5 Warning Signs for Senior Drivers

When we get older one of the unfortunate changes that can happen to us is that driving our vehicles can become more difficult and more prone to accidents.

Reduction of Reflexes

One of the annoying things that can happen to us is a reduction in the speed of our reflexes. For everyday life this is a slight annoyance but for driving your car it can become dangerous. It’s dangerous because we have to react quickly on occasion when another driver makes a mistake or a pedestrian walks in front of your vehicle, for example. There are some things you can do to help improve your reflexes. They don’t always work but you can play various reflex games such as juggling or getting a friend to drop different objects at random times and from different heights for you to catch them.

More Times Where You Nearly Have an Accident

If you notice you get into situations where you almost have an accident then it’s a sure sign that you need to take things more slowly. When I say accident it can also be just a close call where you may have changed lanes too close to a car in the other lane. Try keeping a log of these close calls so you can see how often they occur over a couple of weeks.

Forgetting to Signal

This is another common sign where you take a turning or junction without using your signal lights. Try to get into the habit saying a reminder word such as ‘signal’ when your approach a junction. If you keep using this word to remind you that you need to signal, eventually it should help reduce the times you forget.

Forgetting Previously Used Routes

Getting lost while trying to find a new location is very common for most people of all ages but what can affect people of the older generation is forgetting routes that you’ve driven on a number of times. You can do a number memory games which can help improve this situation. Like reflexes, the success of these memory games can vary but I do recommend people at least try things like crosswords and scrabble.

Hesitations

Hesitating at junctions, roundabouts and other critical points in driving is another area which can worsen in your later years. And hesitating may not seem like a particularly dangerous thing to do but actually it can be. If you hesitate too long at a junction for example, another driver may decide to drive around you or do some other stupid move which can potentially cause an accident.

Are Free Car Programs Available?

What are free car programs and are they real?

Usually when people talk about “free car programs” they are talking about programs that either give you a free car to drive – which already has ads placed on the car – or you place advertisements on your car and drive – and they pay you a monthly fee.

Need a Car?

The programs that give you a car to drive for free are a great deal. This is a good program for someone who doesn’t currently own a car – but would like to have a car available to drive to the supermarket and run everyday errands – without having to lay out large sums of money for the initial purchase of the vehicle. The cars that these programs give you are new or newer model vehicles. They are not tired old vehicles ready for the scrape pile. They are very well maintained vehicles – usually 1-3 years-old – with professionally done attractive graphics selling a product or service.

Put Ad on Your Own Automobile

Getting paid to put advertisements on your car and drive around is another free car program. These companies supply the advertisements that are placed on your vehicle. They can be those magnetic type vinyl signs that are easy to put on or take off. Depending on the company you choose – you may be asked to drop off your vehicle – at a location that may place permanent decals on your car – or spray paint these advertisement graphics on your car. These decals and spray paint options are good looking attention grabbing designs that would need a professional to remove and restore your car to its original condition. The companies that require these permanent ads are quite rare. The pay is higher when you opt for decals or painting – versus the magnetic signs – which are easy to remove and do not damage the surface of your car.

What Are the Requirements?

Whatever program you decide to do – there are some requirements: You need to be a licensed driver with a clean driving record and be at least 18-years old. The companies that give you a free car to drive have requirements as to how far you have to drive every month and may have a GPS device already installed on the vehicle to verify the mileage driven. You’ll need to check whether insurance or maintenance is included in the deal.

The programs that pay you to drive with the removable magnetic vinyl-type signs have minimum monthly mileage requirements and don’t allow you to remove the signs. Wherever you go, the advertisement has to be on your car.

If this is something you are interested in – you can check the Internet to see if there are companies that offer this in your location. You might also try classified ads in your local newspaper.

What You Should Look For in Your Mechanic When it Comes to Brake Repair

Prolonging the life of your car or truck means you will need to take care of it properly. This is especially true when it comes to brake repair. Being able to stop your vehicle at a moment’s notice is a necessity for safety. So when you’re having trouble with your stopping system, it’s essential to bring it in to a mechanic that is reliable, in addition to other qualities you may be looking for. Examine a few characteristics you want and need in your mechanic today.

Skill

When you have to leave your car or truck with a pro, you want to ensure this professional has proper skills to provide the right results for you. Be sure to research this mechanic’s past work history as well as talk with other people that may have worked with him or her. And if this mechanic is performing brake repair, it’s even more crucial for you to be aware of his or her skills. You cannot take chances with your safety.This way, when work is being done, you’ll have peace of mind that it will be done the way you want and expect.

Speed

In addition to your mechanic having proper skills, you also want him or her to work in a timely manner. Getting your car back is a big deal and you don’t have time to continue to wait around for weeks at a time hoping it will be fixed. Brake repair is a detailed process that you don’t want rushed, but you also don’t want to have to wait longer than usually simply because your mechanic is slow. When you’re searching for the right person, be sure to research whether or not he or she can do a good job in a timeframe that works for you.

Professionalism

You may find a brake repair mechanic that can do an excellent job at a fast pace, yet he or she may be extremely unprofessional. For instance, you may try to contact the person and he or she is never available. Or, on the other hand, you may work with someone that always says they’re going to call you back, but never does. So while this person may be known for providing results, it can be frustrating if you can never communicate properly with him or her. If professionalism is high on your list, then make this characteristic mandatory when researching a brake repair mechanic to work on your car or truck.

Proper Tire Care: The Basics

You rely on your tires every day to get you where you need to go. Despite that, tire care is one of the most overlooked aspects of auto maintenance. Most people will check their oil and monitor other vehicle fluids, but probably won’t pay any attention to their tires unless they get a flat. With proper tire care, you can get the most out of your car and even see improvements in fuel efficiency. Check out the following tips for maintenance so you can make sure your tires are ready to roll!

Maintain Tire Pressure

Correct tire pressure is important both in terms of having a smooth ride and increasing your fuel efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, making sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure can improve your gas mileage by 3.3%. In addition, every 1 psi decrease in pressure can cost you.3% gas mileage! There are tire pressure gauges you can purchase to check pressure on your own. Incorrect tire pressure can also have negative effects on your comfort. You won’t be able to handle bumps in the road as easily so you might find your ride is much less smooth. Check your pressure on a regular basis as part of your tire care plan to ensure you have a comfortable ride and get the best gas mileage possible.

Rotate Your Tires

Any auto maintenance shop can rotate your tires – it’s a pretty standard part of owning and maintaining a car. Rotating your tires is an important part of tire care because it helps distribute the weight and prevents excess wear on certain tires. This way, you will be able to use your tires for longer before they need replacing. You can check your car manual to see when tire rotation is recommended, although many auto maintenance shops include tire rotation standard in their 3,000-5,000 mile tune-ups.

Replace Your Tires When Necessary

Although an expensive part of tire maintenance, replacing your tires is sometimes necessary. When your tire treads wear down they can’t gain proper traction and as a result won’t keep you as safe as possible inside your vehicle. Check your tires to see if you still have a decent amount of tread left or if your tires look very smooth. If they look smooth, it’s definitely time for a replacement. If you aren’t sure, you can ask your mechanic at your next tune-up. They will be able to quickly perform tire service and get you the equipment you need to be as safe as possible in your vehicle.

Figuring out when you need to replace your tires is simple – just try the penny test! Stick a penny into several tread grooves across the tire. If your tire doesn’t cover the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires have less than 2/32″ of tread depth left – not only is this illegal, but it’s very dangerous to drive on!

Have the Right Supplies for a Flat

Flat tires will happen every now and then, so make sure you are prepared as part of your regular tire care. Check to make sure you have a spare tire as well as any of the equipment required to change your tire. Also be sure to look at your spare tire every now and then, as a flat spare tire will do you no good at all! If you want to be really prepared, it is a good idea to try changing your tires once (or learn how if you don’t know!) as it is always a little different on every car. This way, you won’t be stressed out if you ever do get a flat tire.

Replacing a tire is easy. Your tire changing kit should come with a small jack into which you can insert the tire iron. Lift the car off the suspension (this isn’t too difficult) and put the jack under the car next to the wheel well. Turn the tire iron until the jack just lifts the tire all the way off the ground – you don’t need to go any higher than that.

Next, remove the tire iron from the jack (it will stay in place) and use it to remove the lug nuts from the tire. Pop the tire off and put the spare in place, securing it with the lug nuts. The order in which you screw in the lug nuts is very important. Going clockwise, you should follow this order: 1,3,2,4,5. If you go 1,2,3,4,5 the wheel won’t line up properly by the time you get to the end and it will be nearly impossible to get all the nuts on (or take them off!). Remove the jack and put the tire kit back – viola, you’ve just changed a tire!