It is a white winter in many parts of the United States with the polar vortex and record-breaking cold. Storms are bringing winter precipitation to normally warm areas including snowfall in Hawaii.
Blowing snow and ice can create poor visibility and challenge the skills of any driver. Professional racer and driving expert Jordi Gené is offering some tips for winter driving.
It may be easy to become a white-knuckled driver when facing harsh conditions. Gené says it is vital to plan ahead and stay calm; “Anticipate what’s ahead and take it easy, that’s the basic rule for driving in harsh conditions.”
“Using the engine brake is fundamental. Driving downhill in low gears will help handle the vehicle and it takes a lighter toll on the brakes”, explains Gené.
His recommendation applies to both winter and summer, but is especially true in the cold season as at low temperatures the wheels lose grip on the asphalt.
There are shadows on the road and those may hold dangerous surprises Gené cautions: “When driving on snow, pay careful attention to dark patches on the road where there could be black ice. You have to turn the wheel gently and lightly step on the brake until you’re over the ice patch and the wheels begin to gain grip again”, he points out.
The driving expert recommends increasing the safety distance between your vehicle and other cars during inclement weather. The professional driver keeps an emergency kit in the vehicle in case there is an accident or a long wait on a highway. Your emergency kit should be personalized to reflect your family’s size and needs, but should contain blankets, water, non-perishable food, first-aid supplies and any other essentials should you become stranded in a winter storm. These steps and frequent inspections of your vehicle will help make your winter travel safer.
“Rhythmic acrobatic… she’s a dynamite attraction,” these lines the song, “Dancing Machine”, are coming to life in a new video where 2,000 robots and 1,700 factory workers are moving in unison to build a car body in just over one minute.
The robot ballet takes place in a SEAT sheet metal workshop in Spain where several different types of dancing machines are featured in the mechanical performance. It isn’t just machines, the dancing robots join the efforts of the employees, and final verifications are carried out by the factory workers. People and machines together are able to put together one car body every 68 seconds!
Prepare for the Unexpected and Take Easy Steps Now
Summer storms, fires, floods, or man-made disasters can strike at any time impacting your treasured pets. Don’t forget to include your pets’ unique needs in your emergency plans.
“Every home should have an emergency supply kit and plans for how to stay safe when disaster strikes,” advises Illinois Emergency Management Director James K. Joseph. “Make sure your kit and emergency plans address the needs of every family member, including your pets.”
Summer storms and extreme heat are frequent occurrences that can put pets at risk. Not only can severe storms make evacuation of your home a necessity; they can make pets so nervous they run away.
Heat stroke is a common problem for pets in warm weather. Dogs with short noses or snouts, like the Boxer or Bulldog, are prone to heat stroke. This is also true for any obese pet, a pet with an extremely thick fur coat or any pet with upper respiratory problems such as laryngeal paralysis or collapsing trachea.
Never leave your pet alone in the car, even for a few minutes, and even with the windows cracked open. During warm weather, the inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
Pet owners also need to be aware animals may try to get out a home or apartment window or door, which are more likely to be open as weather warms.
Knowing CPR for pets is also a good way to be prepared. The Red Cross offers classes in pet CPR. The Red Cross also offers a first aid app for everyday emergencies. The app has videos and simple step-by-step advice on pet first aid. To find it text “GETPET” to 90999 or search “Red Cross Pets” in the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon Marketplace.
Are you ready to create an emergency kit for your pet? Check out this top 10 list for pet preparedness:
Food (your pet’s regular food)
Leash and collar
Photo of your pet/ID and a photo of you with your pet
Medications your pet needs
Immunization/vet records (keep both updated)
First Aid Kit
Contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, American Red Cross, and out-of-town friends/family
Spring is officially here, but winter like weather is hanging around in many parts of the United States.
Extreme weather and changing conditions are creating a lasting problem for drivers: pothole! Highways have turned into costly obstacle courses. According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, potholes and poor roads cost drivers $6.4 billion dollars in repairs, last year. And while no one plans to hit one, they are inevitable and in many cases unavoidable.
Whether it’s a flat tire, lost hubcap, warped wheel alignment or a bent axle, a pothole can cause significant damage to your car. So how can you avoid potential bumps in road? According to GM experts, some of the most important things drivers can do during pothole season include:
● Maintain the recommended tire inflation
● Use winter tires
● Slow down and watch for street hazards
● Have your vehicle’s alignment checked after hitting more severe potholes
Yoiu can watch the expert on how to avoid potholes:
Pets are a big part of our lives and many of us take our dogs and cats with us when we travel. Millions of pets are included in vacation plans every year. In fact, more resorts and vacation packages are being designed around pet families. The American Automobile Association, or AAA, says more hotels and resorts welcome companion animals. AAA says in the United States there are more than 12-thousand pet friendly hotels. Other vacation options for pet families include animal friendly campgrounds and marinas. Double-check with your resort, hotel or other location on their animal policy to ensure your pet receives a warm welcome on arrival.
So how will you get there? Flying might sometimes seem to be the fastest and least stressful way to go, it can be the opposite for a pet forced to fly in the cargo hold. The only time any animal should be placed on a plane is if you’re relocating and all other options are unavailable. Most pet families drive with their pets. Nearly six in 10 respondents to an AAA/Kurgo survey reported they had driven with their dog in the automobile at least once a month in the past year.
Before you begin packing, there are few preliminary steps to get your furry friend ready for the big trip. Consider having your animal microchipped by your veterinarian or a facility like the Animal Protective Association of Missouri. This is a low cost and painless process in which a microchip containing all identification information is inserted under the animal’s skin. Also have your veterinarian issue a health certificate stating that your animal is healthy and able to travel and that all necessary vaccinations are up to date.
Plan your trip with your pet in mind. Will there be a lot of pet friendly activities, or will he or she be cooped up in a hotel room while you are on the golf course, sunning on the beach or riding roller coasters? As much as you love your pets, if they suffer from motion sickness, get over-stimulated easily, or get physically or emotionally upset when their routines are disrupted, the best option for them may be to stay home or in the care of a trusted sitter.
If your trip itinerary is pet friendly and your vehicle is outfitted for your furry friend there are, of course, some steps to follow:
• Never leave your pet alone in the car: Dogs can suffer and die when left inside parked cars, even on mildly warm days. On a 78°F day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 90°F, and the inside of a car parked in the sun can reach 160°F in minutes. Animals can succumb to heatstroke within just 15 minutes.
• To prevent sickness, feed pets early so that they don’t eat in the few hours before departure. Exercise them several hours before you depart so that they aren’t hot and thirsty in the car or forced to “hold it” for hours after gulping down water after a walk.
• Don’t transport your pet in the bed of a pickup truck. All it takes is one abrupt stop for them to be propelled into the street; plus, heat brings the added danger that they might burn their feet on the hot metal.
• Carry water and ice in containers for rest stops. No-spill travel bowls are available in pet supply stores and online.
• For pets prone to car sickness, consult your veterinarian for remedies or try ginger capsules, available at health-food stores.
• Use a kennel or restrain your dog with a canine seat belt, available from pet supply stores and catalogs.
• Never open a car window or door when your pet is unrestrained. Countless animals have been lost at tollbooths and rest stops this way.
• Stop to walk dogs often.
• Use a window shade for the back and side windows. Make sure that your air conditioning is working properly, and use it while driving. It is not safe to let an animal hang his or her head out a car window.