Cold weather can cause all kinds of transportation problems, so don’t put off having your car inspected and serviced now. Below is a checklist of the most important areas of your car to review or inspect in order to be prepared for winter.
- Check all of the fluids. This includes oil, brake fluid, coolant, and windshield washer fluid.
- Have the battery serviced including cleaning the terminal ends and checking cables for wear. If it fails a load test or is more than four years old, replace it.
- Check tire tread for wear. If you drive on remote roads consider replacing all-season tires with snow tires for added traction in snow and ice.
- Make sure tires are inflated properly as cold temperatures will lower pressure. Specifications for your car are usually found on the edge of the door or in the glove box.
- Have your breaks inspected. Control on slick roads is key in the winter.
- Test defroster, heater, and all the lights including turn signals and headlights.
- Replace windshield wipers to ensure best visibility.
- Keep the gas tank full to prevent moisture freezing in the gas lines.
- Carry emergency items. Include a blanket, extra clothing plus boots, gloves, hat, ice scraper, snow shovel, flashlight, flares, kitty litter for traction, jumper cables, a phone charger, and maybe your favorite snacks to get you through that enormous traffic jam on the way home from work.
As everyone knows, there will be an increased number of children out on the street on Halloween. These kids are distracted by excitement, are poor judges of traffic threats, may have restricted movement and vision because of their costumes, and believe they are indestructible. With that in mind, motorists must be especially careful on Halloween night. The list of tips below will help keep motorists safe on this special night:
- Stay Home – If you don’t have to be anywhere, plan on an evening at home. Keep in mind Halloween festivities start as early as 4:00 PM. In fact, accidents involving pedestrians are four times more likely to occur between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM on this holiday than any other day.
- Use an Alternate Route – Try choosing a route that is less likely to be used by trick-or-treaters. There may already be kids on the streets when you leave work so plan accordingly.
- Discourage Teens from Driving – Keep inexperienced drivers off the road by giving them a ride or by planning activities to keep them at home.
- Slow Down – Keep your speed below the limit in residential areas to give yourself more time to stop, should a child dart out in front of you.
- Stay Alert – Watch the sidewalks and curbs where kids are walking. They may step out from between parked cars, so be aware. Stopped vehicles are likely to be letting out passengers that may cross in front of you, so don’t pass them.
- Avoid Distractions – Turn down your radio and don’t use a cell phone while driving.
- Signal – Let other drivers and pedestrians know what you are doing. If you are dropping off or picking up passengers, turn on your hazard lights. Use turn signals at intersections and when changing lanes.
- No Drinking – Don’t be distracted by the holiday parties that you might attend. There’s never an excuse to drink and drive.
Of course parents warn their children to be safe when walking to school or the park or to meet their friends. Kids, like anyone else, are more receptive to reasons than rules. Judging speed and distance isn’t fully developed in youngsters and their smaller size and inexperience with traffic rules puts them at greater risk of pedestrian dangers. On October 8, 2014 we’ll be celebrating International Walk and Bike to School Day. If your child/children will be walking or biking to school on Wednesday, take some time to go over these reminders and pedestrian safety tips with them:
- Cross the street using crosswalks or at street corners.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing so that you know that they see you.
- Use the sidewalk whenever available.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side of the street and face the traffic.
- Don’t enter the street from behind parked cars.
- Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.
- Pay extra attention when using electronic devices.
- Put electronic devices down when crossing the road.
- If using a cell phone is necessary, stop walking/biking and find a safe place to use it.
- Pay attention to cars moving in or out of driveways.
- Wear light or reflective clothing especially if you must be out walking/biking after dark.
- Stick with your normal walking/biking route or use only parent approved alternatives.
Pedestrian injuries are the fifth leading cause of injury-related death for children aged 5 to 19. Do not assume that older is wiser as teens account for half of those deaths. Spend some time walking with your kids around the neighborhood and set a good example for them to follow. Make sure they know the safest routes. Provide them with reflective clothing or reflective stickers for backpacks and book bags. Remind them to speak up and warn others if they notice another pedestrian in danger.
For more information about pedestrians and safe driving, visit our blog, Protect Pedestrians with Safe Driving – The Garage Plan Shop.
Move over shade tree. This unassuming plain-Jane four-car garage, with a side order of RV storage, just might replace you. Two double bays provide a great working and storage space for the auto enthusiast. Imagine turning a part time hobby into a genuine home business because this plan provides space for a big-boy office. Skylights provide natural light in the loft to help guide one through 1069 square feet of storage. With a full bath next to the office, there is no need to take “work” home with you, when it can be washed down the drain. Did I say “plain?” As plain as socket wrench. You wouldn’t go to the party without one.
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A pair of dormer windows on the left and right sides of this two-car garage loft plan provide curb appeal and natural lighting for the upper level storage loft (512 square feet.) The main level holds a 2-car garage with an extra deep bay on the right suitable for boat storage. The back corner of the left bay offers a workshop area that is sure to please the family handyman. With 918 square feet of usable space on the main level and a 9’ ceiling, the garage space is flexible enough to accommodate a variety of needs. If you’re looking to add parking and storage to your home, this garage workshop plan with boat storage is worth taking a closer look.
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