Monday, May 21, 2012

Gravity-- Think about it


The invisible force that pulls objects to the center of the earth is called GRAVITY. This force gives objects their weight and keeps them in contact with the ground. Without gravity a vehicle could not accelerate, brake or steer. In certain situations, uphill and downhill, you must compensate for this force acting upon the vehicle.

DRIVING UPHILL: The force of gravity will slow your vehicle; the steeper the grade, the greater the effect. Thus, as you approach the hill, you must choose appropriate gear that will provide power to climb. In a standard, downshift; in an automatic, use the transmission kick down on a short grade or select a lower gear on a longer grade. (2nd gear = 20 to 40 mph; 1st gear > 20 mph.) Avoid shifting on the hill. Driving uphill, maintain speed by increasing pressure on the accelerator.

Near the crest, ease up on the accelerator (reduced forward sightline) and keep to lane position 3 (right position) until your sightline is restored. When you return to level ground, select the appropriate gear.

To stop on the upgrade, your stopping distance will be much shorter. Adjust brake input to stop in the correct place.

DRIVING DOWNHILL: The force of gravity will cause your speed and braking distance to increase. Approaching a downgrade, (signs warn of the hill, length and grade) check the brakes by applying slight pressure. If the hill is steep, downshift in keeping with the speed required. As you descend the slope, take advantage of the engine compression for braking and, if necessary, apply the brakes as well, gently and intermittently. Increase the following distance and, if you must stop, input braking pressure sooner and more firmly.

Your vehicle’s CENTER OF GRAVITY is the point around which all of its weight is balanced. Most modern automobiles have a very low center of gravity; this gives them excellent road-handling characteristics. Pick-up trucks, jeeps, four wheel drive vehicles and cars with rooftop carriers tend to have higher centers of gravity. This must be taken into consideration otherwise braking and steering maneuvers become dangerous.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Insurance-- some information


Washington State requires proof that an owner is capable of paying in the event of injury to persons or property damage in a collision the proprietor of 25 or more vehicles shall be self insured

Most drivers carry auto insurance. They pay premium, or fee, to acquire protection from financial losses which may arise from a collision or mishap in which they are involved. The insurance company issues a policy, or written contract, and a proof or of insurance to the individual indicating how much and under what circumstances it will pay.


There are several sources

·         Directly from an insurance company

·         Agents who represent one or more companies

·         Brokers who do business with many companies

·         Auto clubs which may also issue insurance

·         Employers, unions or fraternal organizations offering group plans

Whatever your choice, deal with someone who takes the time to answer your questions, who is willing to point out alternatives in coverage and explain the differences between them and who has a good track record in the settlement  of claims. Again you must shop around, ask friends and relatives, and check with consumer groups.


Vehicle insurance is available in many forms to cover the possible situations that may arise.

LIABILITY INSURANCE protects you against any claims that may arise when you are held responsible for a mishap or collision. It comes in two forms bodily injury liability (injuries to other people whether pedestrians or passengers - minimum  $25,000 one person, $50,000 for two or more persons) and property damage liability (repairing or replacing other people’s property – minimum $10,000) This will also pay legal fees, court costs and lost wages up to the maximum of your insurance coverage. Minimum requirements are insufficient as you will be held personally responsible for claims that exceed your coverage.

COLLISION INSURANCE pays for repair or replacement of your vehicle, regardless of whether you are at fault, involved in a collision with an uninsured driver or the victim of a hit and run. Because of the increasing cost of this coverage, most insurance companies offer a deductible policy- Meaning the person who purchased the coverage pays a $50-$500 portion of the bill first,  the higher the deductible the lower the cost of the insurance premium.

COMPREHENSIVE INSURANCE protects you from losses due to vandalism, theft, fire, floods, or windstorms. Once again, a deductible affects the cost of the coverage

MEDICAL PAYMENT INSURANCE  is a specific policy covering medical, hospital or funeral costs. It covers you, your passengers and your family in case of collisions causing injury or death.

NO FAULT INSURANCE has been adopted in many states. In this plan, you and your passengers receive payment for your adjusted claims directly from your own company regardless of who is responsible. The advantages are faster settlement of claims and lower cost of insurance. This does not however, prevent injured parties from suing for damages

TOWING INSURANCE covers the cost of on-road repairs and the cost of having your vehicle towed

Insurance is not a simple matter. Since each person’s situation is unique, this means that you must arrange your coverage to meet your individual needs.


Insurance companies use statistics ro determine the cost of their premiums. The factors used in determining the cost:

·         Your age- rates reduce as you get older

·         Driving record- traffic violations, collisions, previous claims, etc. will increase your rate

·         Vehicle usage- If you drive to work, car pool, or use your vehicle for pleasure only; higher mileage means higher rates

·         Marital status-married persons pay lower premiums

·         Gender- women drive less often and have fewer collisions so they typically pay a lower rate

·         Your vehicle-the more expensive the vehicle; the higher the premium will be. Sport models also cost more

·         Your residence-people residing is high density population areas pay higher rates

·         Special discounts-some companies offer discounts for air-bags, brake systems, alarm systems, having completed a TSE program, or good student discounts

*ONLY licensed drivers are allowed to be added to an insurance plan-- while students are on their permit there is no policy that can be written nor can they be rated on a policy.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Help “Stop the Texts. Stop The Wrecks.” on the First Nationwide Stop the Texts Day

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving is the number one killer of teens in America. In 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed and an additional 416,000 were injured due to distracted driving, which includes texting while driving.

Despite this very risky behavior, a new national survey from the Ad Council found that sixty percent of young adults (age 16 – 24) said they have texted while driving. A majority of them said they will continue to do so even with the knowledge that texting while driving can seriously injure or kill others and/or themselves!

Most notably, the survey asked young adults what would be the most effective way(s) to encourage them not to text while driving.

·         Eighty-eight percent said a law against this would encourage them to completely stop or be less likely to text while driving.

·         The vast majority, ninety-six percent said large fines, a suspended license and/or jail time, higher insurance rates, and other financial / legal consequences would also encourage them not to text while driving.

·         The survey also revealed that friends and parents would be the most influential people in getting them to choose not to text and drive.

To help address this epidemic, the Ad Council, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the State Attorneys General and Consumer Protection Agencies are hosting the first nationwide Stop The Texts Day today to spread awareness about the risks of distracted driving. The goal of this day is to extend the message of their “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.” youth texting and driving prevention public service advertising campaign via social media channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) in an effort to educate young drivers about the risks of texting while driving.

To participate, supporters are invited to share status updates from the campaign’s Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the day on why texting while driving is such a risky behavior. Additionally, supporters can write an open letter to young adults imploring them to not text while driving on the campaign Tumblr page. A complete toolkit for Stop the Texts Day is also available to provide additional ways the public can participate.

Your participation can go a long way!