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581 posts categorized "Safety - Child Safety"

February 25, 2016

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 11: Idling Gets You Nowhere


Idling your car to warm up the engine is unnecessary.

Research from the Environmental Defense Fund shows that today's electronic engines do not need idling to warm up before being operated, and in fact, idling creates both unnecessary waste and harmful pollution. With today's modern engines, idling for more than 10 seconds wastes more fuel than stopping and restarting the engine.

Rob Maier, who runs Maier's Garage in Bridgeport, Connecticut, says, "You don't really need to idle your car, because of the efficiency of modern fuel injection, which eliminated carburetors and chokes. The only reason to let the car idle at all is to get the oil circulating, but after 30 seconds that's a done deal. My truck has 150,000 miles on it, and I just throw it into gear and go."

Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage. According to, "Idling a car in a garage, even with the door open, is dangerous and exposes the driver to carbon monoxide and other noxious gases. If the garage is attached, those fumes can also enter the house."

Temperature is rarely a reason to idle these days. If you're like us and just don't like driving in a cold car, Bob Aldrich of the California Energy Commission points out that "idling is not actually an effective way to warm up a car — it warms up faster if you just drive it." Turn on your heated seats instead!

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


February 24, 2016

Take a Moment Of Silence to Reduce Distracted Crossings

Join_the_moment_of_science_campaign"Every hour of every day, a teen is hit or killed while walking," said Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide.

"Texting and walking or driving can be fatal. That's why we're asking everyone to put phones down when crossing the street."

As the video below shows, a moment of silence is all it takes to prevent accidents when pedestrians and even cyclists are crossing the street.

Continue reading "Take a Moment Of Silence to Reduce Distracted Crossings" »

February 23, 2016

The Safest Cars for 2016

Car_safety_technology-iStock_000013796397-Stefan_WeicheltThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its list of the 2016 safest cars: 48 vehicles received its highest award of Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+) and 13 received a Top Safety Pick (TSP) rating.

The Insurance Institute made it more difficult to get these coveted ratings by increasing the requirements this year. As a result, some previous winners from the 2015 list did not make the 2016 list. There are four TSP+ models, and more than 20 TSP models from last year that did not qualify under the criteria for 2016. These included the Toyota Highlander and Sienna and the Audi Q3.

Continue reading "The Safest Cars for 2016" »

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 10: Know the Limits of All-Wheel Drive


Having AWD will aid acceleration, but it doesn't give more grip in corners or help you stop.

Sometimes, all-wheel drive gives drivers a false sense of security, causing them to brake late or enter turns too quickly. The primary role of all-wheel drive is to provide forward traction when accelerating from a stop: it can't give more grip in corners, or help you stop. Equipping your all-wheel or four-wheel-drive vehicle with winter tires ensures you have maximum control over acceleration, traction, and turning when roads are slippery with snow or ice. 

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


February 22, 2016

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 9: Know How to Brake


It's easy to use antilock brakes properly: Stomp, stay, and steer.

When stopping, plan well in advance, apply the brakes gently, and slowly add pressure -- rather than fast sudden braking. But if you're responding to an emergency, stomp on the pedal as if you were trying to snap it off. Stay hard on the pedal, an continue to steer smoothly around the obstacle. As with any driving emergency, keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and stay calm.

If you have a chance to try this in an empty parking lot you'll discover that your ABS also allows you to safely steer around obstacles while in full-brake mode. Just keep your foot stomped down; don’t lift off the brake until your car comes to a complete stop. Most of today's modern vehicles are equipped with antilock braking systems that help drivers maintain control of the car by preventing the wheels from locking up, and as of 2012, NHTSA requires all passenger vehicles to be equipped with electronic stability control systems (which are operated by the ABS). This could prevent from 5,000 to 9,000 fatalities a year!

If you don't have ABS, panic braking takes a little more skill. You have to be able to push the brake pedal down hard, but not so hard that you lock up the tires and start to skid. It takes a lot of finesse to do this well, so this is another skill you could practice in an empty parking lot, to help you learn how to do it in an emergency.

If your brakes don't work at all, try to steer yourself away from traffic and people. Turn on your emergency blinkers. Use your gear selector to downshift into lower gears and, if you must, sideswipe your car against the guardrail until you're going slow enough to use the emergency brake to bring you to a standstill. 

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


February 19, 2016

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 8: Know How to Handle a Skid


To correct for any skid, let up on the gas and gently turn your wheels in the direction you want to go.

Be careful not to over correct and do not re-apply the gas until you're headed in the direction you actually want to go. Panicking and steering sharply into the turn will only reduce control.

If you're fishtailing or sliding, it means you're already going too fast. Reduce your speed so you won't need to worry about this! Most high-speed slides are difficult to correct successfully, but if you're caught off-guard and begin sliding, turn your wheels in the direction that the rear of your car is sliding. It helps to look with your eyes where you want the car to go, and turn the steering wheel in that direction. It can be easy to steer too far, causing the car to slide in the other direction. If this happens (called overcorrecting), you'll need to turn in the opposite direction. Read more about correcting a slide here.

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


February 18, 2016

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 7: Practice Makes Perfect


Know how to handle your vehicle on snowy and icy roads.

You can prepare for a skid by practicing. Go to an open parking lot and practice braking on icy or snowy surfaces. Yes, this can actually be fun, but more importantly, you'll better know how to handle yourself when you skid in traffic.

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


February 16, 2016

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 6: Winter Weather Requires Winter Tires


If you live or travel in snowy climates, your tires need the extra grip and turning capabilities that only winter tires can deliver. This is also true if you drive a four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle.

Snow tires have special treads that cut through the snow and allow the vehicle to have better traction. They're also made of a more flexible type of rubber, so that they don't freeze and become hard in cold temperatures.

Many people think that all-season tires can deliver year-round performance, but if you live where you frequently encounter snow or ice, or if the temperature consistently hovers around freezing, all-season tires just won't cut it.

To help you select a winter tire that improves your safety in the snow, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) designates winter tires that meet the severe snow standard with a new symbol. Only tires that have the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol (a snowflake inside a mountain) have been tested for use in severe snow conditions.

Nexen offers a selection of five winter tire styles designed to provide safe performance driving in treacherous winter conditions for all vehicles. All of them offer 36 months of free roadside assistance with tow and tire change, as well as a mileage warranty that varies depending on the model. Learn more about these models here.

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


February 15, 2016

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 5: Check the Tread and Pressure


Tire traction is the key to good accelerating, turning, and stopping under any conditions, but especially on wet and snowy surfaces.

Underinflated tires offer less traction, can reduce fuel mileage, can wear out prematurely, and most importantly suffer unnoticeable and irreparable damage that compromises their performance so check your tires and fill them to the vehicle manufacturer specifications listed in your manual or inside your vehicle's doorjamb. Reducing tire pressure to increase traction doesn't work: driving on under-inflated tires is dangerous any time of year.

Under normal circumstances, tires are legally required to be replaced when they are worn down to 2/32-inch of tread. However, to have adequate snow traction, a tire (even a winter tire) requires at least 6/32-inches of tread. You need more tread depth in snow because your tires must compress the snow in their grooves and release it as they roll. According to Tire Rack, if there isn't enough tread depth, the "bites" of snow your tires can take on each revolution will be so small that your traction will be reduced.

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty

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February 12, 2016

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 4: Get the Snow Off


From the driveway to the highway, get all the snow off your car.

Getting your car out of the snow and on the road can be a pain, but it's an important aspect of driving safety.

Keep your windows clear: Don’t start driving until the windows are defrosted and clean -- even if you’re only going a short distance. Brush all the snow off your car and don't forget the roof! In fact, failing to clean off your car can be illegal. More than that, it can be dangerous to cars behind you: You don't want a block of ice the size of a mattress flying off your car into traffic.

Also, before you hit the road, make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice, or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


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