5 New Year’s Resolutions for a Safer Year

2016 Kia Optima - Memphis, TN

Become a safer driver is possible with these easy-to-follow tips!

Now that 2017 is here, it’s not too late to make a resolution. If you’re at a loss as to what you want to do this year, here are five resolutions for a safer year that will help make you a better driver.

  1. Enforce a seatbelt rule. Have everyone in your car buckle up, no matter their age. Don’t start driving until all passengers are secure. You can even extend this rule to the family pets.
  2. Put away your distractions. Everyone knows that texting while driving is dangerous, but so is talking on the phone, even while using a hands-free device. Put your phone away and commit to stopping other distracting activities, such as eating or putting on makeup, behind the wheel.
  3. Slow down. Speeding can be dangerous and it’s also detrimental to your fuel efficiency, too. Commit to driving the speed limit this year.
  4. Stay up-to-date with vehicle maintenance. By getting your oil changed regularly and getting your other routine maintenance done on time, your car will run better than ever and you can potentially prevent a more serious breakdown.
  5. Watch for pedestrians. Be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially when driving through neighborhoods and busy city streets.

If you can master these five resolutions, you will be well on your way to being one of the safest drivers on the road.

Do you have any additional tips? Let Gossett Kia of North Covington Pike know!

How to Choose the Best Vehicle for a Teen Driver

Do you have a child who is approaching driving age? If so, you might be asking yourself, “What’s the best vehicle for a teen driver?” We have the answer…

No High Performance

A performance vehicle with lots of quickness–and we are talking more than 300 horsepower–is probably not a good idea for a teen driver. Performance vehicles normally have touchier throttles and this can be unwieldy for a teen. On the other hand, an old beater that can’t get out of its own way can actually be a safety liability. Find a happy medium when it comes to performance!

Tech-Savvy

Though it may seem like a tech-savvy vehicle would prove to be more distracting, this may not be the case. Hands-free calling and voice commands for entertainment help teens keep their hands on the wheel.

Safety

Of course, the most important feature when it comes to deciding the best vehicle for a teen driver is safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is one of the organizations responsible for testing the overall and crashworthiness of vehicles. Based their ratings, they’ve created a list of vehicles that have passed with a Good rating here. It’s the best place to begin your search!

2016 Kia Optima

2016 Kia Optima – In IIHS’ List of Best Vehicles for Teens

Sharing the Road with Motorcycles: Tips for Safety

motorcycleNow that spring is in the air and warmer weather is on the way, motorcycles are bound to be on the road more than ever. That makes it important to understand the dangers of sharing the road with motorcycles, for both drivers and bikers.

According to eSurance, motorcycles generally conform to the same traffic safety laws as car. That means in most states, lane sharing, speeding, etc. are still illegal for bikers. They do, however, lack safety devices like seat belts and air bags, putting them more at risk. Always understand how vulnerable a motorcyclist is when you are sharing the road with them.

One general rule of thumb is to follow the “four second rule.” Because motorcycles are smaller than automobiles, car drivers tend to follow them more closely than they intend. By giving yourself extra distance you can ensure that everyone is still just as safe.

Look twice!  Our brains are often hardwired to overlook motorcycles on the road precisely because they are not cars. Always look twice when turning to prevent unintended collisions and dangerous situations.

Finally, remember it’s not a competition. One of the best tips for drivers is to be nice on the road. Most people behave irrationally when behind the wheel, a symptom of too much time behind the wheel. Relax and remember to be patient.

Daily Driving: Tips for Improving Your Commute

commuteDoes daily drive to and from work have you feeling down? If you changed your perspective and saw it as an opportunity instead of wasted time, you could even start to look forward to it. Sound crazy? Check out these tips for improving your commute.

# 1 – Are you a music aficionado? Use your time in the car to discover new music! Pandora is great for exposing you to music you might like.

# 2 – Collect your thoughts! Instead of letting traffic stir you up and stress you out, use your time in the car to think through a current problem or brainstorm for work. Make voice memos on your phone as you come up with ideas.

# 3 – Audio books can revolutionize your commute. It’s especially useful to choose non-fiction books. If you feel like the time you spend on your commute is wasted, why not turn it into an educational experience?

# 4 – Make it the ultimate “me-time.” Turn your phone off, roll the windows down, and just enjoy the fact that for the next minutes, all you have to do is drive.

DIY Maintenance: How to Rotate Tires on a Car

tire rotationTire rotation is one of those things that are easy to do at home if you have the right tools—in this case, a jack and a socket wrench. Plus, it makes your tires last a lot longer. You could take your car to a mechanic to do it, but why drop the cash if you don’t have to? Follow these tips on how to rotate tires and you’ll have the task done in no time.

When you rotate your tires, you first have to determine whether you have directional or non-directional tires. Directional tires have a tread pattern that has to go a certain direction, while non-directional tires can go either way. If the tires are directional, they’ll be marked with an arrow on the sidewall.

If you have directional tires, just switch them front to back; front right switches with back right, while front left switches with back left. With non-directional, you can cross them over—put the front left on the back right and the front right on the back left (and vice versa).

From here, you just need to know how to change a tire, and make sure you keep careful track of which tire is which!

Stop Warming Up Your Car This Winter and Just Drive

cleaning car windowsDo you like your car to be nice and toasty before you leave for the day? Do you hold the belief that your car needs some time to “warm up” if it’s less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit outside?

If so, you’re probably one of the many drivers guilty of idling their car in the winter to warm it up, which is widely considered a necessity for it to run properly.

But in truth, this practice is entirely unnecessary, harmful to your vehicle, and actually not even the fastest way to warm up your vehicle’s interior.

Unless your car was made more than 20 years ago, it barely needs any time for the engine and oil to be ready to go–about 30 seconds, in fact. Idling for longer than that can be damaging to both the engine and catalytic converter.

And if you’re thinking that you’d still selfishly like to warm up your car just to have a cozy interior–know that the inside actually heats up faster once you just start driving and are inside it.

For more winter weather tips, visit us anytime at Gossett Kia.

Thanksgiving Travel Time: Tips for Traveling with Food

ThanksgivingThanksgiving is right around the corner, which means many families will be traveling long distances to celebrate with family and friends. That also means that you’ll have to think of ways to keep your food at just the right temperature and freshness. We’ve put together a list of tips for traveling with food to make your life easier.

According to USA Today, you should transfer any hot meals to glass containers because they retain heat better. Consider wrapping bread, meatloaf, or sliced chicken in foil, as opposed to glass containers. For cold foods, plastic or glass will do just fine.

Use paper towels as insulation. Line the outside of food containers with paper towels to add a layer of insulation. They can also be used for easy cleanup, should any of the food spill during your commute.

Consider purchasing an insulated storage bag, hard cooler, or vacuum food flask. An insulated bag (similar to what the pizza delivery driver uses) is great for glass containers. Hard coolers are good for cold things, especially if you fill it with ice. Finally, the flask is great for liquids like hot soup.

If you have to travel further, you might consider a portable warmer/cooler. These devices are expensive compared to the other options, but they work the best. By plugging the device into the cigarette lighter, you can flip a switch to keep you food at the perfect temperature.

Road Trip Tips for Travelling with Pets

If you’re preparing to hit the open road with your beloved pet, there are certain steps you should take to ensure your pet’s comfort, safety, and overall well-being. Following these tips for travelling with pets will reduce your stress and ensure you and your furry friend have an enjoyable ride.

travelling with pets

Have a pre-trip vehicle inspection. Being stranded on the side of the highway with your pet in the car sounds like one of the least-ideal situations ever. While humans are widely accepted as passengers in taxis, a friend’s car, or a tow truck, you’re going to have to do some serious bribing to get Fido on board. Make sure your dealership checks the air conditioning too, as it will be important to keep your car at a comfortable temperature both for your sanity and your pet’s health.

Secure your pet. All pets should ride in the backseat, and should be properly secured. Cats should travel inside their carriers, and dogs should be restrained by a harness designed for car use, or a secured crate. Never transport a pet in the bed of a pickup.

Pack well. Make sure you bring everything your pet will need for the duration of your trip. Make sure water and food (along with bowls) are easily accessible along with their leash. Throw a towel in the car in case they get wet or dirty at a rest stop. Also consider bringing favorite toys and any medicine they will need.

Stop often. Just like you, your pet will need to stretch his legs and use the bathroom – but you should make it a point to stop more frequently than you otherwise would. Offer water at every stop, and food when you think they need it. Be sure to walk them around the rest area for several minutes.

For more information, visit humainesociety.org.

Here at Gosset Kia, we hope you and your pet have a safe and enjoyable road trip. Be sure to make an appointment for that pre-trip vehicle inspection before you go!