Friday, December 28, 2012 Today/MotorWeek $26,000 Midsize Sedan Shootout compares six midsize sedans under $26,000 to see which is best for today's family. We were joined by MotorWeek and USAToday, using input from a real family.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Wishing You and Your Family a Very Safe and Happy Holiday! 

"May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!" 
~Author Unknown

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Driving Tips - Avoiding Holiday Accidents

Holiday celebrations can be happy and exciting times for friends and family. Many people travel during the holiday season, looking forward to visiting with family and friends who live long distances away. Unfortunately, the holiday season has a high incidence of traffic accidents, turning a celebration into a tragedy if people are injured or killed. During the holiday season, all motorists should be aware of the increased traffic, and holiday travelers should follow proper safety precautions to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Drivers should be mindful of these holiday travel tips to protect themselves, their passengers, and the occupants of other drivers.
  • Leave early. By allowing yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, you can drive at safer speeds, take adequate rest breaks, and keep your stress levels down. Without enough stops, drivers can become overly tired or distracted and cause an accident and a result.
  • Avoid peak travel dates if possible. The day before a holiday is usually the day most people travel. Sometimes you can avoid traffic conditions by traveling on the holiday itself or by planning your family celebrations on other days.
  • Before you leave, check the condition of your car, including your tire pressure, oil, and lights. Carry spare and emergency equipment with you. Always have a spare tire, jumper cables, a jack, and emergency equipment such as road flares and extra blankets in case of an accident.
  • Keep your passengers safe. Make sure everyone is buckled up properly with seat belts and child restraint or booster seats.
  • Plan out a route with alternatives. Get directions in advance, with alternative routes in mind in case of bad weather or traffic congestion. Expect traffic near large cities.
  • Inquire about weather conditions and construction on highways from friends and relatives. Listen to local radio stations for indications of adverse weather.
  • Hide any sort of gift or present during stops. Brightly colored packaging during the holidays invites thieves to break into your vehicle.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. Provide children with plenty of their own distractions, and always pull off the road to use your cell phone.
  • Don't drink and drive. Always have a designated driver if there will be drinking at your holiday celebration.
By following these safety precautions, you can make the holidays a little safer for everyone and avoid a tragic traffic accident. 

Article Source:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Great Backup Challenge and USA Today invited seven automakers to take part in our parking challenge. Four accepted. Here's how they did.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Steel Beam Through Windshield Prank

This is something Wile E. Coyote would have used! It's the old fake construction beam through the windshield trick, and people are convinced their car is ruined.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What To Do When Driving On Ice

No one likes dealing with ice, snow or even slush. Being safe in these conditions requires observant behavior, and there are a few basic rules of conduct that can make driving during these winter months safer for everyone.

It is crucial - as with any other weather condition - that you are accustomed to the present conditions as well as being proactive when you are driving. In addition to all this, speed and safety distance must be adapted to different road conditions. Smooth braking, steering and gentle acceleration/deceleration are crucial for a safe drive. Take a look at these tips that should help you in becoming the best winter driver possible:

1. Practice makes perfect: Many private companies along with local and state departments offer safety training, in which owners of vehicles with automatic transmission and ABS can learn how to correctly handle a car on ice.

2. Approach: With slippery road conditions being a factor when driving on ice, a vehicle with manual transmission in second gear is you best option. Just gently press the gas pedal - otherwise the car slips or skids out of control.

3. Turning: Always turn with the greatest possible response at a low speed. If you have a manual transmission, let go of the clutch gently when shifting. Shifting up early in automatic vehicles will not "kick-down" like they will if you drive a stick.

4. Steering: Avoid jerky steering movements. If the vehicle still skids, disengage the clutch and try not to emotionally counter-steer. If your car is unresponsive while steering, there's only one thing left to do: gently apply the brakes!

5. Brakes without ABS: Disengaging the ABS on a slippery surface and pressing the brake pedal only is a great move. Otherwise, the wheels will lock on you and the vehicle will begin to skid. If you decide to perform emergency braking with full force on the brake pedal, the car may spin out of control. You should let off the brake and steer in the desired direction, then slow down again.

6. Brakes with ABS: Antilock brake systems are only at its full effectiveness when the pedal is pressed and the maximum rate is maintained. Vehicles with ABS can be slowed and controlled at the same time, so long as you don't slam on them.

7. Ensuring you have a good auto warranty: A warranty might seem expensive at first but when you look at what it can do for you long term, it quickly turns out to be a great addition, particularly as a car warranty can help ensure your brakes and transmission are ready to face another winter.

Article Source:

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Type of Crash Test Aims for Safer Vehicles

New crash test aims to drive improvements

Only 3 of 11 midsize luxury and near-luxury cars evaluated earn good or acceptable ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's new small overlap frontal crash test, the latest addition to a suite of tests designed to help consumers pick the safest vehicles.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Car Body Repair Common Result of an Accident

If you've ever been in an accident you will know that car body repair is usually the route to take if your car can be saved. If you haven't been in an accident before, however, you may feel panicked and at a loss about what to do. Here are some tips about the side effects of your accident and some things that you should consider.

It's scary to be in an accident. The shock of the impact is scary and jarring. The first thing you should do is make sure that you and your passengers are okay. If not then call 911 if you are able to. Some cars have OnStar devices that will check in to make sure you and your passengers are okay. If not then they will contact emergency services for you.

Once you confirm you and your passengers are okay check to make sure the people in the other car are okay too. Once you make sure everyone is healthy then you will want to evaluate the damage to your car and to the other car(s) in the accident. This is when you should exchange insurance information with the other people involved in the accident.

Depending on the severity of the accident you may have to wait for the police to come and make a report. If the accident is minor then you have a legal obligation to report the accident to the nearest accident reporting station as soon as possible. If you do not report the accident, however minor, you could get in trouble for a hit and run.

Once you have reported the accident and exchanged insurance information you will have to contact your insurance company. They will likely want you to get an estimate of the damage to your car before they decide whether they will fix it or if it will be a write off. Most insurance companies have a deductible that you'll have to pay.

Once you have the insurance payment figured out and the estimate done for your car then you can begin the process of getting it fixed. Depending on the severity of the damage this could take some time. Most insurance companies will provide you with a rental car in the meantime so you can still get around. Most accidents at the very minimum cause some sort of damage to the car's body. This usually means you will need some auto paint repair done. If you have bumper damage then you will likely need car body repair done as well.

It's important to go to a professional who you trust for your auto paint repair and car body repairs. Since the insurance company is paying the costs to fix your vehicle let them worry about the price. Your major concern should be that the job is done properly and in a timely fashion. Your insurance company might not let you pick the place that you get your car work done. However, if they do then you should do a little research first before you pick an auto body shop. It's always best to choose a shop that will guarantee their work with a warranty. Car body repairs that are not done well can cause you more automotive problems later on.

When it comes to being in an accident the main thing to do is stay calm and follow the tips above step-by-step to reduce the negative side effects you may experience.

Article Source:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What To Do After A Car Accident: A Checklist

If you've been in an accident, you're probably feeling shaken, confused, and stressed out. That's very common, and you don't need to worry. If you search the internet, there are plenty of websites to tell you what to do. To help you get a grip on the first steps after an accident, we've written this little guide.

1. Do not leave the accident scene until the police have given you permission. For most accidents, the police don't arrive. If this is the case for you, just make sure you have all the information you need from the other driver and make sure you are uninjured.

2. If someone else gets injured during the accident, call for help IMMEDIATELY.

3. Turn on your emergency/hazard lights to alert other drivers about the situation.

4. Get contact information from any witnesses. If you don't do this, it could come down to your word against the other drivers, which can make it difficult to deal with insurance issues.

5. Get the other driver's name, driver's license number, license plate number, type of car, etc. Also get the name of their insurance company, their policy number, and any other identifying data.

6. If there are police present, ask for an incident number. This will help you get a police report later, which will show any citations and the officer's understanding of the event.

7. Do not accept fault, even if you believe you might be responsible, and do not apologize. You don't know all the details yet, and you might later find out something else caused the accident. Make a statement only to the police.

8. Write down all the details of the accident while they are fresh in your mind. Note all your own actions, the location, time, weather, distractions like road conditions. Also write down the direction you were driving, the direction the other driver was going, the speed you were traveling, the speed limit, traffic signs present, etc.

9. You might be injured - it's hard to tell at the accident because of the adrenaline and endorphins pulsing through your body. You should always go see a medical professional as soon as you feel pain.

10. Be honest with your doctor. Tell him or her about EVERY single detail of you pain. Headaches, nausea, dizziness, memory loss, etc., may all seem small and very temporary, but they might not be, and need to be recorded.

11. Take photos of your car and your injuries right after the accident. If you need to explain property damage or medical expenses to the insurance company, this will help a lot.

12. Keep a journal after the accident with any details you remember. Especially keep track of your pain, discomfort, sleep loss, anxieties. Post-traumatic stress disorder is common after car accidents and should be identified as soon as possible so you can get the help you need.

13. Be careful what you tell people about the accident. Whether you were the at fault party or not, these details can come up if someone decides to pursue a claim for damages and you don't want one slip of the tongue to prevent justice.

14. Don't sign any releases from the insurance company until you are comfortable that you will not need any further compensation for property or medical damages.

We hope this checklist helps relieve the stress of a car accident for you.

Article Source: