Before the back-to-school rush, many families will be making the most of one last summer vacation. In fact, the overall national average of a gallon of gas has dropped 13 cents in the past week, and according to a report from Edmunds.com, about 40 percent of Americans plan to take one last leisure trip before Labor Day, a holiday weekend when some analysts believe gas prices will be at their lowest nationwide.
Whether it’s a road trip across the state, a trip to drop off a student at college, a picnic in the park, or vacation to a tropical island, it's important to be prepared for the last outing of the summer.
AskPatty has been receiving emails all sumer long about foods and products that would be perfect to take along in the car for family road trips. (I'm not kidding, I get e-newsletters several times a week from Skymall.com!) Whether you're looking for something to feed the kids on a lunch break or something to help keep them occupied and comfortable along the way, we've learned about it this summer, and are sharing it with you here. We've even got a few items for traveling pets as well.
Continue reading "Helpful Tips for That Last Family Road Trip Before Labor Day" »
It's a scary moment for any driver when you move your foot from the brake to the accelerator on an incline and the car begins to roll backwards: Nobody likes the anxiety of that panicked glance in the rearview mirror to see "just how close is that car behind me?" And wondering "How fast can I pull away on this steep hill?" isn't much fun either.
While sturdy torque converters used to keep automatic-transmission-equipped cars in place on an incline, today's newer automatic transmissions are more fuel-efficient and tend to rev lower, which means they can slip more. And so these days, we're often experiencing that anxious rollback moment, even in automatic-equipped cars.
Continue reading "How Hill-Hold or Hill-Start Assist Technology Makes Steep-Road Starts Safer for Drivers " »
If you've ever driven on a poorly lit road after twilight, you know how hard it can be to see either animals or pedestrians in the dark.
Collisions with pedestrians are a major cause of death, with more than 100,000 people killed each year worldwide. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Association says that the risk for fatal pedestrian accidents is almost four times greater at night than during the day, and each year more than 4,000 pedestrians are killed at night, just in the United States.
Continue reading "Drive Safer in the Dark with Night Vision Safety Technology from AutoLiv " »
Have you ever found yourself on the road craving some coffee? Have you found yourself either nowhere near your favorite coffee shop, or simply can’t convince yourself to pay for an overpriced cup?
Or even worse, it’s late at night and you've got the nods and there's no coffee shop for a hundred miles. Almost makes you wish you had brought your personal espresso machine, don’t you? Well, there is a solution.
Many of today’s vehicles now have power outlets that would allow using a personal espresso machine in the car for a great way to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee wherever you are.
Continue reading "Summer Road Trips: Why You Need an Espresso Machine in Your Car " »
Automakers today are continuing to examine ways to improve vehicles for consumers and adapt to their everyday needs. Manufactures must adapt to the growing needs of consumers to integrate electronic functions into our vehicles. Experts suggest Ethernet usage in cars will be expanding in coming years, with more than 100 Ethernet nodes expected by 2020 for luxury vehicles while mass-market cars will have between 50-60 Ethernet nodes. Imagine the possibilities, especially for remote sales teams who work from their vehicles or work fleets that need Ethernet for business.
Ethernet was commercially introduced in the 1980s and has often been the chosen technology for computer networking and local area networks. Businesses continue to rely on business Ethernet services as they are incredibly reliable, so it’s no wonder car technologies integrate the same usage and that demand is expanding for the future.
Continue reading "Are you a Connected Driver? Demand is Growing For Ethernet in Cars " »
Did Dad get grease on the tie you gave him last year for Father's Day? If he'd rather spend time in the garage than at the Nordstrom haute couture department, check out AskPatty’s Gift Guide for Dads, full of unique gifts for the wrench-twisting car guys in your life. Whether he’s your father, hubby, boyfriend, son, or brother, if you’re looking for a thoughtful and unique gift for Father's Day, we’ve got something for every budget here.
Continue reading "AskPatty’s Father’s Day Gift Guide: Car-Themed Gifts For The Ultimate Car Guy " »
Many manufacturers are implementing hands-free technology to help you interact more safely with your devices while behind the wheel of their cars. Whether it's Bluetooth connectivity to allow you to place calls, operate your music player, or to send and receive texts, these automotive technologies are improving every day and are appearing as standard equipment in more and more new cars.
On top of offering hands-free connectivity for entertainment and cellphone use, most of these systems also integrate automatic notification to 911 in case of accidents.
Continue reading "Distracted Driving: How Modern Automotive Technology Allows Safer, Hands-Free Connectivity" »
Need to get somewhere but don’t have a car? If you’ve got a smart phone, consider the ride sharing service from Uber as an alternative to a taxi or other forms of public transportation. The company, which has has labeled itself as “the most reliable ride in cities around the world,” brags about its inexpensive pricing and simple operation. Just “Push a button, and you know you're getting a ride.” And, here are two great reasons to give it a try.
Continue reading "Two Great Reasons To Try An Uber Private Driver " »
Christmas is just a few days away, and if you’re still looking for gift ideas, here are a few more. We’ve gathered up a collection of great ideas for the younger drivers in your family. No matter their age or driving level, we've got something here to please all your car-loving kids! Or, if you’re at a loss for what to pick up for that pet lover in your life, or looking for something to make your own pets' holiday a little brighter, we’ve also found a few fun things for your special pets!
Continue reading "AskPatty’s Last-Minute Holiday Gifts for Auto-Oriented Kids and Pampered Pets!" »
Christmas is just around the corner, so we've collected an assortment of gadgets and gizmos meant specifically for that Car Guy you love so much.
Regardless of whether he wants to drive them or work on them -- it doesn't matter if he's your dad, husband, brother, uncle, son or special friend -- if he loves cars, we know you'll find something here that's perfect for your favorite car guy.
Continue reading "AskPatty’s Winter Wish List -- Gift Ideas That HE Would Love" »