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trick or treating, dusk, halloween, kids

Your Guide to a Safe and Fun Halloween

For most of us, it’s hard not to enjoy Halloween. Endless candy, adorable kids showing off their costumes, themed cocktail parties that put a spooky spin on your favorite snacks, it’s all great! Unfortunately, Halloween is traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year for fire department crews.

Whether you’re rushing home from work or rushing out to a party, it’s not a night to be in a hurry, especially on residential roadways.

So this Halloween, proceed with caution. Be vigilant and watch the movements around you.

A few tips to remember for drivers and trick-or-treaters alike:

Toddlers and Younger Kids

  • For your littlest trick-or-treaters, SPD recommends hitting the streets as early as possible. Daylight can make a big difference when it comes to keeping track of tiny tots.
  • Even if it is light, they say keeping a flashlight on hand will help alert cars that someone is near. And don’t use your cell phone as a flashlight, as it should be fully charged in case of an emergency.
  • Remind your little ones to stay close to an adult at all times. You can tell them listening and staying safe now means fun and treats later.
  • Keep groups small to avoid losing someone in the candy rush:

Older Kids and Teens

  • Give your teens a little independence by reminding them about traffic hazards ahead of time.
  • Ask them to use the crosswalk or go the corner when they need to cross the street. On street parking and dark costumes is a bad combination when it comes to moving vehicles. They usually can’t see kids jumping out from between parked cars late at night.
  • Give your older kids their own flashlight or glow sticks. Any light will alert drivers that people are near.
  • You can work with the city to get a permit to block off traffic to your neighborhood.
  • Make sure kids stick to a neighborhood they know:

Drivers

  • Remember trick-or-treating starts early. Watch for little trick-or-treaters who are out before dark.
  • Drive slowly through neighborhoods with on-street parking. Kids are likely to jump out from behind cars in dark costumes.
  • Police will be out in full force on Halloween night to protect families and watch for distracted drivers.
  • Don’t wear a costume mask while driving on Halloween:

Q13Fox.com

young black woman hailing ride

Tips and Tricks for When You Need a Lyft or Uber

Times have changed. Just over a decade ago, people were still skeptical of hailing taxis. Today, ridesharing services are so popular that there are, on average, 40 million people who actively ride Uber on a monthly basis.  One of the busiest times of the year for Uber or Lyft drivers are during the holidays when people are more likely to go out for drinks after work or head over to family and friends’ houses for dinner parties, where drinking alcohol is the routine social activity. As the end of the year approaches, here are some tips for when you know you’ll need to order a ride:

Split the fare with your friends

If you need to go to the same destination as your friends, splitting the cost of the ride is now easier than ever. In both the Uber and Lyft apps, there is now a “Split Fare” option where you can enter your friends’ email addresses so that they can view the trip details on their own phones and pay for part of the cost.

Separate your business and personal rides

On Uber, you can now create a separate business account for all work-related travel. It allows you to use your business card and send travel reports and receipts to your desired email address at your desired frequency.

Schedule rides in advance

If you know you’re going to a party where you don’t want to have to worry about waiting for a ride, Uber will now let you schedule a ride up to 30 days ahead so that you can socialize stress-free. The app will send two reminders: the first one will be sent 24 hours before pickup and the second reminder 30 minutes before pickup. Riders will be able to change their location information or cancel the ride altogether up to 30 minutes before the scheduled pickup time.

Let your friends know when you’ll be home

On Lyft and Uber, you can now send your ETA (estimated time of arrival) to any of your friends and family. All you need to do is swipe up on your app screen and click on “Send Status” and enter the appropriate information or share the link provided. Opening this link displays your driver’s first name, vehicle info, and your map location in real-time.

Sit in the backseat so you can safely exit from either side

Although most people do not want to think about potentially getting in an accident in a stranger’s car, the truth is that it can definitely happen. In case of emergency, always try to sit in the backseat so that you will have both doors as a way of escaping the vehicle.

Keeping these tips in mind will let you get the most benefits out of your ridesharing service as well as keep you, your family, and other drivers safe during the holidays.

Check out the other blog posts we’ve done on Uber here:

Uber Accidents

Uber out of Drunk Driving

buying a new car

U. S. News & World Report Best Cars Arriving in 2018

Are you in the market for a new car? Look no further! We’ve got the U. S. News & World Report’s official list of Best New Cars Arriving in 2018. Find the model that suits your needs and, as always, if you find yourself the victim of an accident, call the Brothers in Law, 757-319-4085.

The below information is courtesy of USnews.com.

2018 Toyota Camry/Camry Hybrid

The Toyota Camry is the best-selling car in America, but it’s never been known for its dynamic styling or driving prowess. Toyota aims to change that with the 2018 model, which features an edgier design inside and out, a host of standard safety tech, plus more powerful yet efficient engines.

2018 Honda Odyssey

Competition in the minivan segment has heated up in the last couple of years with the arrival of the redesigned Kia Sedona and the all-new Chrysler Pacifica. For 2018, Honda aims to leapfrog the competition with the 2018 Honda Odyssey, which is loaded with family-friendly technology and seating features.

2018 Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition has been around in the same basic form for a long, long time. For 2018, the Ford Expedition will feature a body made of lightweight aluminum, rather than steel. The weight savings, paired with an efficient new powertrain, is expected to provide significantly improved fuel economy.

2018 GMC Terrain

GMC’s popular Terrain compact SUV has been redesigned for 2018, with a bolder yet curvier look than the outgoing model. However, the big news is under the hood. Three turbocharged engines will be available, including an efficient 1.6-liter turbodiesel. The new gasoline-powered turbos will employ a nine-speed automatic transmission.

2018 Kia Stinger

When you think of high-performance sports sedans, Kia probably doesn’t come to mind. However, when Kia took the wraps off the 2018 Kia Stinger at the Detroit Auto Show, the shapely coupe-like sedan stole the show. It will go on sale in the United States late this year.

2018 Lexus LS

It’s a busy year at Lexus, with two major products due to come to market for 2018. Their flagship sedan, the LS, is completely redesigned, gaining a dynamic coupe-like silhouette that’s nothing like the outgoing model. It’s longer, lower, and wider than before, gaining 1.3 inches in wheelbase.

2018 Toyota CH-R

Arriving in dealer showrooms this April, Toyota’s new small four-door crossover comes with a starting price of $22,500. The 2018 Toyota C-HR brings aggressive looks and sporty intentions to a segment that’s better known for practicality and efficiency. The C-HR was originally destined for Toyota’s now defunct Scion brand.

2018 Audi Q5

The redesigned Audi Q5 arriving this spring will be faster than the last generation and loaded with the latest in safety and infotainment technology. It will feature a four-cylinder turbo, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and standard all-wheel drive that can propel it from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse

The redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is expected in dealerships this fall. It will seat up to eight passengers, and access to the spacious third-row will be enhanced by a second row that both tilts and slides, even with a child seat installed. All three rows will have USB charging ports.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru used the Geneva Auto Show to introduce the redesigned 2018 Crosstrek. It’s the model’s first significant update since its 2012 launch. Subaru has yet to release details on the U.S. version of the car, but it retains its rugged design and high ground clearance.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

The Land Rover Family continues to grow with the introduction of the 2018 Range Rover Velar. It will arrive in the U.S. later in 2017 with a base price of $49,900. It rides on the same platform as the Jaguar F-Pace, which is one of our top-ranked luxury compact SUVs.

2018 Ford Mustang

The redesigned 2018 Ford Mustang is going high-tech in both looks and features. The V6 base engine is gone, in favor of the more efficient 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s currently available. The venerable 5.0-liter V8 has been updated, and a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission can be paired to either engine.

2018 Lexus LC

An all-new model for Lexus is the 2018 Lexus LC, a high-performance luxury sports coupe derived from its LF-LC concept car. When they go on sale this spring, the LC 500 will carry a starting price tag of $92,000, while the LC 500h hybrid will be priced from $96,510.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Arriving this spring will be Volkswagen’s Tennessee-built 2018 Atlas seven-passenger SUV. The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is set to compete in the heart of the midsize SUV segment, alongside rivals including the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. VW will offer a choice of an efficient four-cylinder or a powerful V6 engine.

2018 Ford EcoSport

Ford is entering the burgeoning subcompact SUV market in the U.S. for 2018 with an updated version of a model that has been sold in other markets for some time. The 2018 Ford EcoSport will be available with a choice of two engines, including a super-efficient 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Named after a famous mountain pass road in the Italian Alps, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV continues the reintroduction of the brand into the U.S. market. Leading the lineup will be the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, a 505-horsepower monster that can leap from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.

2018 Volvo XC60

The Volvo XC60 is set to receive its first major redesign since its initial introduction nine years ago. Volvo says the 2018 XC60 will be one of the safest cars ever built, employing such groundbreaking features as Oncoming Lane Mitigation to prevent head-on collisions.

 

 

car seat

Keeping Kids Safe in the Car

They are your everything. Your children mean the world to you and you would do absolutely anything to keep them safe. Between cleaning every surface in the house and blocking every electrical outlet you have done everything in your power to keep them safe. However, the battle to keep them safe does not only exist at home.

Another place you often worry about the safety of your children is in your car while driving. Driving is almost second nature to society and because of that our children spend much of their childhood as passengers in our vehicles.

Cars can be dangerous there is no denying that. Although, there is a number of steps you can take to ensure the safety of your children while driving in the car.

An article by Consumer Reports 6 wonderful tips to ensure your child’s safety while driving.

  1. Buckle up

It seems so simple to do, but some people still don’t use seat belts despite the overwhelming benefit of doing so. Studies have shown that seat belts are responsible for saving 329,715 lives in the last 50 years. Additionally, Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. NHTSA data shows that more than half of teenagers who died in crashes weren’t wearing a seatbelt.

  1. Know their place

Children 12 years and under should always ride in the rear seat in an appropriate child seat or with the vehicle’s seat belt.

  1. Secure gear

Any loose odds and ends in the car can become dangerous projectiles if you have a crash or even if you just have to jam on the brakes. Don’t stash anything remotely heavy on the package shelf behind the rear seats. Secure loose items in the trunk using cargo anchors. Put heavy items on the floor or as far forward in the cargo area as possible. Don’t put anything on top of the cargo pile that could fly into the seat area. People can become projectiles too. Unbelted rear-seat passengers can fly forward in a crash, injuring both themselves and people up front.

  1. Make sure children are using the proper car seat and that it is installed correctly

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, 73 percent of car seats are improperly installed—usually not secured to the vehicle tightly enough. To make sure your seat is installed correctly; carefully follow the instructions that came with it or look online if you’ve misplaced them. For more help, go to safekids.org and find a car seat technician near you who can inspect the seat, and show you how to cinch it up correctly in your car if necessary. Learn the right age to move your child up to the next car seat, but don’t be in a hurry. With every move up to the next level, you give up a little bit in crash safety. Bear that in mind no matter how much your kids complain that their friends are in boosters already, or have moved on to using just the vehicle’s seat belt. Keep them in a child safety seat appropriate for their height and weight.

  1. Don’t text and drive

We all know the allure of the beeps and buzzes of cell phone notifications but resist the temptation to read and respond to messages. Put your phone in airplane mode, turn down the volume, shut it off, or put it away. Distracted driving not only puts everyone in a dangerous situation, but it teaches young people bad habits. You can expect your kids to behave exactly as you do when the time comes.

  1. Never leave children alone in or around cars

Children die every year from heatstroke in vehicles. Many were inadvertently left in the car. Be vigilant to make sure you know where your child is at all times and leave reminders for yourself that a child is in the back, such as a toy on the front seat or briefcase or purse in the back. That way you must look in the back before leaving the car.

These tips may seem like common knowledge but, believe it or not, people fail to accomplish these acts while driving on a daily basis. Keep your children and the children of others safe and follow these helpful tips the next time you get in the car with children as passengers.

 

teen driver

Fixing Bad Driving Habits

No one is a perfect driver but that doesn’t mean we can’t all strive to be better. With simple fixes from esurance, you can fix four common driving errors and be a better driver overall.

Bad Habit: Riding the brakes downhill

Why you might do it

Riding the brakes makes you feel safer heading down an incline.

Why it’s harmful

You’re risking total brake failure. After all, when you cling to them coming down a steep mountain or hill, you could be grinding the brake pads for minutes at a time. This makes them very hot, which can literally boil the brake fluid and rob your car of its stopping power.

What to do instead

Use the engine, not the brakes, to control your speed. Downshift when you want to go slower — even in an automatic (usually “L” or “2” on the shift panel will work). This raises your rpm and reduces your mph. Plus, contrary to popular belief, it typically saves more gas than going downhill in neutral.

Bad Habit: Warming up your car by idling

Why you might do it

For drivers in cold-weather locales, this is a common habit. You know the drill: 10 minutes before you want to drive somewhere, start the car a-idling, sprint back into the house to wait, and desperately refresh those flight rates to Hawaii.

Why it’s harmful

An idling engine goes through a tremendous amount of wear and tear. And it actually warms up rather slowly while wasting a bunch of fuel in the process.

What to do instead

Drive right away — just take it easy (and double up on mittens). Your car hits its peak quickly by doing normal car things, and idling in Park isn’t one of them.

Bad Habit: Letting the gas gauge drop to “E”

Why you might do it

Have you seen gas prices lately?

Why it’s harmful

You risk burning out your fuel pump and collecting sediment in your gas tank. This sludge can clog the fuel injector and hamper the performance of the engine.

What to do instead

There’s no hidden fix — just get gas before you’re running on fumes.

Bad Habit: Accelerating (too) slowly

Why you might do it

Because you’ve been told by every parent, driving instructor, and car insurer that it’s bad to “jackrabbit” start.

Why it’s harmful

Yes, going pedal-to-the-metal right away hurts your fuel economy. But so does easing off the gas too much. Cars perform at their greenest in higher gears. If you take too long getting to your cruising speed, your gear-shifting drags and you end up wasting fuel.

What to do instead

A good way to improve gas mileage is to find a happy middle ground: not too fast or too slow. Taking roughly 15 seconds to go from 0 to 50 mph allows for efficient upshifting.

Fixing these simple bad habits will make you a better driver, increase the life of your car and generally save money in the process.