(Source: https://driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/how-to-drive-in-large-cities/

9 Important Tips to Survive Driving in Large U.S. Cities

Driving in large metropolitan areas presents a unique set of challenges. For drivers who are not used to the busy streets and slower pace of city driving, the experience can be quite frustrating. Here are several tips that can help make driving on city streets a little easier. Learn How to Drive in Large Cities

1 Understand that city drivers encounter traffic jams, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and herds of pedestrians and cyclists on a daily basis. If you are unfamiliar with city driving, it is important to understand that the other motorists surrounding your car might not be as cautious or concerned as you are.

2 If possible, avoid driving in cities during rush hour. Typically, rush hour traffic is at its peak during the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Try to stay off of metropolitan roadways during these times unless it is absolutely necessary. Rush hour traffic not only increases the time it will take to reach your destination, it will also subject you to a higher chance of an accident, more frustration, and the wrath of city drivers who encounter all of the time. Be warned, that an afternoon rush hour is also possible in some places like the New York City area, where it begins as early as 3 p.m.

3 Stay in the right lane. Whether you are driving on a busy metropolitan expressway or a downtown avenue, staying in the right lane will put you in the company of slower, more cautious drivers.

4 Watch out for crosswalks. Crosswalks are much more common in metropolitan areas, particularly in city centers. Remember that pedestrians always have the right of way on a cross walk. Always check both sides of the curb before proceeding

5 Depending on which city you are driving in, you may encounter a large amount of cyclists. Bicycles are a common way for residents of large cities to travel without having to navigate a car on busy streets. Although cyclists are supposed to obey the same traffic laws as drivers, many do not. Keep an eye out for cyclists and always maintain a safe distance from them. Also be aware that many cities have specific bicycle lanes to the far right of their streets. Never steer your vehicle into these lanes for any reason.

6 Taxis are common obstacles in large cities. In an effort to respond to someone hailing a cab, taxi drivers often make sudden swerves to the edges of roadways. Keep a safe distance from taxis. Watch out for passengers entering and exiting taxis parked on the side of the road. Taxi cab drivers are prone to making risky decisions that can be dangerous for other drivers (Garrett)

7 When stopped at a traffic light, be aware that pedestrians have been given a walk signal and will be hurrying across the street while your light is red. Some pedestrians may be slower than the walk signal or may attempt to cross the street even though the don’t walk signal has been employed. Always look both ways for pedestrians before going after the light has turned green. Never drive around a person walking across the street, even if they are jaywalking.

8 Many metropolitan roadways have parallel parks on both edges. As a driver, you must take precautions to avoid vehicles being parked and people entering and exiting their parallel parked vehicles. You should be even more careful in winter as drivers exiting their cars can slip on a snowy road and get under your wheels

9 Remain calm. Large metropolitan areas are notorious for stressful situations that cause road rage. Take your time, pay attention, and employ a passenger as a navigator. These are American cities with the worst traffic. Check if the city you are traveling to made the list: Whether you are visiting a large city for a family vacation or must drive to an appointment at a downtown office building, navigating metropolitan roadways requires a heightened sense of awareness and the ability to remain calm enough to focus on the task of driving. (Source: https://driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/how-to-drive-in-large-cities/?fbclid=IwAR0I1ZqHDCulzjN7EP0XUNpN5ZMmjh5EPTgJiy38MdYt25DE3QcKZkUNJBQ)

Halloween is the time to really go all out in the way of decorations. And the decorations don’t have to stop with your home. These creative Halloween car decorations will make Halloween a mobile holiday too!

Having your car decorated will allow you to spread spooky cheer all over town! Everywhere you drive will get a little more holiday spirit.

This is such a fun time of the year, keep reading to get inspiration to make your own car decorations for Halloween!

Text reading Halloween car decorations collage
We all love to decorate for the holidays each year with DIY Halloween decorations when the season rolls around. Carved pumpkins are on everyone’s front porch. But don’t stop there!

Your car is the perfect place to add some Halloween decor, too!

Scare up some Fright with one of these Unique Halloween Car Decorations

Porches, front entry steps and garden planters are all great ways to decorate outside, and there are tons of DIY craft projects to celebrate Halloween indoors.   And when it comes to cooking for Halloween, we put out all the stops.

Why stop there?  Don’t forget your vehicle! Your car is an open book when it comes to car decorating ideas.  

Don’t neglect your 2021 spring car maintenance checklist

Conserving Fuel | AAA Exchange

Bad driving isn’t just unsafe. It’s expensive. Studies have repeatedly shown that personal driving habits are the single biggest factor that affects vehicle fuel consumption. Adopting new and improved driving behaviors not only makes car travel safer, it can contribute to significant savings at the gas pump. Here are some simple ways you can improve your car’s gas mileage:

Ownership, Maintenance & Repairs

  • When buying a car, look for models that offer the best fuel economy in their class. For most drivers, an optional larger and/or more-powerful engine is unnecessary.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Modern cars don’t need “tune ups,” but regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy, performance and longevity.
  • Take your car to a repair shop as soon as possible if the “Check Engine” light comes on. This indicates a problem that is causing excessive emissions and likely reducing fuel economy.
  • Keep tires properly inflated. Underinflation reduces fuel economy, but more importantly, tires low on air degrade handling and braking, wear more rapidly and can overheat and blowout.

The Daily Drive

  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. On the highway, aerodynamic drag causes fuel economy to drop off significantly as speeds increase above 50 mph.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard acceleration. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • To idle or not to idle.
    • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in winter. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
    • Avoid prolonged idling in general. If your car will be stopped for more than 60 seconds, shut off the engine to save fuel. Many newer cars have automatic engine stop-start systems that do this.
  • When driving in town, adjust your speed to “time” the traffic lights. This reduces repeated braking and acceleration that consume additional fuel.
  • When approaching a red light or stop sign, take your foot off the gas early and allow your car to coast down to a slower speed until it is time to brake.
  • Accelerate smoothly with light to moderate throttle. This allows the automatic transmission to upshift into higher gears sooner, reducing engine rpm and saving fuel.
  • Use cruise control to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because a loss of vehicle control could result.
  • If your car has a manual transmission, upshift as soon as you can without “lugging” the engine. When practical, you can also save fuel by skip-shifting – for example, going directly from first gear to third.

Don’t be Fueled into Wasting Gas

The practices above will definitely help improve fuel economy. Also keep these more general fuel saving tips in mind:

  • Minimize your use of air conditioning. Even at highway speeds, open windows have less effect on fuel economy than the engine power required to operate the air conditioning compressor.
  • Plan ahead to accomplish multiple errands in one trip, and whenever possible travel outside high-traffic times of day.
  • If you own more than one car, use the most fuel efficient model that meets the needs of any given journey.

Fuel Economy Myths

  • In hot weather, park in the shade or use a windshield sunscreen to lessen heat buildup inside the car. This reduces the need for air conditioning (and thus fuel) to cool down the car.
  • Remove unnecessary and bulky items from your car. It takes more fuel to accelerate a heavier car, and the reduction in fuel economy is greater for small cars than larger models.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use. On the highway even an empty bike, canoe or ski rack can reduce fuel economy, and a loaded rack or car-top container will have a major effect on gas mileage.
  • AAA research has found that unless premium fuel is recommended or required by your car’s manufacturer, it provides no added benefit. Motorists should refer to their vehicle’s owner’s manual to check which type of gasoline is recommended for their engine.

Ten Crazy Car Repair Stories from Auto Mechanics

10 Crazy Car Repair Stories from Auto Mechanics

women in motor history hero.
https://www.carrentals.com/blog/women-in-motor-history/?fbclid=IwAR04GXJaVahU5p04R_n7DHPrcKyXeJk48DwTzc4awZU8o8FKNH_w0zbgzmc

From incredible mathematicians to engineers and fearless racecar drivers, their lives and stories are nothing short of inspiring. CARRENTALS.COM10 Women Who Changed the Automotive Industry – CarRentals

AAA Auto Repair ArticleBy AAA Automotive

Want to know if you really need to warm up the car engine before driving, even during the cold winter months? AAA provides auto care tips that help you keep your vehicle running smoothly every season of the year.

Myth: To improve performance, particularly in cold weather, allow the engine to run for a few minutes before driving.

Fact: Start the engine and allow it to idle only for the time it takes you to fasten your seat belt. This ensures that lubricating oil gets to all of the engine’s vital parts. Driving the car normally and avoiding hard acceleration brings the engine to a warmer temperature faster, and also reduces wear and exhaust emissions. Naturally, a little longer idle time is ok in winter while you clear snow and ice from the windshield and other car parts.

Driving is not without its risks as any driver is well aware. However, these risks can be minimized with attention to safety. Whenever and wherever you drive, it’s important to keep these top safety tips in mind so you can contribute to safer roadways for you and other drivers. By practicing defensive driving and following these tips at all times, you can reduce the risk of collision and enhance your safety as well as the safety of your car’s occupants.

#1: Don’t Drink & Drive

While many countries have stringent laws regarding drunk driving, people still routinely drink and drive. Not only does this practice compromise their own safety, it drastically compromises the safety of other drivers or pedestrians on the road. Moreover, drunk drivers have been known to run off the roads where they have struck homes and other buildings. As most people know, many innocent victims have lost their lives to drunk drivers. Drinking substantially impairs a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle. Therefore, it’s vital that drivers refrain from drinking if they plan to drive.https://www.youtube.com/embed/WrcK_hefeYc?feature=oembed

#2: Don’t Drive If You Are Sleepy

Experts have asserted that driving while sleep-deprived can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. According to statistics, roughly twenty percent of accidents list sleep deprivation as a factor. In fact, driving just a bit drowsy can increase your risk for an accident. Driving tired means you are less likely to respond optimally while on the road. Any delay in response while driving can lead to a serious driving consequence. Be sure to avoid driving drowsy and don’t drive if you are taking medications that list drowsiness as a side effect.https://www.youtube.com/embed/EQNvn3CTaig?feature=oembed

#3: Don’t Talk on Cell Phones or Text

Cell phone use is an increasing factor in traffic collisions and related fatalities. In fact, the increase is leading many states to adopt new legislation and harsher penalties regarding cell phone use while driving. As of 2021, in most cities and states, driving and holding a cell phone are prohibited. Hands-free cell phones use may be legal (not everywhere), but drivers should remember that any distraction that takes their mind from the road and the operation of their vehicle is unsafe. Therefore, it’s essential to minimize all distractions while driving. Texting, of course, is incredibly dangerous as it requires drivers to remove their eyes from the road.https://www.youtube.com/embed/VLVUR9Lesa4?feature=oembed

#4: Don’t Speed

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a major contributor to roadway collisions. Moreover, each subsequent increase in mileage per hour increases the risk of collision. Driving experts have also counseled that raising your speed is only likely to reduce your drive time by mere minutes; however, it can increase the risk of crashing by more than fifty percent. Therefore, whether you are driving near or far, it makes safety sense to keep to the speed limit.https://www.youtube.com/embed/WDQNegdB4Pw?feature=oembed

#5: Don’t Forget to Wear Your Seat Belt

When drivers and occupants wear seat belts, they substantially increase the likelihood of surviving a car accident. Since no one ever sets out expecting to be in a car accident, it’s all the more important to wear a seat belt every time you ride in a car. Seat belts do save lives. In fact, more than half of the people who died in a car crash were not wearing their seat belts. Even if you are only driving a block or two away, wear your seat belt and make sure that everyone else in the vehicle buckles up before you pull away. Even driving at a slow rate is dangerous if an accident should occur. Hitting the windshield or steering wheel, for instance, can still result in a perilous injury if you are driving slowly when you collide. A seat belt increases the likelihood that you will survive.https://www.youtube.com/embed/s6JVJZAXp3A?feature=oembed

#6: Drive Carefully in Inclement Weather

We’ve all seen drivers plow through snow and rain as if it’s a sunny day in May. Don’t be this type of driver. No matter what type of vehicle you own, you need to slow down and be extra careful when driving in inclement weather. Even if you feel that your four-wheel drive, for instance, is perfectly reliable in snow, other people can still slip and slide. If you are driving slowly and carefully, you will be more apt to react optimally if another driver loses control of their vehicle. Fog, rain, snow, and even wind require drivers to be extra mindful. If possible, it’s often ideal to forgo driving in bad weather.https://www.youtube.com/embed/3GEgB-xui0M?feature=oembed

#7: Maintain Your Vehicle

Part of driving safely means driving a safe vehicle. Be sure that your brakes and tires, for instance, are in prime condition. Neglecting these important car features can compromise the safety of your vehicle substantially. Have your vehicle serviced as soon as problems arise to ensure your safety.https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y3jcQCdeJAs?feature=oembed

Follow these important tips in order to decrease the likelihood of experiencing a car accident. You’ll enhance your safety and the safety of others.

An air cabin filter is an important component in any vehicle’s heating and cooling system. It helps protect the passengers from contaminants in the air they breathe.

CARANDDRIVER.COMAir Cabin Filter: Everything You Need To KnowAn air cabin filter is an important component in any vehicle’s heating

Driving can be very stressful, particularly if you are stuck in heavy traffic or are an inexperienced driver, and this stress will eventually take its toll on the heart. However, researchers now confirm that there is a simple fix for this problem: listening to the right music while driving.

woman driving
If we listen to relaxing music while driving, this may help relieve stress and protect the heart, a new study suggests.

Past research has shown that experiencing frequent psychological stress can be a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, a condition that affects almost half of those aged 20 years and older in the United States.

One source of frequent stress is driving, either due to the stressors associated with heavy traffic or the anxiety that often accompanies inexperienced drivers.

Does this mean, though, that people who drive on a daily basis are set to develop heart problems, or is there a simple way of easing the stress of driving?

According to a new study by researchers from São Paulo State University in Marília, Brazil, Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom, and the University of Parma in Italy, there is.

In a study paper that features in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine, the researchers report the encouraging results of a study involving inexperienced drivers, noting that listening to music while driving helps relieve the stress that affects heart health.

“We found that cardiac stress in the participants in our experiment was reduced by listening to music while they were driving,” says principal investigator Prof. Vitor Engrácia Valenti.

Music may lower cardiovascular stress

For their study, the researchers recruited five female volunteers between the ages of 18 and 23 years who were in good health, were not habitual drivers — they drove no more than twice a week — and had received their driver’s license 1–7 years before the start of the study.

“We opted to assess women who were not habitual drivers because people who drive frequently and have had a license for a long time are better adapted to stressful situations in traffic,” explains Prof. Valenti.

The researchers asked the volunteers to take part in two different experiments. On one day, the participants had to drive for 20 minutes during rush hour on a 3 kilometer route in one of the busiest parts of the city of Marília. On this day, the participants did not play any music in the car as they were driving.

On another day, the volunteers had to go through the same motions, with one exception: This time, they listened to instrumental music while driving.

In both instances, the participants drove cars that were not their own. This measure was necessary, the investigators explain, to make sure that there was no reduction in stress due to the volunteers being familiar with the cars.

“To increase the degree of traffic stress, we asked them to drive a car they did not own. Driving their own car might help,” says Prof. Valenti.

To measure the effect of stress on the heart in each experimental condition, the investigators asked the participants to wear heart rate monitors able to record heart rate variability in real time.

The activity of two key systems — the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system — influences heart rate variability. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for regulating the flight or flight response, which is the automatic bodily reaction to stressful, anxiety-inducing situations. Meanwhile, the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for “rest and digest” processes.

“Elevated sympathetic nervous system activity reduces heart rate variability, whereas more intense parasympathetic nervous system activity increases it,” explains the lead investigator.

The researchers then analyzed the measurements that they had collected through the heart rate monitors on the two occasions. They found that when the participants had listened to music while driving under stressful conditions, they had higher heart rate variability than when they had driven under stressful conditions without any music.

“Listening to music attenuated the moderate stress overload the volunteers experienced as they drove,” says Prof. Valenti.

To readers who may be wondering why the researchers turned specifically to female participants in their study, the lead investigators explain that, at this stage, they wanted to be able to rule out the potential influence of sex-specific hormones.

“If men, as well as women, had participated, and we had found a significant difference between the two groups, female sex hormones might have been considered responsible,” notes Prof. Valenti.

The results of the small-scale experiments, the researchers argue, suggest that listening to relaxing music could, indeed, be an easy way of preventing stress levels from escalating and affecting the heart when someone finds themselves stuck in traffic.

River City Fleet Services, Inc.

River City Fleet Services, Inc.