Preventing Spin-Out Crashes

No matter how many years you’ve been a driver, it’s always beneficial to read up on ways to improve your habits, especially for emergency situations. Take, for instance, a potential spin-out crash, which could occur if you’ve jerked the wheel to avoid a collision. Prepared with the tips below, you might be able to avoid or mitigate these crashes, saving yourself and others from harm.

Stay Calm

It’s difficult to do, but staying calm is one of the most important things to do when you’ve lost control of your vehicle. Overcorrecting is a common mistake that can lead to spinning out. Try to think fast but react with calm, subtle movements that will return your vehicle to its proper place.

Take a Class

If you really want to be confident in your ability to handle a potential spin-out, it might be worthwhile to take a skid control class, which will help you get a feel for spin-out conditions while in the safety of a controlled environment.

Let Off the Gas

Whenever your car is out of control, you should immediately take your foot off the gas.

Fix Your Eyes on the Target

If you’re trying to regain control over your vehicle, it can help to set your sight on the target, like the road or a clear path, rather than look at the other vehicle or obstacle you hope to avoid. 

spin-out crashes - Downers Grove, IL
Car window cleaning

Getting Ready for Winter: Survival Preparedness Kit

Car window cleaning

Whether you’re on a road trip or commuting to work, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency survival preparedness kit. There are a range of emergency and survival supplies any driver should have, from basics like jumper cables and a spare to some lesser-known items that might just save your life. At Packey Webb Ford, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most important things to include in your kit.

Winter is right around the corner, making an emergency kit essential for any driver. According to Popular Mechanics, you should carry fresh water and stable food supplies. Most people can’t go more than three days without water, so it’s necessary to have a gallon of clean water or some chlorine-based tablets so you can make water. For food, aim for high-energy food bars—some of which are specially made to give you up to 3,600 calories per bar.

A first-aid kit is also important. Include things like gauze, aspirin or Tylenol, antiseptic, and a sewing kit. Scissors or a seatbelt cutter is also handy to have in the event of an accident. Duct can fix things in a pinch, and sunscreen is a good idea if you have any space left in your kit.

Finally, pick up some emergency equipment such as a fire extinguisher and flares. The extinguisher is self-explanatory, but flares can be used for both fire-starting and signaling. Hazard triangles work great for fixing a flat on the side of the road, but a flare can be seen from long distances—exactly what you need in a pinch. These are just the essential things to include in your kit. Naturally, you should restock when necessary, and don’t be afraid to modify your kit based on your environment.

Car in winter

Preparing Your Car for Winter

Car in winter

Preparing your car for winter isn’t something you should take lightly. It’s all about helping ensure both you and your vehicle have a safe winter season. Here are a few steps to take when it comes to preparing your car for winter.

Pack an Emergency Kit

Packing an emergency kit geared towards winter is a great way to ensure you can hold out until help arrives. Some simple items, most of which can fit in a box, including warm clothes, an ice scraper, snacks, such as nuts, a flashlight, scissors or a seatbelt cutter, and a first-aid kit. Keeping the kit in your car where it’s easily accessible will help ensure that, should you get stuck in the snow, you can either dig yourself out or wait for help to arrive.

Check Your Tread

Having a good amount of tread left on your tires is pertinent to maintaining traction on slick roads. Tires with low tread, or no tread at all, will result in less responsive handling, more sliding, and a general lack of traction. The test for making sure you have enough tread is simple: place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head towards the tire. If you can still see Lincoln’s head, you need to replace your tires.

Get an Oil Change

While most conventional motor oil is designed for all seasons, an oil change before winter is still a good idea. The cold weather can cause oil to thicken and that can result in a major problem if the oil hasn’t been changed in months.

Need an oil change or other pre-winter maintenance? Stop by Packey Webb Ford today.

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 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.