Winter is coming, and in many parts of the country, that means slushy, snowy, and icy roads. Slippery conditions when driving are something that you need to adjust for by the early or middle part of the fall season to make sure that you’re ready when freezing temperatures and precipitation make the roads difficult to drive on. Ensuring that your tires are ready for the change in weather is essential for safe driving, and these are some of the most important pre-winter maintenance tips for your tires.
For Your Safety
Tires are fundamental to safe driving in winter road conditions, so it’s vital that yours are in optimal condition before driving this winter. Tires should be in good condition, properly inflated, and have any extra accessories that would be helpful for your geographic location and the weather. If you live in a region that receives snow and ice every winter, then you know what the ditch looks like the first time that there is frozen precipitation in the late fall to early winter. It’s very common for people to have a vehicle that isn’t ready for the change in road conditions, so sliding into the ditch is a very common thing for people to do. You can avoid this scenario by being mentally prepared and by having tires that are ready for the season.
When you want your tires to grip the road, they need to be properly inflated. Some people think that underinflated tires grip more of the road, but in deep snow, the opposite is actually true. Properly inflated tires put more of the car’s weight on less surface area, which helps your tires to cut through the snow better. You also need to remember to check tire pressure when the temperature changes because air contracts when it gets cold. Otherwise, you can also consider putting nitrogen in your tires because it doesn’t expand and contract as much as air.
Options for Tires
You might decide that you want to put snow tires on your wheels, which are better designed than even all-season tires for gripping the road in snowy conditions. Putting chains on your tires is also a good idea if you live in an area that commonly has unplowed roads. In fact, in some areas, such as some mountain regions, chains on your tires might even be a law. If you need to put chains on your tires, you should also determine which tires need chains based on which tires are supplying the power.
When you’re getting your car ready for the winter, a few simple and quick adjustments can greatly improve your ability to stop quickly and to maneuver your vehicle. Taking the time to prepare your tires can even prevent an accident.
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When you purchase a new vehicle, make sure you set aside time to check a number of its parts for routine maintenance purposes. If you want to make sure you protect your investment, this routine maintenance and some occasional service will go a long way. It’s important that you address potential problems before they take place. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Following is information on some of the common parts you should be checked during routine maintenance at home or at a service center.
Brakes are incredibly important. After all, they are responsible for stopping your vehicle, both gradually and in an emergency. Without brakes that are working properly, you could have a very hard time staying safe while on the road. Poorly functioning brakes can also make the road a dangerous place for other vehicles. According to Car Treatments, some ways you can tell if your brake pads are bad are if your breaks are squeaky or if the brake warning light is on. If you aren’t sure how to check your brakes yourself, have a professional take a look at the quality of your brake pads and the integrity of the rotors. They can be tested as a whole for functionality.
Tires are the part of your vehicle that is responsible for keeping a good, safe grip on the road. If you have tires that are many years old, the lack of tread is going to cause problems. These issues can manifest during an accident, or they can also be the cause of an accident. According to Benson & Bingham, tire tread separations account for a large number of rollover accidents. Tire issues can also contribute to a tire blowout. This can cause a major accident to occur that, unfortunately, may involve many vehicles.
The oil in your vehicle is responsible for everything running smoothly. Routine oil changes are important, and they should be completed after every 3,000 miles that your car drives, according to The Car Doctor. In between and during your oil changes, you should have the quality of the material inspected. If the oil looks sludgy, or the amount of oil in your vehicle is low, these could be indications that larger problems are going on that should be addressed.
Routine maintenance for vehicles is incredibly important. If you have recently purchased a vehicle, establish an effective maintenance schedule with a reputable service center in your area. You can prevent a lot of expensive problems with just quick maintenance appointments here and there.
When it comes to car accidents, the real damage is often only seen after everyone’s gone home. Because you’ll have to make your claim with your insurance company and understanding and accepting that your insurance rates will increase more often than not. However, we can be proactive about this situation and try to avoid actions that may lead to an increase. The following list entails some of the ways that your insurance rates can increase.
Since car accidents are the most common of claims, according to iDrive Safely, it is no surprise that this costs your insurance company the most. Therefore, when you find yourself dealing with having to file a claim after an accident, they are more prone to hike up your rates quickly. For them, you are now part of the statistics of bad drivers. Of course, the best way to avoid this to simply avoid accidents altogether, but that’s not how the world works. You must be as cautious as possible so that if you do get into an accident the blame would most likely come from the other driver and you won’t take as much of a hit on your monthly bill.
Traffic tickets are the gift that keeps on giving. Simply said, receiving a ticket comes with way more than an increase in your insurance rates. You might also be required to pay a fine and show up to court, thus having to take time off work. Two things can be done to avoid tickets. Schedule your time so that you leave your home at an acceptable time that takes traffic and detours into consideration and understand that being on time is not worth paying hundreds of dollars and of course, your safety.
The average percentage of increase in your rates after a DUI offense is an astonishing 80% increase on your bill. According to Meldon Law, a DUI conviction can result in an annual insurance rate increase of thousands of dollars. As of this article, the average cost of insurance with a DUI sitting at $2,610, and this is simply because you are deemed a high-risk insurance client.
There are lots more ways that your insurance rates can increase, but these are the most common within the country. The best way to avoid being in this situation where you have to pay more is to simply be proactive about your choices. Plan your ride if you’re going to drink, organize your time efficiently, and adhere to the rules of the road when driving.
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If you have ever been involved in a car accident, then you already know how frightening it can be. It is important to follow safety precautions such as wearing your seatbelt in order to help ensure your safety if you are involved in a crash. Although not wearing a seatbelt can be a major reason for serious injury during a car crash, operating a vehicle that is not in proper condition can contribute as well. The following are some of the vehicle defects that can play a major role in an automobile accident.
Since a major part of preventing a car crash is being able to stop in time, not having brakes that function properly will significantly inhibit this. Even if you are driving responsibly, if another car darts out in front of you and you are not able to stop, there could be a serious repercussion.
Although there are still people who do not wear their seatbelts, having a properly working seatbelt can help prevent you from being thrown out of the car. Being thrown out of the vehicle can contribute tremendously to broken bones, head trauma as well as internal injuries. Therefore, wearing a seatbelt that doesn’t function properly is almost like wearing none at all.
Airbags have been known to save many lives in the event of a car crash. Earlier this year, reports emerged of a faulty airbag problem that affected over 12 million vehicles. Having airbags that work properly can help prevent your body from slamming into the wheel, which can result in a serious or deadly event.
Although virtually all cars have power steering which makes performing turns and maneuvering the roads quite easy. However, sometimes power steering fluid can run out or there could be other issues that cause the steering to not work properly. Not being able to steer the vehicle properly makes it extremely difficult to swerve if necessary.
Driving is a serious responsibility that requires more than just using signals and obeying traffic signs. Keeping up with vehicle maintenance is also a major part of driving responsibly that consists of more than just oil changes and tire checks. Whenever you notice anything off about your vehicle, whether that be the seat belt slack or if the wheel turns loosely, have that checked right away. Having a vehicle in optimal working condition can mean the difference between life and death.
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3 of the Best 2019 Cars With Great Rollover Stats
Other than your house, your car is probably the most valuable thing that you own. This article will focus on methods you can use to help protect your car against thieves.
Always Pay Attention to Your Surroundings and Your Gut
Always remember: If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Although science cannot fully prove this, it seems obvious that most humans have an innate sense of danger. Science has proven that the human immune system will instinctively respond to danger, so this idea isn’t far-fetched. Sometimes, that feeling can arise when there is no apparent reason. When that happens, be sure to take extra precautions. When it comes to your surroundings, always pay attention to the things around you. When something changes, it should be cause for you to pay attention. For instance, let’s say you are walking to your car in a dark parking lot. You see some bushes rustling next to your car. Sure, it could just be the wind, but it wouldn’t hurt to throw a rock into those bushes just to be on the safe side.
Be Careful About Where You Park
Thieves generally look for easy targets. As such, you should take care to avoid turning your car into an easy target. Common sense tells us that a thief is going to avoid busy areas where they are more likely to be seen. They are also more likely to choose dark places and places with good nearby hiding spots. You can make your car less likely to be targeted by parking in well-trafficked and well-lit areas. Try to avoid parking next to things in which a thief might hide. Parking next to a Dumpster is usually not good, as Dumpsters are often frequented by drug addicts and other threats.
Cameras, Motion Detectors, and Alarms
You’d be surprised at how brazen some thieves can be. It is relatively common for thieves to break into cars that are sitting in the owner’s driveway, especially if they think the occupant is not home. A home security system can deal with this threat fairly easily. Some security system providers lock you into expensive monitoring contracts and make you buy packages including equipment and services you may not need. And if it’s worth it to you, that’s probably the most hassle-free method. However, if you know your way around a toolbox, there are plenty of DIY security gadgets that you can install yourself.
Use the GPS Trap Technique
If your car is being consistently robbed, there is a little trick that you can use. Inexpensive GPS trackers can be purchased online with little trouble, and these can be hidden in a valuable object or even inside the car itself. If the object or the car is stolen, the police can easily trace the thief and recover the property. The police frequently use this method to catch thieves. Another principle to remember: Anything you can predict, you can control. When you apply this idea to theft prevention, the conclusion is obvious: You can always count on a thief to steal if you give them an opportunity. Just make sure you buy the smallest tracker you can find and hide it well!
Upgrade to Newer Models
You might want to consider selling or trading your car for a newer model. Although newer cars tend to be more expensive, they also tend to have a lot more anti-theft features. In fact, there are numerous tricks that thieves can use to gain access to older vehicles. Most of these tricks are no longer possible on newer vehicles. For instance, older vehicles can be hot-wired, allowing a thief to start the car and drive away even if they do not have the key. By using a flathead screwdriver to substitute for the key, they can trick the car into thinking that the key is present. From there, they just have to touch two wires together, and the car will start. Newer vehicles have several different features that prevent this type of theft. If you’re going to buy a new car, consider a luxury vehicle. Not only do they offer superior comfort and performance, but they usually offer excellent theft protection.
By utilizing a few basic principles, you can make your car a lot less likely to be targeted for theft. Stay aware of where you park, set up security systems and home and consider installing a GPS-tracking device in your car. It can also make sense to upgrade to a vehicle with advanced security features. Either way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your car is more protected.
Rollovers are one of the most dangerous types of car accidents. Rollovers are most likely to be caused by tripping, speeding on a curve, and/or overcorrecting or swerving. If safety is your primary concern, you want a car that is going to be resistant to rollovers. Here are some 2019 vehicles with great rollover stats.
The 2019 Volvo S60 is Volvo’s latest addition by the German manufacturer in their S60 line of vehicles known for their safety performance over the years. The vehicle was re-designed in 2019, but still maintains Volvo’s emphasis on safety. The vehicle is rated as good for preventing all types of injuries by the IIHS. This applies to whether being hit from the side or the front. In addition, the roof strength indicates a peak force of above 22,000 pounds. This places it at the highest point on the rating scale. For accident prevention, it also includes optional blind-spot detection, standard lane-departure warnings and standard daytime running lights.
The 2019 Buick Lucerne is also a strong contender among safe cars. The overall evaluation for this vehicle by IIHS indicates a G on the scale. Among injury rates for all accidents, it rates well on most levels and an “A” for Acceptable for torso injuries. The roof strength is fairly close to the Volvo, at nearly 20,000 pounds of force. The vehicle also has a premium trim which enhances the forward collision system.
BMW Z4 Convertible
A convertible isn’t known to inspire safety, but BMW still has some impressive features in its most recent iterations of the Z4. Many of these features are preventative in nature: lane departure, blind-spot detection, and other features you may expect from a luxury vehicle. The Z4, or sDrive30i, is set low to the ground. This means it has a natural resistance to rollover accidents. At the time of this article, regular safety ratings have yet to be released for the 2019 model. BMWs have historically been known for being some of the safest cars on the market.
When selecting a vehicle build for safety, there are many different methods that car companies use to prevent injuries. Many newer and luxury models bolster this with features like blind-spot detection and lane-change assist. If safety is your priority, the BMW Z4 has a strong showing. Based on the stats, the decision will be up to you.
For your next luxury car, take a look at our broad selection!
Everyone is aware of the financial crisis that hit in 2007–2008, and many of us are also aware that a bank crisis, followed by a housing bubble, initially created the crisis. The banking industry had become less regulated due to the repeal of some regulations and the passage of other Acts that allowed banks to use their deposits in risky markets. Banks used subprime and interest-only mortgages to help fund these trades. When rates rose and house sales stalled, the financial house of cards collapsed. New regulations, such as the Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) standard, were passed later to help prevent another such crisis.
What is CECL?
In direct response to the 2008 financial crisis, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released the final Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) standard in 2016. The CECL changes how banks estimate losses when calculating the allowance for loan and lease losses (ALLL). According to Visible Equity, CECL will expand the information that should be considered to include ‘reasonable and supportable’ forecasts, which is technically prohibited prior to CECL adoption. CECL also stipulates that financial institutions weigh current conditions and historical data to estimate the expected losses over the entire life of the loan.
If You Have Low Credit, You May Have a Tough Time
According to American Banker, CECL may have unintended consequences. Not only will people with low credit scores have a more difficult time getting auto loans because of the new calculations over the life of the loan, but there will also inevitably be a financial cost that will be passed to the consumer. Banks will have to expend more time and money to implement the CECL, and the resulting costs will then be added to the cost of the loan. This can make it more difficult for both people with bad credit and for people with limited financial resources to afford the loan.
Prepare for CECL
CECL will be implemented by financial institutions at the end of 2020. Banks will have a learning curve during the initial use of CECL, and this fact, coupled with stricter lending criteria and possibly higher fees for loans, will adversely affect the ability of people with limited incomes and/or low credit scores to afford an auto loan. According to ALLL, for people with these circumstances who are considering buying a car, it may be a good idea to purchase a vehicle prior to the CECL adaptation.
The new CECL is meant to help prevent another recession occasioned by bad lending practices. However, it may also prevent many from acquiring a necessary means to get to work and participate in other economically advantageous activities. Now maybe the time to apply for an auto loan before doing so becomes more difficult.
Luxury vehicles are in demand for their advanced features, high performance and sleek design. When shopping around for a luxury vehicle, you need to decide if you’re going to lease or purchase the car before you drive it off the lot. When you’re in the market for a new set of wheels, it’s essential to know if it’s better for your finances to lease or buy the high-end model to ensure you can make an informed purchase and transaction with the dealership.
Purchasing a car is one of the main ways that drivers get a new vehicle to drive. Auto loans are generally installment loans, which means you borrow a fixed amount once and make small monthly payments. The loans include interest, which is calculated into the monthly payment. The interest rate is waived if the driver chooses to pay for the vehicle in full. The interest rate varies depending on the driver and the dealership and is influenced by the individual’s credit score and the market. For many people, this can be a better option because it means making money when selling the vehicle in the future.
Leasing is a second option that means having a lower payment each month. The driver is also not responsible for any routine maintenance or repairs that may be needed on the vehicle, which can make it possible to afford a luxury vehicle that you may not have the money to purchase. A smaller down payment is required to obtain the vehicle, but the driver does not get any money once it’s time to end the lease and return the car to the dealership.
What’s Best For You?
Based on the information provided, it’s important to weigh both options. If you plan to only drive locally, it may be better to lease the car due to the limits in miles that it can be driven. Leasing a car can be easier because you won’t have to invest in maintaining it. However, those who want to get some of their money back when it’s time to sell the car may want to consider financing it to ensure they recoup some of their investment.
You’ll need to understand how both leasing and financing work to make it easier to decide which option is the most ideal. Each situation and driver is different, and it requires taking a close look at your finances and choosing what option you can benefit from when you’re ready to get the keys in your hands.
Imagine being on a road trip when suddenly a deep pothole disguised as a shallow puddle leaves you stranded with a flat tire. Potholes and speed bumps are far from being harmless and may do major damage to your car in the long run. Still, there are ways to reduce the damage that your car may take from potholes and other road hazards.
Talk to Your Municipality
It is imperative to let your municipality know about the pothole problem that is threatening your vehicle before it causes massive damage. Early correction of pavement cracks is vital. Ideally, cracks are fixed as soon as they’re more than an inch wide. Still, the municipal government may be reluctant to fix a road unless it becomes a major problem. To get it fixed fast, report it using the municipality website. Then, urge everybody living nearby to do the same. When the municipality notices that many people want the pothole fixed, it is more likely to send an inspector. If the inspector thinks is too soon to fix it, repeat the process. You might have to involve the local press and elected officials to get the pothole taken care of once and for all.
Check Tire Pressure
Your car’s tire pressure plays an important role in reducing the damage taken from potholes and speed bumps. If the tires are overinflated, they won’t be able to isolate the irregularities of the road, resulting in a higher chance of getting a flat tire. If they are underinflated, the tire’s tread life will be reduced, increasing the probability of tire failure. The ideal tire pressure for your car is found on a sticker near the door or in the owner’s manual. You should check tire pressure once a month, first thing in the morning, with an air pressure gauge to get an accurate reading.
Reduce Your Speed
If you drive too fast, it is more likely for you to hit a pothole and damage your car. Moreover, you also run the risk of not being able to apply the brakes in time to avoid a fender bender if the car in front of you comes to a sudden stop. Speed bumps are designed to cause havoc in the cars that won’t decrease their speed in certain areas. Speed bumps can shatter shock absorbers, put the vehicle out of alignment, and tear apart the exhaust system. You should always slow down as soon as a speed bump comes into sight.
Allow Some Space
Always keep some space between your car and the one in front of you. Why? Because if there’s a pothole, you can avoid it by observing the reaction of the driver in front of you. If the driver makes a sudden move left or right, you know there’s a chance you will have to do the same. If the driver falls in it, you will notice, and maneuvering around it will be a simple matter.
As you can see, while most roads pose a threat to your car in some way or another, there are things you can do to minimize the risk. By talking to your municipality, checking your tires, driving carefully, and keeping a safe distance from other vehicles, you will mitigate the damage your car might take and enjoy a smoother ride. And if you ever get in a problem, make sure you know how to react to them appropriately.
No matter how cautious of a driver you happen to be, a collision can still happen at any time. This is why it’s essential to have reliable car insurance. When one of these accidents take place, you will most likely begin receiving calls from one or more insurance adjusters within a matter of days, and how you interact with those individuals could have a major impact on what type of compensation you receive. Here are a few simple tips that will help you deal with claims adjusters so that you are fairly compensated after your accident.
Don’t Speak Directly to an Insurance Adjuster
Insurance adjusters use various tactics to trick you into saying something on the record that can be used against you during the adjustment process. It’s generally recommended that you refer them to your attorney for any statements that need to be made. The buffer between you and the company can alleviate the risk of accidentally saying something that will undermine your claim or impact your adjustment.
Notify Your Own Insurance Company
While every insurance provider is slightly different, most of those companies require their clients to contact them within 24 hours of an accident. During that initial call, you don’t need to tell the company anything more than the basics of the accident. That includes where it took place, who was there, and the contact information for any other drivers that were involved. Once you have given them that information, you can then tell them that your attorney will answer any other questions.
Don’t Settle Immediately
It is an unfortunate fact that many drivers struggle with their finances after auto accidents, and those individuals often settle right away so that they can start paying medical bills and other expenses. While it might be tempting to settle immediately, the initial offer could be very low. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf so that you don’t have to haggle with multiple parties.
Only Give Them Basic Personal Information
The only information that you are required to give a claims adjuster is your full name, address, and contact number. Some insurance claims adjusters will ask other questions such as a driver’s income or medical history, and that information could be used against them at a later time. Before you give them any personal information, you should also ask for their name, their contact number, and the company that they work for.
One of the biggest mistakes that a driver can make after an auto accident is assuming that their insurance provider is going to fight for them. Claims adjusters want to save their companies as much money as possible, and drivers need to be careful about what they tell those employees.