Monday, December 30, 2013

US Speeding Survey

Did you know that 16% of the United States thinks that speeding is okay for skilled drivers? A recent study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found this and many other interesting stats about speeding in the US. Kicking Tires has highlighted the study in this article: 

Is it possible to believe that "slow and steady wins the race" while also feeling the need for speed? Evidently it is, according to a survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing motorists' paradoxical positions on speeding. 
The just-released "National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior" provides estimates regarding how drivers feel about speeding versus their actions. Most (91 percent) agreed with the statement that "everyone should obey the speed limits because it's the law," while nearly half said it is very important that something be done to reduce speeding on U.S. roadways. About 4 out of 5 said driving at or near the speed limit makes it easier to avoid dangerous situations and reduces the chances of a crash. 
"However, despite acknowledging the safety benefits of speed limits and reasons drivers should follow them, more than a quarter of those surveyed admitted 'speeding is something I do without thinking,' and 'I enjoy the feeling of driving fast,' " NHTSA reported in a statement. "Further, 16 percent felt that 'driving over the speed limit is not dangerous for skilled drivers.' " 
Younger male drivers are the most likely to speed, according to the study. Male drivers admitted to speeding more than female drivers, while those with the least experience (ages 16-20) copped to speeding more frequently than any other age group — with 11 percent reporting having been in at least one speeding-related crash during the past five years compared to 4 percent for the overall population. 
NHTSA notes that speeding deaths nationwide account for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities each year, taking nearly 10,000 lives.

Click the link to read more at Kicking Tires:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Safe Driving Tips for the New Year

Many people will be traveling by car to see friends and family this holiday season. Not only is this time of year a particularly busy one on the roads, but the possibility of inclement winter weather also gives you reason to be extra cautious. Use these tips from AOL Autos  to be sure that you are safe on the road this holiday season.

Buckle Up Besides being the law in almost every state, using your safety belt reduces your risk of serious injury or death in an accident. That goes for rear seat occupants just as much as for front seat occupants. Airbags do a lot of good, but they are supplemental restraints. They are no substitute for a properly fastened seat belt. Buckle up, and if you're driving, make sure your passengers are strapped in before heading out. 
Keep Your Cool
Congested roads and tight schedules can lead to frustration for drivers. Frustration can lead to poor decisions and risky behavior behind the wheel. Road rage is a tragic possibility if you don't keep your cool. Some of the things you can do to reduce your stress while driving include giving yourself plenty of time to spare, keeping your passengers occupied to reduce distractions, expecting the unexpected from other drivers, and taking the time to learn your route ahead of time. 
Use A Designated Driver
Drinking and driving is never a good mixture. In family feast situations, even the teetotalers among us sometimes overindulge in the chardonnay. Have a plan for who is drinking and who isn't if you need to drive elsewhere after your festivities. That plan should include having the number of the local taxi cab service on hand should the designated driver forget their responsibilities and dip into the punch bowl once too often. 
Stay Alert
Although turkey generally gets the wrap for the drowsiness that typically follows a big feast, the tryptophan isn't solely to blame. In fact turkey has just as much of the sedative as other meats and cheeses. The carbohydrates and alcohol we're consuming are probably more to blame for the sleepiness most revelers experience, along with simply overindulging. A drowsy driver is a dangerous driver though, with accident rates as high as drunk drivers. So try not to overeat, don't try to do too much in one day, and pull over for a nap if you catch yourself feeling the need to nod off. 
Slow Down
The old phrase, “Speed kills” might be an oversimplification, but the truth is that increased speeds leave less time and distance to react to problems ahead. Speed is a contributing factor in many traffic fatalities simply because speeding drivers don't have as much room for error. Obey all posted speed limits and be mindful that excess traffic might mean you need to travel well below posted limits in congested areas. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can speed around delays to make up time. Chances are you'll never save enough time to risk losing your life.

Click the link to read the entire article from AOL Autos:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The History of Cars

Cars have been moving Americans for more than 100 years. How has car transportation changed since the Model T in 1908? Take a look at the history of all things cars with this infographic. Some of the history may surprise you.

Click the link to see the full screen infographic:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tips For Safely Transporting Your Christmas Tree

The holiday season is here! Families are out chopping down Christmas trees and bringing them home to decorate every branch. Before you can think about decorating the tree though, you have to get it home. This can sometimes prove to be a difficult task, especially if you don't have a transportation vehicle. Check out some of these tips from Kicking Tires for how to safely get your Christmas tree home with the vehicle that you have.

Vehicle-related road debris is estimated to cause more than 250,000 crashes a year and claim 81 to 90 lives, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. 
What's the best way to keep your tree from becoming a statistic? Rick Dungey, National Christmas Tree Association spokesman, recommends trusting the experts. "If someone at the farm or lot where you buy the tree offers advice on the best way for you to transport your tree, take it. Those folks deal with thousands of trees per year and you deal with one," he told 
To make sure your Christmas tree makes it all the way home, the National Christmas Tree Association helped us compile few tips about getting your tree home in one piece: 
•  Get your Christmas tree netted before leaving the lot to make it more manageable. If it's going on the roof, the trunk should be facing front. Doing both these things will help reduce wind damage to the foliage.
•  Make sure to select a tree that will either fit inside your cargo area or, if you have a roof rack, on top of your roof properly. Also ensure that you have enough rope or cord to wrap around the tree and secure it to the roof rack or to cargo hooks.
•  Place a tarp or blanket over the cargo area to protect the interior from loose needles. If you're going to place the tree on the roof, place a tarp, plastic sheet or blanket between the tree and the rack to protect the roof from scratches.
•  If you are transporting a tree in the back of a pickup truck, keep in mind that there could be hot spots in the bed—from the exhaust pipe, for example. This can damage the tree's foliage, so put something under it like an old blanket.
•  Before leaving the lot, give the tree a good tug to make sure it's secure.
•  Drive slowly and avoid the highway, especially if you're not used to hauling heavy objects on your roof. The extra weight affects your vehicle's center of gravity and consequently emergency handling.  
We don't recommend tying a tree on your car's roof without a roof rack. If you don't have the proper vehicle to take your tree home, find a friend with a more capable vehicle. Even better: Some Christmas tree lots deliver.  
Once home, Dungey recommends getting the tree out of the wind and sun as soon as possible. Even if you're not putting it in the stand right away, he says putting it in a bucket of water will minimize damage to the foliage. 
When all else fails, there's always an artificial tree!

Click the link to read the full article from the Kicking Tires blog:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Transporting Food to Holiday Parties

Now that it's December, friends will be having holiday parties  that you may be required to bring a dish to. Sometimes transporting your homemade dishes in your vehicle can prove to be a difficult task, especially if you're bringing a hot dish, or your food is in a container that could easily spill. The Kicking Tires blog has come up with a great list of tips for how to easily transport your delicious creations from home to your final destination for the holidays. Feel free to comment  with your own tips!

Casserole Dishes
Piping-hot casserole dishes can literally be a pain to the person holding them in their lap in the car. The heat from the dish itself can burn your spouse's lap — not to mention the damage that could occur if it spills and your hubby is left with 350-degree green-bean casserole drippings on his, well, you get the idea. Placing the casserole dish on the floor rather than on someone's lap isn't much better. Do you really want to be cleaning oyster stuffing out of your car's carpet and floormats for the next three months? 
Instead, invest in a travel casserole dish. I purchased one from Target recently for just $14. It comes with a Pyrex casserole dish, a secure rubber lid, a microwaveable gel pouch to help keep the goodies hot on the road and an insulated carrying case. You don't, however, want it to be loose on the car's floor. If you have to brake quickly to avoid another holiday road warrior, the casserole dish could become a dangerous projectile. 
Instead, try securing your travel casserole dish in your car's trunk, safely away from the passenger compartment. You can borrow a grippy drawer liner from your silverware drawer to help keep the travel casserole dish from sliding around in the trunk. It also doesn't hurt to wedge it in with other larger, less messy items. 
If you don't have a travel casserole dish and don't want to invest in one, you can use a casserole dish with a lid and secure the lid to the dish's handles with two rubber bands. This can then be secured inside a tote basket or laundry basket lined with towels. The basket can be stashed snugly on the floor behind the driver's seat or even better yet, secured in your car's cargo space using a few bungee cords and the tie-down anchor points in the cargo floor. If the dish happens to have a leak during transport, the towels will soak up any messes. If you don't have a leak, your kids can roll the towels up after dinner and use them on the drive home as pillows to sleep off that turkey-induced fog. 
Slow Cookers
By some estimates, something weighing just 20 pounds (a turkey, a slow cooker or whatever) can hit a person with 600 pounds of force if involved in a crash while the car is moving just 35 mph. Slow cookers with locking lids are the surefire option for transporting food in the car and will help keep any leaks or spills from getting on your fabric upholstery. I purchased one recently from Amazon for just over $30. Again, you want to keep slow cookers out of the passenger compartment if possible. 
Portable 12-Volt Heater/Coolers
If you're really serious about keeping your sweet potatoes at the perfect temperature while on the road, a portable 12-volt heater/cooler is the way to go. This plugs into the 12-volt outlet in your car, can be switched to heat or cool, and keeps your marshmallow-laced sweet-potato puree inside it at a consistent 140 degrees. While you're limited as to where you can secure it in the car based on where the outlet is located, you still want to secure it safely. Again, getting creative with bungee cords is a great option. 
Tinfoil is your best friend when transporting pies. If you're transporting just one pie, take an extra metal pie tin, flip it upside down and use it to tent the pie. Then seal the edges of the two pie tins together with a strip of tinfoil. Just to reiterate: You don't want a pie to hit you in the back of the head if you get in an accident, so secure it in the trunk. Use the grippy-drawer-liner technique to keep the pie from sliding around, or better yet, stash it in the laundry basket next to your casserole. 
To transport two pies, place them side by side on a baking sheet, wrap tinfoil around the pies and baking sheet, and then secure the tinfoil around the baking sheet's edges. Store the baking sheet in your trunk with a grippy drawer liner under it to keep it from sliding around.
All Those Yummy Leftovers 
If you're going to take some goodies back home, be prepared and arrive with your own plastic storage containers and zip-close plastic bags rather than having your granny dig some up for you and the rest of your finicky family. Pack a load of disposable plastic containers in a reusable fabric bag. You can pack the containers full and have a convenient tote at the ready to carry them to the car. 
Use the bungee-secured laundry basket you used earlier to transport your pie and casserole dish to dinner to then get your leftovers home.

Click the link to read the full article from Kicking Tires: