Category Archives: Car Accident

Tiger Woods – How to Report an Accident

Tiger Woods’ “car accident” was reported by his neighbor – if you are reporting an accident or emergency by cell phone:

  1. Be sure you are safe.
  2. If you are driving, pull over to a safe spot, turn on your hazard lights (flashers) and stop before calling for help.
  3. Be watchful of the potential for additional accidents caused by the first accident.
  4. Stay out of the path of oncoming vehicles.

Be prepared to give specific information:

  1. Location of the emergency
  2. Road name or number
  3. City, State
  4. Closest cross street or off-ramp, milepost or other identifier
  5. Direction of travel
  6. Any distinguishing landmarks

Describe the nature of the emergency:

  1. Crash
  2. Reckless or suspected drunk driver
  3. Traffic hazard
  4. Medical emergency
  5. Fire
  6. Crime in progress, etc.

In every instance, the dispatcher will ask for:

  1. Your name
  2. Mobile phone number, and home and work phone numbers in case more information is needed.
  3. It is important that you stay on the line until the dispatcher says he or she has enough information to be able to send help.

Above all, after reporting an emergency, cell phone users should never risk their own safety. Calling for trained, professional help is the best approach, although in an immediate life-threatening situation it may be appropriate to take rescue action provided the “rescuer” is not endangered.

Find a Good Mechanic

Finding a mechanic you trust is harder than one would think. First, you need to trust this person because they are taking care of one your most expensive assets, and secondly – you’re giving them lots of money.  Here’s some good advice from around the country on finding a good mechanic….

  1. Read your owner’s manual to become familiar with your vehicle and follow the manufacturer’s suggested service schedule.
  2. Look for a mechanic before you need repairs.
  3. Make a list of mechanics and repair shops in your area (look in a phone book or online). You may want to choose a facility close to a public transportation line, your home or work. Imagine what you would need to get around if you didn’t have your car.
  4. Consider what type of business you would prefer: dealership, retail chain stores or an independently-owned business.
  5. Ask friends and associates for recommendations before choosing a facility.
    • Ask about the mechanic’s competence, reliability and honesty.
    • Ask about the quality of the work.
    • Ask about the cost of the prices.
  6. Check with the Better Business Bureau, local consumer organizations or online rankings to find out about a mechanic’s reputation.  Ask about past complaints and how they were resolved.
  7. Check to see if the auto repairs shop is ASE Certified.  ASE stands for The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, which is a professional certification testing organization for mechanics. 
    • ASE Certified mechanics must undergo training and testing every five years to keep their certification.
    • This is a handy site from the ASE that helps you find a certified service professional near you.
  8. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, check out a few shops. It is important, if possible, to get estimates from a few different mechanics.

We have more on what to ask the mechanic when you’re at the shop here.

Susan

Nine Fine Winter Car Care Tips

No one wants to talk about winter, but it’s October and it’s snowing North of the Mason Dixon line so here we go….

Here are nine fine winter car care tips – after all, October is National Car Care month.

  1. Check your tire pressure monthly (regardless of the season!). Don’t know how? Read your car’s manual or ask your auto technician.
  2. Do not check tire pressure if the temperature is below freezing, says the Car Coach and expert mechanic, Lauren Fix.  Why? Humidity can cause the air to freeze in the valve stem in the tire which will not allow you to add any additional air. Instead the air will leak out. Have a professional check the pressure for you.
  3. Tire tread controls the grip or friction between your car and the road – without it you can slide around and easily end up in the ditch (or worse – banged into another car), says Aymee Ruiz, a spokesperson with AAA. Ask your auto technician about your tires and evaluate the tread.
  4. Consider a different set of tires, specifically snow tires, for winter.
  5. Keep operational fluids at a full level (gas, oil, antifreeze, windshield fluid, etc.), says Lauren Fix. Why? Cold temps may cause some parts to overcompensate and work harder than usual – they’ll need the extra fluids to help maintain their usual exertion levels.
  6. Your battery needs to be fully charged for cold-weather starts.
  7. If you haven’t replaced your battery in at least five years, have it checked by a professional – it may need to be changed, says Fix.
  8. Add winter weather items to your car’s emergency kit (snow scraper, shovel, sand, extra antifreeze, jumper cables, tow rope, etc.) – they’ll come in handy if you run into car trouble.
  9. Follow your regular car maintenance schedule to keep an eye out for potential problems. Ask your auto technician about specific things to watch out for regarding your car.

Stay warm and drive carefully –

– Susan

Auto Mechanic Advice for Teens

If you’re a teenager and are in charge of a car, or if your teen has just started driving; it’s time to look for a mechanic you trust and time to take care of the car.  And yes, we mean that mom and dad need to let the kids do this.  If they are old enough to drive, they are old enough to make car-related decisions.

Shelby Fix, Teen Car Coach and the newest member of the Car Coach team, has some advice for the younger drivers on the road.

  1. Always look for a mechanic or technician that is ASE Certified (Automotive Service Excellence) – this means that they are actually tested and know how to work on your car.
  2. If the price of the repair is over $200 get a second quote.
  3. Ask the mechanic to show you the old and the new part so you can understand what is being done.  Even if you don’t understand – ask lots of questions.
  4. Don’t wait too long to repair something – it will just end up costing more than.
  5. Check your tire pressure once a month in the morning – always use the correct tire pressure found inside your drivers door and save 2-3 miles per gallon and the life of the tires.

If you want to see more advice from Shelby, check out her advice here.

Thanks Shelby!

Bringing Your Newborn Home

By Steven W., busy dad and our family blogger

2300011.JPGBringing your first newborn home from the hospital can be a daunting task for new parents. In particular, dealing with car seat installation can be frustrating, at best. Here are some tips to help get you and your car seat prepared.

Before the Big Day

1) Get the car seat, now

You will need a rear-facing infant car seat to take your newborn home from the hospital.
Don’t wait until the last minute to buy it and install it. Get one somewhere around week 30, or sooner.

Steven’s Tip: I recommend getting the type that detaches from the base. That way you can get a sleeping baby out of the car easily, without waking him or her up.

2) Do a dry run of the car seat installation

  • First, read through the installation guide to give you an idea on how to install the car seat, but don’t expect everything to be crystal clear. You may want to visit the car seat manufacturer’s website, in hopes that they have a helpful installation video. If your car has LATCH anchor points (and most newer cars do), plan on using them. Otherwise, use the seatbelt method.
  • Next, give yourself an unrushed hour to try to install the car seat the first time. After connecting all of the connectors, buckles, and tethers, pull the belts until snug, but do not tighten them. Take a step back and make sure the installation is right, none of the belts or straps are twisted, and give them all a good wiggle and tug.
  • After you are convinced everything is right, then start tightening each of the straps. Put a knee on the car seat and lean your weight into it as you tighten the straps. You want it to be snug-fitting installation.

3) Do the final car seat installation

Now evaluate the installation. Does it look right? Do you have any questions? Take a break, and consult the installation guide and website over the next week.

The next weekend you may need to take it completely out, make some adjustments, and install it again. Don’t worry about it, this is why you are starting early! Again, give yourself an hour. (After installing car seats dozens of times, it still takes me 15-20 minutes to put one in!)

TOP TIP: Get an expert opinion.
If you want an expert’s opinion, many states offer car seat evaluation appointments with the highway patrol or at local seat inspection stations.

Eventually your car seat will be all set for the big day, and even if that day arrives a little sooner than planned, you will be ready.

4) Make an Emergency Information card

Make and put an emergency information card on the side of the car seat. A simple 3×5 card with the child’s name and some emergency contact phone numbers will give you peace of mind.

5) Fill out the warranty card

This is the one and only warranty card that I fill out. You want to be the first to be notified if there is a safety recall on the car seat. This happens more often than you would expect.

On the Big Day

6) Bring the car seat into your room, early

Early in the morning on the big day that you will be taking your newborn home from the hospital, take the car seat out of your car and bring it into the hospital room. This shows the nurses that you have the required car seat, but more importantly, the car seat will adjust to room temperature and also give you an opportunity to test fit your newborn.

7) Test fit your newborn

A few hours before you will be checking out of the hospital, put your newborn in the car seat for a test fit. Adjust the straps as necessary for a snug fit, then take your newborn back out.

Now when the big moment arrives to leave the hospital, you will easily be able to put your newborn into the car seat with a minimum of hassle or delay. Congratulations!

The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. These tips are from people who have shared their real life advice; always check with appropriate professionals you trust in making your purchasing or life-related decisions.