We all try and take steps to be a good friend to the people we love. Whether that means being there when our friends need us, answering calls, or delivering food when sick. Everyone’s love language is a little bit different. But, there will come a time in every friendship where we will have a choice to make: who is going to be the DD this evening? We’re all going out, we all want to have fun, but someone has to get us home safe. Your friend Sara did it last time, so it’s your turn. Being a designated driver is difficult for a number of reasons, but there are a lot of unsung benefits to taking this route, versus taking an Uber or risking the drive home…
Designated Driver: The Benefits
1: You save money
Going out for a night of drinking with friends can be a ton of fun. You drink, you dance, laugh, and have a great time with friends. While nights like these are always fun, they can also be quite expensive. Between buying drinks, ordering Ubers, and the inevitable drunken snack— the cost adds up quickly. While you likely have fun money set aside in your budget, you don’t want to spend it all in one place. This is where being the designated driver can really be useful to your finances.
2. Avoid Hangover
One of the worst things about drinking, is your body taking revenge the day after. You wake up with a headache, stomach ache, and not wanting to drink ever again. However, when you decide to be the designated driver, you aren’t drinking. And I shouldn’t have to tell you how not drinking can prevent even the nastiest of hangovers…
3. Keep friends safe
One of the best things about being the designated driver, is you know for a fact that your friends are going to make it home safe. Because, well, you’re the one ensuring their safety. While you don’t want to be the responsible one on your weekend, there are some pretty inevitable upsides. Not to mention, your friends will be eternally grateful.
4. You won’t have to do it next time
Lastly, and most importantly, by taking on the DD responsibilities, you know that you won’t be the one stuck with the duty next time around. Plus, if you have a large group of friends, you might not have to do it for quite a while.
Being a designated driver can seem like all downsides, but when you think about it— there are a lot of good things about taking your turn behind the wheel on a Friday night.
We’ve all heard about some wacky laws. For example, you can only have silly string in a private home in a part of Connecticut, not in public. Little known traffic laws in South Carolina are a little less silly, but still sometimes come as a surprise to some. If you’re a South Carolinian or going to be visiting the state soon, make sure you know about these laws to prepare yourself!
Little Known Traffic Laws: South Carolina
This is one of the extremely helpful little known traffic laws for those crossing the South Carolina border. In the state, it is illegal to have bumper stickers on your car that display “obscene or indecent” words or pictures. If written a citation for this, the fine could be up to $200. Don’t worry, though. This citation is rare.
You must pull over to the far lane for emergency vehicles. While this is probably the more popular of the little known traffic laws we are discussing, it’s very important. If you cannot pull over, you must slow down. The fine for failing to do so can cost anywhere between $300 and $500.
Motorcycles and Red Lights
If you ride a motorcycle and have found yourself waiting at a red light too long, you’ll be happy to hear about little known traffic laws that let you break the law, kind of. If you are waiting at a red light and it has failed to turn green after 120 seconds, you may proceed with caution and proceed. Keep in mind, if your action causes an accident, you’ll be found at fault. This will come with a $100 and four points on your license.
It is illegal to drive slowly in the left lane. Specifically, this is one of the little known traffic laws that actually prohibits you from stayingin the left lane. Slower traffic must stay in the right lane to keep from traffic building up behind both lanes.
Some little known traffic laws are not actually laws. For example, you should pull over for funeral processions as a courtesy, but it’s not a law. Similarly, driving with headphones in is not illegal, but dangerous. These actions will not get you a ticket, but out of respect or safety, it is best to avoid these behaviors.
If there’s one thing every driver wants to avoid, it’s frequent stops at the gas station. These days, better fuel efficiency is becoming standard in new cars, but what about those who have some older models? As it turns out, there are a few thing you can do to help save just a bit more on gas…
Fuel Efficiency: Saving Money & Gas
Keep a constant speed
The first thing to do in order to improve fuel efficiency is to watch your speed. Sudden changes in speed can really impact your gas mileage. That means you’ll want to avoid sudden acceleration and breaking as much as you possibly can.
Instead, try to maintain a constant speed as best you can. A useful tool for this is cruise control. Not only can that help keep your speed consistent, it’ll also make your drive a bit easier too. However, make sure not to use that as an excuse to get distracted behind the wheel!
Drivers hate traffic for plenty of reasons. It slows things down, can make you late for important appointment, and also can impact your fuel efficiency. This is because of not just the constant stop-and-go nature of it, but also the effect idling has on your fuel economy. Idling not only wastes gas (about one mile for every 2 minutes idling), but also can harm your engine in the long run.
As a result, it’s a good idea to try and skip the traffic as best you can. You can make use of navigation apps like Google Maps to help with this. These apps will help you not only find the fastest route from point A to point B, but also give you real-time updates on the traffic. Again, just make sure you use them properly and safely!
Practice proper maintenance
For many people, car maintenance only comes to mind when something breaks or isn’t working right anymore. However, proactive maintenance is key for improving fuel efficiency. Being on top of your car’s needs goes a long way in helping you save on gas.
For example, properly inflated tires can save you about $.11 per gallon. A tuned-up engine can save you about $.15 per gallon, and good oil can save you up to $.08 per gallon. These might seem like small amounts at first. However, over the course of your car’s life, these can add up into thousands of dollars of savings on gas!
While we all like spending time with our pets, they can become a safety risk when in the car. Pets can become distractions when driving with them, and of course distracted driving is pretty unsafe. That’s why pet safety is important for any pet-having driver to know. This knowledge will help you keep both yourself and your pet safe when on the road…
Pet Safety: How To Drive With Them
Keep them restrained
It can feel a bit mean to restrain you pet while in the car. However, an unrestrained pet is both a risk for you, and at much more of a risk themselves. Unrestrained pets can get in the way of your driving, causing an accident. Plus, these unrestrained pets can end up either being injured by air bags, or flung from the car in an accident.
Therefore, a large part of pet safety is keeping them secure. There are some options here for how you can do this. For example, you can buy special pet seat belts which will keep them secured in the seats. You can also get a pet carrier for them. However, always make sure they ride in the back, as the front seats are too dangerous even with restraints.
Feed them beforehand
Another important part of pet safety is making sure they’re ready for the trip. Pets can get carsick just like us. Of course, it’s pretty distracting if someone gets carsick and potentially throws up out the window. Pets. however, will probably end up throwing up in your car, creating a pretty big distraction.
It helps to make sure that you feed your pet before your trip begins. Feeding them about 3 to 4 hours beforehand helps to do the trick. You’ll also want to bring extra food and water for them just in case. Make sure to let them out as well when you stop, so they can do things like go to the bathroom.
Don’t leave them in the car
You’d think that people would know not to leave their pets in locked cars. However, as seen by people who still do it, it’s an important part of pet safety that gets overlooked. Cars can heat up very quickly, especially in the summer. This can quickly become fatal if your pet is left alone for a long period of time. Therefore, if you can’t bring your pet inside with you, it’s best to leave them at home instead.
As a driver, there’s going to be a point when you’ll have to get new tires. Whether it’s because you got a flat, or because they’re too old, you’ll want to make sure you get the best ones for your car. Therefore, it’s important to know what to look for when shopping for tires…
New Tires: What To Look For
It’s important to know how your new tires will fare in your local environment. There are a few different types out there depending on the weather. For instance, if you experience a lot of snow and ice, consider getting a winter set with better grip. If you get a lot of rain, higher performance tires that can handle the wet and dry roads might be good.
However, the weather can always change. In fact, maybe you live somewhere without a constant climate. In these situations, it might be a good call to get some good all-season tires. That way, you won’t have to change them for each season.
New tires can be a great way to boost your gas mileage. Some sets can even be specially designed for this purpose. For example, some may have thinner sidewalls and shallow treads. This helps reduce weight and resistance, meaning better gas mileage for your car.
However, you don’t have to buy special tires to improve your gas mileage. Just keeping them well maintained can also give you a big boost. One of the biggest culprits is pressure and inflation. According to the Department of Energy, keeping your tires properly inflated can result in big gains in your gas mileage.
Your own personal preference is also important when getting new tires. Some people prefer to have the smoothest ride possible. In these cases, they may want smaller tires with larger sidewalls. However, others may prefer performance above all. They may enjoy the higher-performance models instead.
There’s also your own familiarity to consider. New tire sets can be pretty pricey. If your last set worked perfectly, there is no reason for you to shake things up. Simply replace the old with the new.
Truck driving in the summer can already be difficult thanks to the hotter temperatures. Throw in the extra summer traffic, and it can become nearly unbearable. Since a trucker has to drive so often, this traffic can be a major inconvenience. However, there are still some ways for you to handle and survive this kind of traffic…
Summer Traffic: How To Handle It
It’s important to schedule your drive properly in order to avoid as much summer traffic as you can. While this traffic can be inconsistent, there are some times which will be less likely to have a lot of traffic. For example, driving very early or late at night can help minimize the traffic you encounter.
The days you drive on also can be important. It’s a good idea to avoid driving on the weekends, as that’s when most people will be leaving for trips. Also, you can plan on taking breaks when traffic might be high. That way, you can avoid rush hour traffic while giving yourself time to eat or rest.
Practice defensive driving
Defensive driving is a good way to keep safe on the road. However, when dealing with summer traffic, it becomes especially effective. During the summer, you might have to deal with more carefree drivers, or lost tourists who don’t know which way they’re going. That means you’ll want to make sure you keep yourself safe and avoid any accidents.
It helps to always be looking ahead for any possible hazards while driving. Keep an eye out for any drivers who appear to be dangerous, like ones who are swerving, speeding, or aren’t paying attention. That way, you can give them plenty of distance. The more you’re able to avoid these drivers, the less stressful your trip will be.
Still, even if you’re as careful as you can be, there will be some times where you get caught in summer traffic. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for when that happens. For example, it helps to bring some extra food and water for those long traffic jams. An emergency kit is also useful in case your truck experiences problems while in traffic.
Remember to bring some things that’ll help shield you from the sun. This can mean packing some sunblock, sunglasses, and some hats as well. Sitting in traffic with the summer sun blaring down can cause you to get sunburn if you’re not careful.