fbpx

Car Batteries: Replacing & Routine Maintenance

Your car battery is an important part for keeping things running properly. However, when it comes to replacing car batteries, many drivers don’t know when the time is right. Knowing the signs and factors of failing batteries can help you replace them before die for good. After all, routine maintenance is what makes a car go a long way…

Replacing Car Batteries: When is it Time?​

Signs of a dying battery

Knowing what a dying battery looks like is an important part of replacing car batteries. There are a few signs that you can check for even without going under the hood. For example, if your car is cranking slower or your check battery light is on, that can indicate that your battery is in need of change.

There are also some more obvious signs of a dying battery as well. A bloated battery case is a sign of an internal issue with the battery. Having battery leaks or residue buildup on the battery are also signs of your battery needing to be changed.

Climate implications

The climate can also have an impact on replacing car batteries. High temperatures can evaporate the water in your battery’s acid, hurting its performance and lifespan. It also can lead to increased corrosion both inside and outside the battery.

However, cold temperatures can be just as harsh on car batteries. Cold weather means your battery has to work harder to keep things running. It also can make your engine oil thicker, adding even more strain on your battery. 

Know your driving habits

How you drive certainly plays a large part in your battery’s life. Constantly taking short trips prevents your battery from having time to recharge. This can lead to an overall decrease in battery life and performance.

Even not driving can lead you to needing to change your battery. Your car batteries will continue to drain even when not in use. If your car hasn’t been used in a while, you might need to check if your battery still has some juice in it.

Driving with a dying battery can be quite risky. You run the risk of being left stranded if it dies while you’re driving. Knowing when and why you might need a battery change is helpful for avoiding this potential outcome.

Distracted Driving Types: Staying Alert

In the United States, distracted driving is the cause of over 1,000 accidents every day. In fact, many drivers aren’t aware of the different ways that they can get distracted on the road. Knowing the different ways a driver can be distracted can help one make sure they take the proper steps to fully focus when driving….

Distracted Driving: Cognitive, Visual, and Manual

The three types

Distracted driving comes in three different forms: cognitive, visual, and manual. Cognitive is when a driver’s mind isn’t focused on driving. Visual is when the driver is look at things other than the road. Finally, manual is when the driver has one or both hands off the steering wheel. Even the simplest things can cause one or a combination of these distractions. Talking to a friend, checking a GPS or reaching for something can all cause these distractions. Additionally, texting and driving is so dangerous because it combines all three at once.

Understand the risks

Each form of distracted driving comes with risks. Mental distraction increases the chance of making mistakes and accidents. Visual distractions can prevent you from seeing changes on the road. Manual distractions can cause you to not react to these changes in time. All of these increase the risk for both you and other drivers. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t understand these risks. However, taking your eyes and mind off the road for just a few seconds is all it takes for something to go wrong.

Staying safe

The largest factor for staying safe from distractions is avoiding them in the first place. Turn off your phone and other devices so they can’t potentially distract you. Keep your focus on the road and not on your passengers as well. If something needs your attention, then pull over first. Additionally, there have been many attempts to crack down on distracted driving. 46 states have banned texting and driving, along with heavy penalties for those that do. Many companies have run ads and created programs to encourage drivers to pay attention to the road. Also, insurance companies have begun offering special rewards and rates for drivers who aren’t distracted.

Distracted driving is something all drivers can prevent. Knowing that the road takes priority is important for staying safe on the road. Your phone, food, and other things can wait until your ride is over.

Driver’s License Points

At some time in your driving career, you might have faced a traffic stop or heard people talk about driver’s license points. Some may say they want to avoid them, others might talk about how they need to reduce them. Whatever the case may be, people generally want to avoid points on their license.

Driver’s License Points: What They Mean

What do the points represent?

The amount of driver’s license points you receive depends on the charge. Different charges result in different points. The points add up, and depending on the situation, you can lose your license.

  • Two Points — In order to receive two driver’s license points, your violation could be going ten miles per hour or less over the legal speed limit. Other basic violations of traffic laws could have a two point penalty.
  • Three — Careless driving, improper passing, and going eleven to fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit could result in three driver’s license points. Failure to stop for a school bus or at a railroad crossing are also charges that could result in three points.
  • Four — As the points increase, so do the violations. Drag racing and impaired driving will result in four points. If you are going over sixteen miles per hour over the speed limit you can get four points, too!
  • Six — Arguably the most serious of the infractions, six driver’s license points is a result of reckless driving, failure to stop at an accident, and fleeing a police officer. In addition, manslaughter or negligent homicide involving the use of a vehicle will result in six points.

Where are the points valid?

The points are valid in any state that uses a point system. Insurance companies are also notified of your driver’s license points. They can raise your rates as a result of your points.

Can I remove the points?

In South Carolina, you can reduce your number of driver’s license points by attending a defensive driving course. There are certain requirements for this course. You must take it in South Carolina, in person, and there must be eight hours of classroom training. In addition, it must be taken after the violation date. Additionally, you can only make a reduction once in a three-year period. Also remember that if you are in fear of a license suspension, take the course as soon as possible. Once the suspension begins, you cannot cancel the suspension.

Driving Improvement: Avoiding Accident

There’s always room for growth. Driving improvement can happen every day. If we put effort into doing something, we can make it happen. Driving safe not only benefits you, but also your fellow drivers and pedestrians. Here, we will discuss some ways you can improve your driving.

Driving Improvement: What You Can Do

Adjust Your Mirrors

Every once in a while, it’s good to check and readjust your mirrors. Your sideview mirrors can get out of whack from car washes and other impacts. Your rearview mirror can be easily adjusted. This will increase your driving improvement immediately!

Hand Positions

The old positions were at 10 and 2 on the wheel, but now more experts are saying to put your hands at 9 and 3. This gives you a better, more relaxed feeling behind the wheel which will help your driving improvement. In addition to being more relaxed, you will also have more control of the wheel. Which, ultimately, means more control of the vehicle as a whole.

Stay Alert

Your driving improvement can begin when you understand that sometimes you just don’t need to drive. If you are sleepy or emotional, it can impair your ability to drive safely. If you are feeling at all distracted or tired, keeping off the road is your best bet. You can take a nap or ask someone else to drive. Whatever it is can wait until you feel at your best again!

Take a Class

A refresher driving class, a defensive driving class, or anywhere else you can relearn the rules of the road might help. If you are feeling you need driving improvement, taking a class is an inexpensive idea to really help your everyday life.

Don’t Speed

It’s the most basic thing you can control in your car. You control how much you are pushing your gas pedal. Your driving improvement can start with just relaxing on the gas. Speeding doesn’t get you anywhere much faster than you would by obeying the speed limit. It also just puts you and other drivers in danger. Speed limits are set to take into account road conditions and traffic patterns.

Common Traffic Infractions

Most everyone drives. It’s common for everyone to have a vehicle that they utilize daily. If you drive 360 days out of the year, there’s a chance you could receive a traffic citation at some point in your life. Even the most common traffic infractions can result in costly tickets, spiked insurance rates, or potentially driver’s license suspension. So… in what scenarios should I be a little extra careful?

Common Traffic Infractions: Ticket Types 

Speeding

The most common, speeding is an easy way to find yourself pulled over. The officer can pull you over for going one mile over the speed limit. A staple in the line up of common traffic infractions, speeding is usually easy to detect. To avoid this, be aware of the posted speed limit at all times.

Reckless Driving

If you are racing or failing to pull over, you could end up with a reckless driving ticket. Because it is prohibited in most states, reckless driving is the more severe citation of the common traffic infractions. You can avoid reckless driving by driving courteously and respecting posted traffic devices.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is amongst the most dangerous common traffic infractions. Talking or texting on a cell phone is prohibited in most states. Distracted driving can include other devices, not paying attention to the road, and other minor actions that can cause accidents. These citations are for the safety of you and the other drivers.

Running a Red Light

If you fail to stop at a red light or a stop sign, you are putting yourself and others in danger. Common traffic infractions are meant to ensure the safety of all on the road. Also, an officer can consider “rolling through” a stop sign or red light as running a red light. Slowing down is not a stop. You could still receive a citation for this.

Leaving the Scene

The thought of common traffic infractions usually does not include accidents. But leaving the scene after an accident could leave you in large trouble. If there was an injury in the accident, there is a responsibility of the driver to stay. Leaving the scene will be an additional citation and any reductions of charges may not happen in these cases.

Carpooling Benefits: Traveling Green

These days, carpooling has become something that many workers do on their commutes. In fact, you might know someone who carpools themselves. But what are the benefits attached to this? As it turns out, there are a good amount of reasons for why people choose to carpool…

Carpooling: What Are the Benefits?

Safer roads

One of the nice effects of carpooling is that it makes the roads safer. The more people who are in a carpool, the less number of cars there are on the road. Of course, when there’s less drivers on the road, they become safer as the risk of accidents is reduced.

Not only are the roads safer, but carpools also help reduce traffic congestion. Overall, not only do they reduce the risk of accidents and stress levels of other drivers, they also help speed up you commute as well. Plus, they also help keep your insurance rates down as you lessen the chance of your car ending up in an accident. 

Save money on gas

Another benefit to carpooling is how it helps you save money. Paying for gas for your commute can get pretty pricey, especially if your workplace is far from your house. However, if you carpool, your gas costs will go down quite considerably.

Most carpools will have everyone chip in a bit to cover the gas costs for the person whose car they’re using. Still, this will tend to end up being a lot less than you would pay on your own. Therefore, carpools are a great way to save a bit of extra money every week.

Better for the environment

Another great benefit of carpooling is how it helps the environment. An unfortunate side-effect of driving is the carbon dioxide it creates through the exhaust. In fact, a typical car emits about 4.6 tons of it a year! With how important cars are in our society, that all adds up quite quickly. 

However, when you carpool, those emissions go down considerably. A carpool can get multiple people to a place while only giving off the emissions of a single car. That’s why carpools are great if you’re trying to cut down on your carbon footprint.