Archives for September 2012

Traveling with Your Dog: Which are you?

Traveling with Your DogDo you travel with your dog? Many people do, but it varies greatly “how” people travel with their pets. There tends to be three categories of people who drive with dogs.

Category One: Top Dogs

These dogs are allowed to roam free in the vehicle and take their choice of where they like to sit. You’ll see many of these dogs perched on laps, including the driver’s lap. Top Dogs like to stick their heads out the window and pay no regard to the damage their paws do to bare legs they frequently climb across to get a better view or taste the fresh air on the opposite side of the vehicle. Top Dogs know which establishments have dog treats at the drive through and they aren’t afraid to look cute at the right moment.

Category Two: Backseat Drivers

Dogs who are trained to stay in the back seat or are restrained in a traveling kennel are forced to be backseat drivers. They still have options available like barking, whining, and shedding. The most embarrassing for canines in this category are those who are put into a human seat belt and made to look silly. These dogs usually make the most out of travel time; they get comfortable and sleep, arriving well rested.

Category Three: Free Wheel’in

These are the dogs you see riding in the back of the pick-up truck thinking they are most certainly on their way hunting. They are very disappointed when all they do is run errands to the grocery store or hardware store without a pheasant in sight. While most of these dogs are very sweet, some take joy in popping up at unsuspecting pedestrians walking past in the parking lot. Many people have been startled by a Free Wheel’in dog who then spends the rest of his day chuckling to himself about the expression on the faces he glimpsed.

Do you have a dog that rides with you? Which is your dog? Do you have a category you would add to this?

How Organized Are You?

We all spend enough time in the car. Some of us spend more time than others. If you commute to work or drive carpool, the time really adds up. It helps to be organized in your vehicle and ready for any situation, right?

first aid kit travelJust for fun, take this quiz to see how organized and ready you are for any event while driving. If you were to go out to your vehicle right now, how many of these items could you find tucked away somewhere?

  • Reusable Grocery Bags
  • Phone Charger
  • Extra Diaper
  • Spare Change
  • Tire Iron
  • Garbage Container
  • Coupons
  • Wet Wipes
  • Bungee Cords
  • First Aid Kit
  • Camp Chairs
  • Travel Mug (clean or dirty)
  • Sweatshirt or Jacket
  • Pens and Pencils
  • Blanket
  • Kleenix and/or Napkins
  • Phone Book and/or AAA Card
  • Sunglasses

How many did you have? I suspect we all travel with quite a few things “just in case”. If your vehicle is pristine and doesn’t contain an ounce of clutter, you win the “clean award”, but you won’t have a band-aid readily available or any spare change if you hit a toll road, then what will you do?

What is Hydroplaning?

hydroplaningHydroplaning is when your vehicle tires are no longer directly in contact with the road. Speed, water, air, and condition of your tires can all effect how your vehicle handles on the road and if hydroplaning occurs. Hydroplaning happens when a layer of water builds between your tires and the road, which can result in loss of steering, loss of braking, skidding and sliding.

Your tires are designed with treads that help take the rain water on the road and get it out and away from the tire. So what can you do to try to avoid hydroplaning and hopefully stay safer on the road?

  • Check your tires; make sure they are at proper air pressure (inflated)
  • Check the tread on your tires and replace when necessary
  • Rotate, balance and align; this is important for optimum performance, as well as getting more out of your tires for longer
  • Avoid driving through standing water
  • Slow down, especially when it first starts to rain and the water mixes with any oil on the road (making it even more slippery)
  • Don’t use cruise control, cell phone, or anything else that will distract you and take away from very attentive driving.
  • Always wear your seat belt and proper car seats for children

Call us if you are concerned about the condition of your tires. With rain and snow in the months to come, we want to make sure you and your family are safe!