As fun as road trips can (and should) be, they provide plenty of opportunities for disaster.
Roses are red, violets are blue, and Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year. We all know this, so we’ll skip the stats and get right into Thanksgiving road-trip tips that will help you get to and from your parents’/grandparents’ holiday gathering safely.
- First and foremost, brush up on your winter driving skills.
- Secure all in-cabin items and luggage. Since it’s Thanksgiving, your car will likely be crammed with overnight bags, gifts, plus your homemade casserole and a bottle of wine. All of those extras can become dangerous projectiles in the event of hard breaking or an accident. Make sure they are secured, especially if in the cargo area of an SUV.
- Leave at an awkward hour. Sure, if you have kids, they’ll probably complain, but there’s an obvious reason for this. “The higher risk times are in the evenings because people are drowsy,” AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Brough. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, particularly from noon through the evening, is one such high-risk time due to people heading out on their trip. Early morning is always best. Also, follow the same best practices for holiday road travel, including avoiding the highways on the Wednesday before turkey day and the following Sunday.
- Plan an alternate route. More travelers mean more cars, and more accidents. Make sure you have at least one alternate route planned out that you can take to avoid huge delays. Try to plan your route along less popular freeways. Even if the mileage is a bit more it will be worth it when you’re driving 65 for that extra 10 miles than stuck locked in traffic for an extra 2 hours.
- Keep the kids entertained. The last thing the driver needs is the little monsters int he back causing havoc. A laptop or tablet with pre-loaded movies can be a life-saver. If you do have an iPad, look into a headrest mount for easy, argue-free viewing.
- Think like a Boy Scout. Keep a cache of emergency supplies in your vehicle. Check out this infographic for items every car should have.
- Stretch and move whenever you get the chance. If you find yourself stuck in traffic or at a fresh red light, do some road-trip calisthenics. Rolling your shoulders and flexing your back and upper arms will increase blood-circulation a can be great stress relievers. If possible, get out of your car and perform the “Chicken Dance.” You’ll entertain your fellow travelers and get your own circulation moving.
- Don’t turkey and drive. The Thanksgiving bird is known for packing high levels of Tryptophan, an amino acid that brings on sleepiness. What’s more, the rest of the carb-heavy Thanksgiving sides produce sleep-promoting melatonin. “We find that over holidays, there are more vehicle incidents due to drowsy driving because we try to do it all. So sleep off your turkey before you get in the car to go home,” says Brough.
These are but a few points of consideration for your Thanksgiving road trip (and, really, ANY road trip). We hope you find them useful. Safe driving!
The first car crash ever recorded involving a gasoline-powered auto took place in Ohio in 1891.
Engineer James Lambert was driving one of his inventions, an early gas-powered buggy, when he hit a tree root sticking out of the ground. Lambert lost control and the vehicle swerved and crashed into a hitching post. There were no fatalities.
To the average driver, taking the steps to “winterize” your vehicle is as necessary as watching the World Series when your team isn’t playing…it just doesn’t happen. The funny thing, though, is that winter is the season that causes the most problems for cars, problems that can be easily avoided with just a couple hours of attention.
By winterizing your vehicle, you can help avoid situations like this.
“The last thing any driver needs is a vehicle that breaks down in cold, harsh winter weather,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A vehicle check before the temperatures drop is a sensible way to avoid the inconvenience of being stranded out in the cold and with the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.”
The Car Care Council recommends the following nine steps for winterizing your vehicle.
- Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
- Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
- Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
- Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
- Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Have your technician check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
- If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
- Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
- Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
- Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
Need to get started right away? Check out current GM service specials here.
Halloween is considered the deadliest day of the year for children.
Halloween is an exciting time for children. The idea of being able to dress up as ghouls, ghosts and werewolves, then run relatively freely around the neighborhood scaring all in their line of sight, and then being rewarded with a sweet treat afterwards? It’s no surprise Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for children.
That’s why we’ve put together this short list of safety driving tips to keep your little zombies safe…as well as everyone else’s:
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
- Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
This video from Texas Instruments shows just how awesome the future of vehicle technology will be. Which is your favorite function?
Do you have them all? You Should.
Owner Challenges Team to Raise $500, Almost Reach $3,000
Cedarburg, WI — On Wednesday, Newman Chevrolet presented a check for $2,750 to go toward ALS research, thanks to two Ice Bucket Challenges aimed at the dealership’s owner, Chad Curran.
“I got called out by a good friend of mine, Jim Doyle, and one of our employees called out the rest of us. Unfortunately, I was out of town and wasn’t able to make the 24-hour deadline…so I threw out a challenge to all of our employees…if they could raise $500 in two days, I would not only match the $500, but we’d get dumped by a bucket of water from the company tractor,” said Curran, just minutes before the tractor full of ice water was dumped on the dealership management team (including Curran). Here is footage of the event.
The fund raiser took place amid the wildly popular, nation-wide Ice Bucket Challenge which has spread like wild fire across social media. The challenge was created as a way raise awareness for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a degenerative disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement for which there is currently no cure. As the video shows, people called out by others haev 24 hours to post a video of themselves dumping ice water over their heads after challenging at least three other people. To date, the campaign has raised a record $31.5 million in August — approximately $30 million more than was raised last year during the same time period.
About Newman Chevrolet
Newman Chevrolet is a family owned Chevrolet dealership in Cedarburg, WI. Founded in 1978, Newman Chevrolet has 37 years of award winning experience in sales (new and pre-owned), service and collision repair as well as a steadfast dedication to the community.