Hey, all. Happy Friday! I’m sick today (bleh!) so this one’s going to be short and sweet. Today’s blog post is dedicated to car safety (or not); why I would find myself in conversations about cars when I don’t own one is puzzling in itself. But alright… this is what I learned, so this is what I’ll write.
1.) Well. Let’s first dispense with the non-safety related information. If you absolutely refuse to wear your seatbelt, and DON’T want to hear the dinging sound because you’re not wearing it:
- Take out the seatbelt fuse;
- Put a coin into the buckle;
- Cut the electronic wire connecting the fusebox to the belt; or
- Do it the Texas way… sit on the damn seat belt itself.
[PSA]None of these recommendations are well… recommended. Not only do seatbelts save lives; none of these methods outlined above prevents you from getting a ticket if a cop pulls you over, Dumas. [/PSA]
2.) Some driving tips changed since I took Driver’s Ed. Did you know that now, you’re supposed to now hold the steering wheel in the 4 and 8 positions? When you drive with your hands down lower on the wheel and you’re in an accident – if your airbag deploys, your hands will not be in the path of the explosion. Hands flying into your face at 60 mph can break bones. You like your cute little nose, don’t you?
3.) 92% of car seats are not properly installed. First mistake: the parents install them behind the passenger side seat. NOOOOO!!!! Actually, they should be positioned in the rear center seat. (Reason: if you are sideswiped with your kid in the car, the impact will be less likely to affect them.)
Installing a car seat is actually a three person job: one person should coordinate and install the car seat; another should push the contraption into the car cushions as far as possible; and one more person is needed to pull and wind the seat belt completely taut before clicking the fastener into the buckle. You don’t want your car seat to move more than an inch once it’s installed. More information can be found here.
Most fire and police stations are trained in car seat installation; you really should have the professionals put it in for you, for peace of mind, if anything else. Hey, and it’s free!
4.) Research suggests that for every mile per hour you drive, the likelihood of your being in an accident increases by four to five percent. For your average drive across town, driving even 10 mph (16.1 kph) faster is only going to save you, at most, a few minutes — while increasing your crash risk by as much as 50 percent. Even on long trips, the time you’ll save is inconsequential compared to the risks associated with speeding.
I remember one time some ass cut me off in traffic. After some prerequisite cursing, I showed up at my destination and parked my car. Lo and behold, ten seconds later, said asshole pulled into the strip mall too! We ended up going to the same place – AND I got there before him!!!!! Even at my young age, I realized that just because he was speeding, it did not get him to his destination any faster. In fact, all of that dodging traffic business probably slowed the sucka down…
Moral of the story: Slowwwwwwwwwww down, folks!
5.) If you want to fight the traffic ticket you just received for being a dumbass, this article says lays out some advice thick… much better than me. (Let me say that I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with this bulls*** anymore!)
6.) I knew already that you should always research and know what car to buy before you actually show up at the dealership. D’uh. I’ve consulted Consumer Reports and Kelly Blue Book every time I’ve bought or sold a car. But there should be one more book in my arsenal: The Car Book, which can be purchased at any bookseller. It lays out maintenence records for every car’s make/model (in existence) and tells you, point blank, how much it will cost to maintain your car after you buy it.
Psst: Mercedes cars cost more in maintenance that many other makes.
I couldn’t find a copy of the Car Book online; here’s a (sorta) similar article from Consumer Reports. (Subscription required after first page. Sorry.)
Okay. Happy Weekend. See ya here next week!