Tips for Driving in the Rain This Spring

If there’s one thing that April is known for, it’s showers. Not the kind that you take after a long day of work, mind you—the kind that make driving around Memphis a real pain. Rain is one of the more dangerous elements to deal with on the road, so before you are faced with setting out in a rainstorm this spring, consider these three tips for driving in the rain.

tips for driving in the rain - Gossett Kia - Memphis, TN

Change Your Wipers

If your windshield wipers are leaving streaks, making squeaky noises, or failing to give you good visibility, then it’s time to change them for optimum visibility in the rain. You should be changing your windshield wipers about every six months as it is, so make April the standard for getting a new set of blades.

 

Understand Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is when there is too much water on a surface for a vehicle’s tires to make adequate contact with the road. This can cause the vehicle to slip, giving the driver less control over the vehicle. Hydroplaning is extremely common, and it can be very dangerous if you don’t know how to adapt. The best way to respond is to let off the acceleration slowly and continue to steer straight until you feel that you’ve regained control of the vehicle. As a general rule, slow and steady should always be your approach when the rain’s a-fallin’.

 

Use Your Headlights

Visibility is typically very low in heavy rain showers, so it’s important to have your headlights on both to improve your ability to see and to help other drivers see you on the road. Think of it this way: if your windshield wipers are on, your headlights should be on too.

 

These are just some of the tips to consider the next time you head out for a drive in the rain. If you need a new pair of wipers, a fresh set of tires, or a nice post-rainfall detailing, be sure to stop in to Gossett Kia.

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.

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.