This was the most amazing event of the year, Heels and Wheels. Produced by Overstreet Events, it brought together female automotive journalists, female automotive experts, female vehicle manufacture representatives and female bloggers – yes, this was an all female event!
Christina Selter (me) founder of Bark Buckle UP began the tour driving the Volvo c70 topless from Los Angeles to Palm Springs. With just one quick stop to change into my AskPatty hat, it was a smooth ride and though we did hit a bit of rain, it took only thirty seconds to put the top up. We checked in at the Viceroy Palm Springs, a row of tan bodies lining the pool.
It's that time again - time for another Ask Patty Twitter party featuring car care experts and amazing prizes! Join us on Tuesday, May 3 at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern for a great time sponsored by Autocheck's Check My Ride.
For those of you who haven't seen it yet, CheckMyRide.com is a social network for cars. There you can track your own vehicle's history and reconnect with the cars that you used to drive every day. That 1990 Chevy Malibu? Retired to Malibu. Your parents' old heap that took you to high school and back? Finally stopped running in 2002. My beloved first car, for instance, a 1993 Ford Tempo, has apparently relocated to Indianapolis and is apparently still running.
Join CheckMyRide's own Jen Gordon, AskPatty.com's Jody DeVere, a whole slew of automotive experts and some pretty amazing people for trivia, Q&A, education, and prizes. Plus, in celebration of National Youth Traffic Safety month, we'll be joined by Mobile Tattletale creator David Metter and will be giving away licenses to the amazing Mobile Tattletale app.
Just pre-register to win and then hop into your favorite Twitter feed aggregator like TweetDeck or TweetChat on May 3 at 5pm Pacific and use hashtag #checkmyride to get started.
Every pre-registered participant does get a free gift and you must pre-register to be eligibile for prizes, but it's free and easy - pre-register here, and we'll see you on May 3!
Our good friend Christina Selter the Pet Safety Lady is going to the New York International Auto Show, and she wants to take all your pets with her - in photo form, at least.
Bark Buckle UP is hosting an online "Top Dog" photo contest at the 2011 New York Auto Show. Does your dog love to travel? Upload a picture of your pet and your car for a chance to win great prizes from Sherpa Pet Group. Judges from New York Auto Show, Bark Buckle UP's founder Christina Selter, Rescue Ink, car experts from Auto Trader and the entertaining host Brian Balthazar will select the three finalists - and the TOP DOG. But hurry and enter this weekend - you have from Friday 4/22 through Sunday 4/24 to submit your photos. Head past the jump to find out how.
Our dear friend Christina Selter the Pet Safety Lady presents a new pet-friendly review, this time of the 2011 Range Rover Sport. If you travel with furry friends, you'd do well to check out her review and watch the videos after the jump, and watch this blog for many more pet safety reviews still to come.
Range Rover Sport's highly rigid body, with its low center of gravity and energy-absorbing crumple zones, offers impressive levels of safety and occupant protection. Dynamic Stability Control monitors wheel speed and steering angle to help make cornering safer and more stable. Roll Stability Control operates progressively to help maintain stability. And of course ABS, in the form of four channel, all-terrain anti-lock braking, is fitted. While for added peace of mind there is a total of six airbags, including side curtains. Range Rover Sport also features Land Rover's legendary command driving position, which offers a clear view of the surrounding environment and helps to put the driver in complete control.
The 2011 Jeep Patriot 4x4 has been reviewed by pet travel safety experts (and AskPatty.com partner & contributor) Bark Buckle UP and put to the test with Betty & Princess (dogs) on city streets, highways and dirt roads. In their two part video review, they note some minor styling changes for the front and rear, increased ground clearance, and an steering & suspension to help improve the handling. As for the "pet area," you can double the cargo space by folding the 60/40 rears seats flat - then you can fit more crates or carries, larger pets and even dogs in travel harness that tether to the cargo area's seven d-rings. Head past the jump for the videos.
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The Facts Are In: When driving 35 mph, a 60-pound unrestrained dog can cause an impact of 2,700 pounds, slamming into a car seat, windshield, or passenger. Even if the animal survives, it can impede the progress of rescue workers who need every moment possible to safely care for accident victims.
The 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT isn't for everyone. This top-of-the-model-line CUV takes premium gas and retails for $29,500 - before destination charge. But if you're looking for a vehicle that can handle inclement weather securely, tows 3,500 lbs., and can schlep your giant schnauzer (or seven people in a pinch), this may be the one for you.
Sporting a 3.0-liter, SOHC MIVEC V6, the GT pumps 230hp and 215 lb.-ft of torque @3750. It gets up to speed quickly, though I couldn't help feeling I was pulling a lot of weight, as the not-so-cute-ute weighs almost two tons with only the driver in it.
Fortunately, if you like to push your grocery hauler to its limits, the Outlander GT is the one trim with Super All-Wheel Control and three terrain choices: Tarmac, Snow and Lock (low range). Based on an electronically-controlled active front differential, the S-AWC boosts handling and performance, and it's also a great safety benefit, keeping you planted on the road in various conditions. Read: Take me to the mountains, pronto!
So how's this baby beast on gas? The Outlander's 6-speed Sportronic® automatic transmission features Idle Neutral Logic, a fancy way of saying the transmission goes into neutral when the car comes to a complete stop. That saves gas, helping the GT earn an EPA estimate of 18 city/24 highway/20 combined. Nothing to write home about, but considering this vehicle's abilities, it's an understandable trade-off.
Then there are the GT's goodies. It's loaded with standard features: - auto on- and off- Xenon HID headlamps - flap-folding tailgate - 18-inch alloy wheels - power sunroof - tire pressure monitoring system - leather wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls - magnesium paddle shifters - for fun and control - FUSE Hands-Free Link System - Stream music wirelessly using Bluetooth, download your cell phone book, control everything with your voice. If it sounds like Ford's Sync, you're on the right track. - 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate audio system with nine speakers - 60/40 split/folding/tumbling/reclining/sliding 2nd row seats. Whew! - fold-flat 3rd row seat - barely usable, but good for those last minute "Can Johnny come over today?" pleas at the end of the school day. Most of the time, you'll have it folded down. With all seats down, cargo volume is 72.6 cubic feet.
My demo model in Cosmic Blue came with the only factory option available on the GT - a $3,000 navigation and leather package that includes power driver seat, heated front seats, 40GB HDD nav with music server and real-time traffic, a rear-view camera, and auxiliary video input jack. That's a lot of technology, and there are plenty more dealer-installed options available, like a rear seat DVD entertainment system ($1,695) and remote start ($599).
For the animal lovers, Mitsu is touting the Outlander's usefulness as an large-size pet carrier; it received a few mentions in the automotive press for being dog friendly and dog safe last year. No doubt this emphasis on four-footed felicity is now a trend, what with the Honda Element Canine Edition getting so much press as well.
At least Mitsu is putting its money where its muzzle is, offering up a GT as the official wheels of TEAM PAWS Chicago, which raises money to rescue homeless pets. That's always good for a couple of points with the AskPatty staff.
Consumer Marketing Director, Blog Editor
A road trip to
the beach can be some of the best times for you and your dog. The fresh salt
air, the surf and wiggling your toes in the sand are part of what you both love
most about a trip to your favorite dog-friendly beach. My Jack Russell Terrier
Zoe just loves the off-leash beach park we visit often in the summer. I so enjoy watching her frolicking and playing
with other well behaved dogs and chasing away those pesky seagulls from our
picnic area. Look into planning a day
at a dog-friendly
beach in your area this summer.
Here are a few
tips helpful tips to make it fun and safe for you and Fido:
Dog Road Trip Safety:
Don’t let your dog to ride in the front
seat on your beach road trip, no matter how much your dog enjoys it. Dogs
riding in the front seat can be thrown into the windshield if you have to make
a sudden stop. If your dog is like mine they want to ride in the car on your
lap, this will interfere with driving or they can fall down by the gas and
brake pedals, causing an accident. Airbags can also pose a hazard to dogs if
they deploy while they are in the front seats. Keep dogs in the back seats hooked
to a Bark-Buckle
Up harness or in a crate to keep them and your family secure and safe.
How often have you heard (or even said yourself) that your pet is part of the family? Strange, then, that very few people take the same care to protect their pets during a car journey as they do for their children. You buy the very best quality child seats, the strongest safety belts on the market. You make sure that the children have sufficient food and drink for the journey, and that they are neither too hot nor too cold. Then you load in the luggage and supplies. Last of all, just before you start the engine and set off, you squeeze the dog into whatever space is left and shut the tailgate quickly before everything falls out.
It is much better for the animal's welfare to consider it in your journey planning routine. Ask yourself: if you should have an accident, how is the animal protected? If the animal is in the back, occupying the space between the rear seats and the tailgate, and another vehicle drives into the rear of you, there is a high probability that the rear window will smash, and that the animal will be catapulted at speed out back, probably bouncing off the vehicle behind before going under its wheels to a painful and frightening death. If the animal is on a seat, unrestrained, then any sort of collision is likely to cause it to fly around the inside of the vehicle, probably injuring itself severely as it collides with headrests, the dashboard, or the occupants - or smashes itself through the windshield.
There are cases on record where an unrestrained dog has been thrown from the rear seat into the back of the driver's head, killing both. There are also innumerable accounts of animals having been thrown clear of vehicles during collisions, and have then run off never to be seen again, or have run into the road and caused further accidents - or worse, have been run over and killed by other traffic. All these general comments refer to all sorts of animals; not just dogs. So think it through before you put your pet in the car, and show the care and consideration that you have but have never thought about before.
The golden rule is to restrain the animal safely. Tying its neck leash to the door pillar or headrest won't work (you will just end up strangling the poor thing) so check out the many properly designed pet restraints and get one fitted properly to your car. Alternatively, restrain your furry friend by putting him/her in a pet carrier which has been firmly fixed to the body of the car. Make sure that the carrier is the right size. It should be big enough for the animal to be able to stand, turn, and lay, but not so big that the animal slides around inside it when you drive around corners.
Also make sure that you regularly stop and offer your pet some water (and food on longer journeys). If you need to get out for a break and to stretch your legs, so does your pet - so don't leave him shut-up inside to wilt (or even suffocate); take him with you. If in doubt, consider visiting a pet forum for advice. There are many websites that offer experienced advice, and will provide free answers to your pet questions.
Bark Buckle UP, the recognized leader and experts for pet travel safety, awarded the Pet Safe Choice Vehicle Awards "TOP DOG" to the Ford Edge at the 2010 New York International Auto Show.
Bark Buckle UP's founder Pet Safety Lady Christina Selter and her furry friends also awarded the "TOP DOG" Pet Safe Hotel of choice to Sheraton Hotels, Retailer of choice award to Bass Pro, and Airline of choice awards to Southwest airlines. During the presentation, Greg Kleva, host of Martha Stewart radio show "It's a Dog's Life," the Pet Safety Lady, and furry friends wearing the Doggie Seat Belt hopped in and out of cars and stole the show with their animal antics and demonstrations of dog and car travel safety.
Registered vehicles were evaluated on a variety of pet-related aspects, including how easily the vehicle accommodates animals and kennels of various sizes, ease of access to pet from within the vehicle, ease of pet entry and exit, ventilation for animals in the rear, as well as whether the vehicle has pet-friendly surfaces, and adaptability for third party pet travel or safety gear. Ford received four out of the top ten honors for 2010 Pet Safe Vehicles of Choice List, including the Ford Transit Connect, Edge, Flex, and the Lincoln MKT.
"With more than 340,000 vehicles sold since it was originally launched in late 2006, the Ford Edge has been meeting the needs of customers who demand style, technology, performance and capability in a compelling package," said Brett Burin, Ford Edge Marketing Manager. "We look ahead with excitement this summer to the arrival of the new 2011 Edge, which adds even more revolutionary technology and class-leading performance. And with a suite of safety features, flexible seating and nearly 70 cubic feet of cargo space, the Ford Edge is perfect for those traveling with pets."