avoid causing them to lose balance and to avoid accidentally clipping them. Cyclist safety should be a priority on the roadway for