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Tip For Parents With Teenage Drivers

teaching-to-drive

Maybe it’s been too long to remember what it’s like to get your drivers license. Yet, for parents of teenage drivers those memories come flooding back when their newbie driver starts asking for the keys. You can leave the lessons to the driving courses and instructors, but most parents know, some lessons have to come from them before their child is let loose on the road.

There is so much information to consider for parents of teenagers. Here is a list of 7, often overlooked, topics to consider talking to your young driver about.

  1. Talk about what to do if your car overheats while driving.
    Pull over immediately, if you can. If not, turn on the heater to high to help cool the car.
  1. Teach them the proper distance to avoid tailgating.
    Leave at least a car length in front of your vehicle.  If you can’t see the tires of the car in front of you, you are too close.
  1. Talk about a safety buffer.
    When the light turns green, be sure to look both ways and give a few seconds before entering the intersection. This is the best way to avoid people who run red lights.
  1. Talk to your teens about accidents.
  • What to do if you’re in an accident.
  • What to do if you see an accident.
  • Show them where the insurance paperwork is.
  1. Remind them about safe lane changing.
    Always make sure you see BOTH of the driver’s headlights in your center rear view mirror before you get in front of them – this confirms you are not cutting them off
  1. No cellphone zone.
    Consider two rules: 1: The phone is out of reach while driving. 2: If they absolutely need to use their phone, they must safely pull over.
  1. Talk to your teen about how to respond to being pulled over:
    Explain that they don’t need to panic and remind them to put on their blinker so the officer knows they are aware he/she is behind them. Explain the safe areas to pull over and let them know to stay in the car until the officer approaches. And, always be respectful!
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SafetyTrending Automotive News

Straight Talk About DUI Penalties

drink-and-drive

As we kick off the summer season, this is the prime time for enjoying parties and celebrations with friends and family. A cocktail or drink may seem harmless at the time, but alcohol can lead to tragedy when you don’t have a plan to get home safely.

Plans can include a designated driver, a taxi, Uber or when possible, spending the night over at the location of the party or celebration.

To complete your picture of how serious driving under the influence is, here is a general overview (individual cases may vary) of some of the penalties of a DUI conviction in Arizona.

The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in Arizona is .08. However, you can be arrested with a blood alcohol content of less than the legal limit.   The reason behind this is because Arizona is referred to as a ‘no tolerance state’ for DUIS, meaning you can still be arrested under .08.

There three types of DUIs.

  • Standard: .08+
  • Extreme: .15+
  • Super Extreme: .20+

Aside from the inherent disregard for the safety others and yourself, there are other penalties to consider when you drink and drive. There are a variety of factors which contribute to your ultimate conviction and penalty, including previous convictions and if there were minors in the car. But, as an extremely loose guideline you can consider the following:

STANDARD DUI

1st Offense

  • Jail up to 10 days
  • Fines about $1500, plus jail/home detention costs
  • MVD Suspension: 90 day suspension or 1 year revocation

2nd Offense

  • Jail up to 90 days
  • Fines around $3500 plus jail/ home detention costs.
  • MVD Suspension: 1 year revocation

EXTREME DUI

  • Jail up to 30 days
  • Fines about $2780, plus jail/home detention costs
  • MVD Suspension: 90 days

2nd Offense

  • Jail: Up to 120 days
  • Fines about $3740 plus jail/home detention costs
  • MVD Suspension: 1 year revocation

SUPER EXTREME DUI

1st Offense

  • Jail: 45 days
  • Fines about $3240 plus jail/home detention costs
  • MVD : Suspension 90 days

For more information on preventing driving under the influence, you can visit Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

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How-ToSafetyTrending Automotive News

Tips for Winterizing Your Car

winter

Even desert dwellers can run in to roadway trouble driving in mild Arizona valley winter weather. But, a few simple steps of prevention can lead to a long road of safe driving.

Begin with a basic tune-up with a GarageFly mechanic. A visit to a trusted repair expert is the best way to check your car’s vitals. They will check your battery, radiator, fluids, hoses and brakes. You can find one close to you in just 10 seconds, here.

Battery
Cold weather can reduce your battery’s power by about half of that in warmer weather. Be aware of hesitations in the car turning over and get it checked at the first sign. As a precaution, carry jumper cables in your car and have the number of roadside assistance handy.

Tires
Check your tires, specifically the tire tread and wear. Minimum tread for adequate traction is 1/16”. {Tip} Turn a penny head down and stick it between your tire tread. If you can see Lincoln’s head fully, your tires likely need replacing.

Wipers
Good visibility is key to safe driving. Streaks can leave you struggling to see out the windshield well. Look for cracking or detached rubber and replace. Keep the wiper reservoir filled with a solution that has anti-freeze agent. Water can freeze in the washer lines when the weather dips down.

Oil
Use the right engine oil. It thickens when it gets cold so using thinner oil helps it move more easily through the engine. Most new cars use multi-weight oil that is suitable for varied temperatures. But make sure you’re using the manufacturer recommended grade.

Let the engine warm up
Most new cars can be turned over and driven away. But, that doesn’t mean you should skip a warm-up. Allowing a short warm-up allows the oil a chance to head up and thin out and flow through the engine more smoothly.

If you head to Northern Arizona, be aware of weather reports. Watch speed and adjust to driving conditions. Avoid quick and sudden movements in driving to avoid sliding. When you brake, do it slowly and deliberately. Don’t slam the brakes. And if you find yourself in a skid, turn in the direction of the skid.

Follow these simple winter prep and prevention tips and you and your car should be safe to handle the chill of the next few months.

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SafetyTrending Automotive News

6 Car Smells Your Nose Needs to Know

eggs

The nose knows. Or so it’s said. So, the next time you smell a strange odor in your car, you’ll want to take note because it could provide a critical clue as to what’s happening with your car.

Some of the more common smells to be in tune to:

  • Rotten eggs
  • Burning carpet
  • Gasoline
  • Smoke

Whatever it may be, ignoring it can wind up doing more damage to your car.

Here are 6 to pay special attention to:

  1. Rotten Eggs: could be the sign of catalytic converter problems
  2. Burning Carpet: could be a clue your brakes are bad
  3. Sweet: could indicate you’re leaking coolant from your engine.
  4. Rubber burning: this scent could mean you have problems with a loose belt or hose rubbing
  5. Hot oil: could mean you’re leaking oil, which you might see on your driveway.
  6. Gasoline: Smelling it after you fill-up is normal. But, if you smell it when you’re driving you likely have a gas leak in a line or the tank. This is potentially a huge fire hazard so take precaution and don’t drive it.
  7. Mildew or Musty: this is often smelled when you turn the air conditioner.   All signs point to an a/c evaporator in this situation.

All of these potential problems range in price. But, finding a trusted mechanic through GarageFly.com can ensure you make a valuable investment in the lifetime of your car.

To find a GarageFly mechanic near you, click, here.

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SafetyTrending Automotive News

5 Must Do Warm Weather Car Checks

engine

It’s starting to feel like a ‘top down, windows open’ kind of life with warmer temperatures upon us.    But, before the temperature prompts us to raise the windows and turn down the a/c there are 5 car maintenance tips you don’t want to ignore to keep your car cruising straight through the summer – problem free.

Before you think you don’t have time, it should only take 10 minutes to check the basics.  But, there always a GarageFly conveniently located near you to help do the work for you, too! Click here to find a shop near you.

  • Check all fluids.There are several fluids that require attention, including engine oil, power steering, brake, and transmission fluids, windshield washer solvent, and antifreeze/coolant.
    {TIP} Look for appropriate levels or any leaks under your car.
  • Check hoses and belts.A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, and power steering, as well as the cooling system.
    {TIP} Look for cracks in the belts or hoses.
  • Check the tires.Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, indicating the need for wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots,
    {TIP} Tire pressure changes 1 psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit change in temperature.
  • Check Radiator and Gas Caps –Tight fitting caps on the radiator and gas caps are important. Radiator caps can corrode and deteriorate, so it is a good idea to replace yours as often as you flush the cooling system.
    {TIP} Look for a tight seal and no visible signs of wear.
  • Flush and Fill Cooling System –Consider flushing every 2 years on most vehicles for added insurance against engine failure. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in poor condition might need to be replaced. Give them a good squeeze.
    {TIP} If you hear or feel them crack, or see bulges, they need might replacing.
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SafetyTechnologyTrending Automotive News

Cars That Stop Themselves

man-driving

In the 80’s airbags came in to play in the automotive industry, changing the shape of car safety in a way never been seen before. Fast forward more than 3 decades and now comes the next announcement of its kind: the standardization of Automatic Emergency Brake.

This move marks a commitment by 10 major automakers to take a stronger stance on preventative safety, rather than passenger protection during a crash.

Learn more about how this automatic emergency breaking or AEB will become more accessible to drivers in the near future.

To ensure your brakes are performing safely or if you’ve been in an accident and need repairs, find your trusted your GarageFly automotive expert here.

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Safety

Hot Weather Hazards

thermostat

You don’t have to drive too far down the freeway to see stranded drivers and cars broken down. Hot weather is wreaking havoc on cars this summer with extreme heat.

GarageFly expert mechanics say without a little planning your car could be the next driver stranded.   But, the key to keeping you rolling down the road amounts to a little preventative maintenance.

Take a look at these common problems and what you can do to address them:

  • Overheating: Check your coolant levels often in the summer. Low coolant opens high risk for overheating. In the summer the levels should be topped off. Easy way to check is to stick your finger in and see if you can feel the fluid.
  • Battery: 100 degree days hit a battery square between the eyes. The intense heat coupled with the hot engine saps the charge in a battery and often leaves drivers stranded. Most of our GarageFly mechanics will check your battery for free and let you know if you’re at risk. Just ask for a battery load test. On newer cars mechanics say be aware: the battery can easily stop working from one minute to the next.
  • Tires: Rolling down the road on worn tires is a game of roulette in extreme heat. Worn tread, cracks and old tires can leave you with a blow outs or flat tire. GarageFly mechanics say rotating your tires regularly can balance the wear and tear on the tires and help you avoid one tire that can create a driving danger in the heat.

The easiest way to keep an eye on these hot weather hazards for your car is to get it checked routinely. An oil check every 3,000 miles will allow your GarageFly mechanic to alert you to potential problems.

To locate the nearest GarageFly mechanic click here.

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SafetyTechnologyTrending Automotive News

Telematics 4-1-1

tesla

Telematic use is accelerating, but it’s leaving many drivers wondering if they should hit the brakes. So we’re here to break it down, providing an overview of thia technology making its way into most cars if not now…then down the road.

Formula One teams have been using telematics for years to tell exactly where opponents are on the racetrack and insurance companies have been collecting millions of miles of data if not more. As drivers prepare turn the corner on this technology, here’s what you need to know.

WHAT IS IT?
Telematics is emerging and evolving automotive technology that monitors your vehicle and allows for vehicle information sharing.

  • Formula One teams have been using telematics for years to tell drivers where their opponents are on the racetracks.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Telematics is a small device, generally the size of your hand, which is plugged into your car’s on-board diagnostic port. (located near your steering wheel and under your dashboard) It marries GPS with on-board diagnostics to record and report driving behaviors like:

  • Speed
  • Location
  • Mechanical and engine activity
  • When used with cellular networks, it can relay information between cars and a central management system.

Other uses:

  • Live weather
  • Traffic
  • Parking information
  • Apps
  • Driving directions
  • Social media
  • Tracking stolen cars
  • Trip and distance tracking
  • Teenage driver tracking
  • Fleet tracking for companies

TELEMATICS = INSURANCE = ???
Insurance companies are arguably the greatest stakeholder in telematics. They are able to use the automotive and driver data in a variety of ways, some already identified and others yet to be seen. Among them:  looking for a way to categorize a driver’s risk can use the data. (User Based Insurance or UBI)

  • Rate accuracy based on calculated risk
  • Personalized and specific rewards for ‘good’ drivers, higher premiums for ‘bad’ drivers
  • Determining fault or cause in accidents
  • Claims reporting
  • Theft prevention
  • Automotive Analysis

LOVE IT OR HATE IT?
While drivers have the potential to see a savings on insurance premiums, there is discussion as to whether the savings is worth sacrificing privacy. Additionally, analysts have raised questions as to whether the so-called black box or spyware could ultimately penalize drivers who don’t want the tracking. Still, advocates of telematics argue today’s society is already conditioned to embrace social media which can offer far more personal information than a telematics device.

How do you feel about telematics? We’d love to hear your thoughts and welcome you to weigh in with comments.

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