Driving Tips

What Defensive Steps can be Taken to Mitigate the Risk of an Accident?

It is almost a given that everyone will be involved in some sort of car accident if they’ve been driving for any period of time. These incidents can be as minor as a fender bender or as major as a twenty car pileup, but hopefully most people only experience the former. It is important to be a safe driver while out on the road to prevent these accidents, but learning to drive defensively will also go a long way in avoiding these occurrences. By following just a few simple rules, all drivers can mitigate their risk of experiencing any type of automobile crash.

What Defensive Steps can be Taken to Mitigate the Risk of an Accident? 1

Avoid any Distractions

The first step to driving defensively is avoiding any distractions. It is hard for a person to pay attention to what is going on around them and react effectively if they are concentrating on anything other than their own driving. Around two-thirds of car and light truck accidents are caused by driving fatigued, speeding and inattentiveness, so it is imperative for a person to focus all of their attention on the task at hand.

Cell phones are one of the most common distractions a person can engage in. People who are using the texting feature of their phone have been found to be just as likely to have an accident as a person who is drunk behind the wheel. Avoiding using a cell phone altogether while driving is the best advice a person can take. It’s also pertinent to avoid eating, drinking and rummaging for things in the back seat.

Notice Warning Signs

Noticing when others are distracted or even intoxicated behind the wheel is vital in maintaining safety and avoiding accidents. Drivers who are swerving or straddling lanes are either not paying attention to their driving or inebriated, and it is important to avoid either of these two types of drivers. An individual should keep a safe distance behind these vehicles if the neglectful drivers are in front of them, and they should never try to pass them.

Drunk drivers will sometimes use people in front of them as a guide to stay on the road. If it becomes obvious that a driver behind someone is likely intoxicated, then it is a good idea to pull into a parking lot or onto a side road to allow the possibly inebriated driver to pass. It is also possible to tell if a driver is intoxicated if they are going too fast or slow for conditions, making excessively wide or sharp turns or applying their brakes at inappropriate times (ie. green lights).

Stay Visible

Most drivers don’t purposefully sideswipe or rear end other vehicles; these accidents are often caused because that driver didn’t see the other vehicle or know what its driver was doing. This can usually be avoided by ensuring that all headlights and brake lights are working correctly. Properly working brake lights are easily one of the most important factors in avoiding a rear end collision.

Working lights, however, are not the only way drivers need to stay visible. It is also pertinent for an individual to engage in behaviors that will make sure they are noticed by other drivers. Always using turn signals is an easy way to accomplish this. It is also a good idea to avoid staying in another driver’s blind spot. Being one lane over and slightly behind another car likely puts a person in a blind spot, so that driver should either speed up or slow down to remove themselves from that area.

Adapt for Varying Road Conditions

A great number of people are surprised when they receive speeding tickets even when they were not exceeding the posted speed limit. These citations are often referred to as ‘driving too fast for conditions’. It doesn’t matter that a driver is under the posted speed limit if that limit is unsafe for driving at the time. This law exists because it is important to adjust to different road conditions.

One mistake that many people make is not slowing down when it begins to rain. Most people don’t realize that even a light sprinkle can make a road excessively slick due to the oil that accumulates on the asphalt. Other drivers may not adapt their driving for specific conditions, so it is also important for a driver to be even more alert to what’s going on around them if inclement weather or some other road hazard has occurred. This will increase the amount of time a person has to react if something unexpected suddenly occurs.

Engaging in defensive driving techniques is one of the best ways that a person can protect themselves and lessen their chances of being involved in an accident. Most people out on the roads today haven’t taken the time to read online articles on how to drive safely and defensively, so they are far more likely to engage in behaviors that can sometimes lead to serious tragedies. Knowing just a few defensive driving tactics will allow an individual to avoid and react to these dangerous drivers.


What You Should Know about Audi Cold Air Intake Kits

While your Audi is certainly engineered to provide superior performance, it still runs on an internal combustion engine. The key word there is “combustion”. Fuel is ignited, creating an explosion that moves the pistons in your engine, which in turn propels your vehicle down the road. There are several different elements involved in creating the combustion necessary to move your car. Fuel is obvious, and you’ll need a spark as well (from your spark plugs). However, in order for fuel to combust properly, you need plenty of oxygen – this comes from your air intake. Installing a cold air intake on your Audi can offer big performance gains, but you’ll need to know a few things before you start.

What You Should Know about Audi Cold Air Intake Kits 2

Cold Air Intakes vs. Short Ram Intakes

The first thing you’re going to need to do is decide if you want a cold air intake or a short ram intake. While they offer pretty much the same functionality, there are some key differences that you’ll need to understand in order to make an informed decision here.

Cold Air Intakes – As the name implies, cold air intakes deliver colder air to the engine than what is possible through a conventional air filter intake. Cold air is desirable for a number of reasons. For instance, colder air is denser, which offers better combustion.

These intakes take the place of your standard air filter (you’ll have to remove the air box and reroute the intake). Most of the time, the filter sits toward the front of the engine or even within a wheel well to ensure that the optimum amount of cold air is delivered to the engine. However, they’re not without their problems. For example, because of the placement of the filter element, it’s possible for water to get into the system (from heavy rains or from splashing up around the tire).

Short Ram Intakes – Short ram intakes serve pretty much the same function as cold air intakes, but they’re slightly different. The name really says it all – these are shorter systems, and place the filter element very close to the actual intake, usually on the top, front of the engine. This allows short ram intakes to avoid the water problem present with cold air intakes, but it means that the air delivered to the engine is not as cold and dense as what’s possible with the other system.

Making Your Choice

Determining exactly what type of intake system to install on your Audi will take a little bit of time. For instance, if you don’t regularly experience heavy rains (or you choose to install a water protection system), then cold air intakes are definitely the way to go. However, for those who are worried about water, or just want the simplest replacement possible, short ram intakes can certainly be viable options.

In addition to gaining up to 12 HP from changing out your intake, you’ll find that these accessories are available in a range of colors and styles. For example, if you have a particular look that you want for your Audi, you can choose colored metal or plastic intake tubes (aluminum tubes are stronger and more resilient, of course). Colors range from red to blue, green, black and every other color of the rainbow. You can also choose chrome air tubes to match your desired look or to coordinate with other custom accessories you’ve installed.


How To Paint a Classic Car

It can be intimidating to take on an automobile paint job, but with a plan of action in place, you can get the look you want and spend a lot less than what you would pay for someone else to do it.

Get Rid of the Old: In order to restore your classic car and paint with any success, you will first need to create a smooth surface. It is not suggested that you paint over the existing paint, unless you are just touching up a small area. Even then, that area will need to be prepared to accept the new paint. For this step and all that follow, you will want to ensure that all glass is covered, tires are protected, and all chrome components have been removed from the vehicle. In order to prepare the car to receive an all-over paint job, you will need an etching primer. Keep in mind that the most effective varieties will include an acid component, which means that they should be handled with great care to ensure your safety.

How To Paint a Classic Car 3

Prime The Surface : Now that the surface of the vehicle is ready to receive paint, the next step is to prime it. This will give the paint a much truer, bolder color in the end and will also reduce the amount of paint needed to get the surface that you desire. Choose a primer that is a two-part urethane high-build variety and cover the surface to be painted four or five times, allowing drying time between each coat.

Time For Hard Labor : The next step will require some “elbow grease.” That is to say that you will have to put forth some manual effort to block sand the surface once it has been properly coated in primer. It is recommended, by most professionals, that you start with rougher sandpaper (220 grit) and work to a finer sandpaper (320 grit) to achieve a smooth surface. This will create a smoother finished surface as well.

Hose and Bucket : When the sanding is complete, the residual dust will need to be removed. That means a sponge and soapy water. You may want to use a high pressure blow gun to dispel some of the dust before you begin, then clean the surface well.

Prepare Better Cover : There are a lot of places that you don’t want paint to be. Those areas need to be covered with a reliable plastic to ensure that no paint is allowed to enter and no dirt that may be covering those surfaces can mingle with the wet paint. While you have likely covered this step earlier in the process, this is a good time to check that it has been done well and you might also want to cover the walls and floor around the vehicle. This, again, will prevent paint coverage and flying dust.

Double-Check the Clean : You’ve removed the residual dust of sanding, but a clean surface is absolutely essential to a good paint job. Use a solvent-based cleaner to go over the surface once more.

Time to Paint : Finally the surface has been fully prepared to receive the paint. You will want to be prepared ahead of time and have all of your auto paint supplies ready to go. When the sprayer has been loaded, set the paint gun between 25 and 30 psi, or consult the manufacturer guidelines regarding the recommended pressure for your gun. It doesn’t matter where you begin painting; however, it is highly recommended that you pick a point that is easily remembered. Once a surface is covered, you will want to return to the starting point to work in the other direction. The goal is to spray wet paint beside wet paint, so it blends well. If you allow an area to dry and paint beside it, you are likely to find the appearance of a “seam” when all is completed.

Accents : If you are adding pin striping or some other detail, wait until the base coat is dry before painting the accents. Be sure to protect the rest of the vehicle from overspray by laying out the lines, taping, and then covering all other surfaces. Remove this tape and covering approximately 20 minutes after completing the painting.

Clear Coating : When the painted surface is dry, you are free to apply a clear coat. Be sure to use a tack rag to remove any dust that may have fallen on the surface, load the gun, and set the psi to a higher psi. Check the recommendations of the manufacturer to be sure you are at the proper pressure. Spray the surface with three coats, waiting 15 minutes between each.

The Final Product : Two days after the clear coat is applied, it is time to enjoy your accomplishments. That means quick wet sand and buffing to reveal the true beauty of the brand new surface. Choose a very fine sand paper (1000 grit down to 2000 grit) and be sure to keep it wet. Work this over small areas at a time until the haziness has evaporated.

When all is said and done, you will feel even more pride riding around in the restored vehicle because you will know that it is your hard work that the world is witnessing.


Essential Emergency Equipment For Your Car

It is well known that the best way to deal with emergencies is to be prepared for them beforehand. You never know when or where you might find yourself in a sticky situation, but being prepared for it will certainly help you get out of it in one piece. The motto of always being prepared is a very handy one and something we usually tend to follow in our houses and offices. However, for some reason, we do not deem it necessary to be equally well-prepared when travelling in our vehicles. We have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers installed in our residences and workplaces, but do not give a second though to putting any emergency equipment in our cars. It cannot be denied that every time you get into your car, there is a slim chance that you could be involved in an accident or collision. No matter how slim the chances, it is still better to be prepared that to be sorry later on. Here are some of the most essential items that should be in your car at all times and come in very handy during an emergency:

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Seat-belt cutter and window breaker

This little handy device has proven its worth repeatedly by saving numerous lives over the years. Yet, it does not find itself equipped in every vehicle. In case of a really bad accident, you need to get out of your car as soon as possible. Your progress may be impeded by a jammed seat-belt buckle or door handle. This is where the seat-belt cutter / window hammer combo tool proves its worth. The seat belt cutter easily cuts through any seat belt in a commercial vehicle, thus saving you precious time that would be wasted trying to get yourself unbuckled. In a collision, it is not uncommon for the car doors to get jammed, either due to the force of the accident or the position in which the vehicle ends up resting. The best option at this point is to break and escape through the window. The window hammer can easily shatter the tempered glass used for making the side and rear windows of a car. Often used by firefighters, the seat-belt cutter / window hammer tool can be invaluable during an emergency.

First-aid kit

We keep well-stocked first-aid kits in our homes and offices, but never think twice about having one on the car. A first-aid kit has often been the difference between life and death and it is no different in case of any automotive emergency. Even having a simple bad-aid in the first-aid kit can prove to be crucial as it will prevent small wounds from getting infected. Along with band-aids, the kit must also contain gauze pads, adhesive tape, scissors and an antiseptic wash.

Reflective jackets and markers

Changing a flat tire at night can be more dangerous than you think. Not only does the darkness hamper your visibility while changing the tire, it also makes it very hard for other drivers to see you at the side of the road. Many accidents have occurred where people with car issues have been hit while trying to waive down help. The drivers were often unable to see the victims until the very last moment. If your car breaks down at night, reflective jackets and markers prove to be very handy. Set up the reflective markers s that other drivers know where your vehicle is and do not plow into it. Similarly, wearing a reflective jacket will help drivers see you from afar whether you changing a flat or waving them down for assistance.

In case of an emergency, being prepared for it is winning half the battle. We owe to ourselves and our loved ones to ensure that we always have the necessary safety equipment around at all times, including when we are in our vehicles. The mentioned safety equipment should help you deal with any emergency that may come across when travelling in your car.