New Year Resolutions for Drivers

Coming up with a New Year resolution for 2017 can be rather difficult, especially if you’ve failed in the past. Consider taking a different approach to your goals for the New Year by improving your driving. No matter how good of a driver you are, there’s room for improvement on the road! Here are a few New Year Resolutions for drivers that are recommended by all of us here at Packey Webb Ford.

Caring for your car's appearance

  • AppearanceTaking care of your vehicle is important for drivers who don’t plan on purchasing a new model every few years. While keeping up with routine maintenance is one thing, maintaining your car’s appearance is another. Dings, dents, and scratches make for an unappealing look and most are relatively cheap and quick to repair.Driver efficiency
  • Efficiency – Every driver has a lead foot as some point in their life. Hitting the gas tends to be bad for fuel efficiency, though, which is why a great goal for 2017 is to aim to increase your efficiency. Avoid smashing the pedal to the floor, slow down, and save money at the same time.check tire pressure
  • Tires – Believe it or not, your car’s tires are probably somewhat neglected. Check the tire pressure every week during 2017. Make sure there’s enough tread while you’re at it. Taking care of your tires can lead to higher fuel economy, a smoother ride, and better handling.

Car Seat Safety Tips for Back to School

Back to school season is upon us which means after-school activities will pick up again. Make sure you car seat is installed correctly and check out these other great safety tips!

  1. Make sure your child rides in the backseat – The backseat is usually the safest place in a crash. If your car has a passenger air bag that you can’t turn off, the back seat is the best place for kids 12 and under. Car Seat Safety Tips
  2. Make sure infants ride rear facing – Have your infant ride facing the rear until they are 1 year old or at least 20 to 22 pounds. Many publications suggest keeping your child rear facing until they are 2 years old.
  3. Check the label – Make sure you read the label and the car seat is appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height. Also be on the lookout for the expiration date. These are usually around six years. If the seat is expired, put it in a dark trash bag so that it cannot be pulled from the trash and be reused.
  4. Know your car seat’s history – Just like when you go to buy a used car, you ask about its previous history. If it’s been in any crashes, had any major work done, etc. We recommend only buying a car seat from someone you know and not from a thrift store or over the internet. If the car seat has been in a car crash, has expired or is defective, it needs to be replaced.

These are just some tips and tricks to keep in mind when you’re putting in your car seat. For more information on car seat safety, visit SafeKids.org. You can also use this helpful car seat checklist to make sure yours is installed properly.

Here at Packey Webb Ford safety is our top priority, especially for kids. Stop by our service department today and make sure your Ford is in tip-top shape!

Vehicle Safety Tips: What to Put in a Winter Emergency Kit

Winter TipsAs the weather turns colder and the roads get treacherous, it’s time to start preparing our cars to deal with the harsher conditions. One of the most important parts of winter readiness is putting together a winter emergency kit.

First, you need to gather some things that will help you dig your way out of a snow drift if you run into one. Always have a shovel and some cat litter or road salt to create traction so you can drive out. You should also get some emergency flares or something that will help attract attention in case of a crash. It’s a good idea to keep a cheap cell phone fully charged in your kit so you can call for help if your phone dies.

If your car breaks down and you’re stuck somewhere for several hours, you’ll want some basic necessities for yourself, including warm blankets, clothes to change into if yours get wet or to put on as an extra layer, and a few bottles of water and non-perishable snack foods.

And of course, keep your usual items—jumper cables, a spare tire, and a set of tools. Stay safe, and happy holidays!

Tips for Halloween Safety

Happy HalloweenHalloween is an exciting time of year. It can be hard not to get swept up in the melodrama of playing dress up, eating candy, telling ghost stories, and watching horror movies. Kids get to be whatever they want and get free treats and parents get to decorate their homes for the festivities. But it’s also important to keep in mind that wandering around after dark and taking candy from strangers has its fair share of dangers. Here are a few Halloween safety tips to keep you on your toes.

First, make sure costumes don’t impair vision or movement. If possible, wear bright colors or walk in brightly lit areas where drivers can see you and any children that happen to be with you. Carrying a flashlight will help you see and be seen.

Go to a neighborhood you know and trust. There is safety in numbers – you could make plans to have children trick or treat together in a group. If you aren’t sure about where to take the kids trick or treating, try finding an event like a trunk or treat or other organized community event that provides a safe place like a parking lot or festival that passes out treats in a safe, controlled environment.

For teens who want to go trick or treating without adult supervision, make sure you know the other people they are going with. Give them a curfew and make sure they have their cell phone on them, fully-charged. If all else fails, offer to be a taxi service in case of emergency.

Halloween is a time for fun and games, but it’s important to be aware. Halloween safety is an aspect of the season that should not be ignored. Have fun and stay safe this October.

Driving While Using a Cell Phone As Bad As Driving Drunk

Driving and Cell PhonesWe know that driving while using a cell phone sounds like a bad idea. But do we know for sure that it is scientifically proven to be dangerous? The answer is: yes, absolutely.

Look at a study done recently by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The researchers used video cameras and GPS as well as devices to track speed and lane departure.

According to CBS News, researchers found that for young drivers “the risk of a crash or near-miss” was seven times what it would normally be if they were dialing or reaching for a phone. The risk went up four times if the novice drivers were sending or receiving a text.

The risks were likely even greater than the experiments found because researchers could only measure eye movement and not “cognitive distraction.” Even though someone’s eyes were on the road, it doesn’t mean they were registering what they saw.

If you want a good measure for how dangerous it is to text and drive, MythBusters once proved what psychologists from the University of Utah had found. Driving while on the phone is as bad as driving while tipsy. But the sad truth is that most people don’t take it as seriously as they should.