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School Bus Laws in Virginia: Keep our Kids Safe and STOP for the Yellow Beasts

It's September Already!

....and the kids are back in school. This means it is even more important to be vigilant on the road in Hampton Roads.

It's impossible to miss the herds of yellow school busses rolling through our neighborhoods and plying our secondary roads. Yes, it can be frustrating when you're running late and you find yourself behind a school bus that is stopping every few blocks and you need to go! Shake off that sense of urgency and remember that these yellow beasts are transporting some very special cargo.

Get Better Gas Mileage Now! Here's How

You just left the pump, and you are back at the pump already. Gas prices are better than they were a few years ago, but every time you fill your tank, you are emptying your wallet. What can you do about it, though? You have to get to and from work. Otherwise, you will never be able to afford to put gas in your car to get to and from work! Have you been skipping out on trips to the beach or mountains because another tank of gas just is not in the budget? Here are a few tips on how to get better gas mileage.

Are Driverless Cars the Future of Safety?

Every major car manufacturer in the world has predicted fully autonomous vehicles within the next 10 years. In a world filled with cars that already have lane warning systems, backup cameras, GPS systems, automatic emergency braking, and automatic parking systems, this transition seems logical.  New technologies for the auto industry include laser illuminating detection and ranging (LIDAR) and environmental detection systems that can distinguish the difference between a pedestrian and a stop sign. So how long will it be before you can set your car on a circuit and play Pokemon GO?

You Need a Back Up Camera in Your Car, Here's Why!

Backup camera systems aren’t just a nifty little gadget. When I was about 13 years old, I parked my bicycle behind a car at a local bait and tackle shop, between the car and the building. I had no idea that the car was parked there because it was going to back up to the garage door to pick up a load of gear. I ran in to the shop and a few minutes later I heard some old man yelling and cursing, and when I looked out I saw my bike halfway under his car, mangled and bent, while the old man’s arms were waiving and he was screaming about a scratch on his bumper. There was a lot of drama involved, my Dad came up, and they came to some agreement, I loaded the remains of my bike in Dad’s truck, and got a stern talking to on the way home about the importance of using the bike rack next to the store. There’s no doubt that it was a horrible memory, as it sticks with me more than 30 years later. This all might have been avoided if cars were equipped with back up cameras in the 80’s.

Car Safety Systems: More than Seat Belts and Air Bags

When you mention car safety to folks, the first two safety features in a car that come to mind are seat belts and air bags. Over the last 50 years, safety engineers have been working hard to find other ways to keep drivers and passengers safe. In the 1970’s, automotive fatalities were peaking at 50,000 per year.  Fatalities declined due to greater seat belt use regulation and the invention of the shoulder type seat belt. We’ve all seen the crash test dummy videos, but automobile safety has become more interactive than ever.

You Don't Know Everything About Child Car Seats

The leading cause of death for children under the age of 13 in America is vehicle related injury. And Americans spend a lot of time driving. According to the US Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the average American parent drives 15,000 miles a year, which puts America at 4.8 billion total miles a year. That is a LOT of driving. We bring our kids with us on many of those 4.8 billion miles. Going to the park, the babysitter, school functions, dance recitals, and family vacations are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the places we travel in our cars with our children. We dutifully strap our kids in the baby car seat, and take off into the world; it’s the American way. There are car seat laws, and we all know that using them is common sense. Are we keeping our kids as safe as we can though? Here are a few tips and reminders for making sure our next generation arrives safely at every destination.

A Down and Dirty Summer Travel Checklist

It’s summertime and for many of us that means it’s time for the annual road trip. Sometimes the trip is spurred by a hot travel deal, and others are long planned bucket list adventure travel. Summer vacation may require travel tickets and lots of time off, or could just be a summer weekend getaway. To maximize your relaxation, you need to know that everything is taken care of. The easiest way to cover all of your bases is to use a checklist. Whether you’re traveling just out of town or across the country, you need to have a plan.

Summer Driving Prep Tips

Preparing for your week long vacation or just getting ready to hit the road for a nice long weekend??

Don't forget to Prepare you Vehicle for the journey! Regular maintenance is critical to the life of your vehicle, but it is especially important when heading off for a long trip in the summer heat.  When was your vehicles last tune up?  When was your last oil change?

Mitigating Hazards: A Pre-Ride Motorcycle Inspection Checklist

It’s Friday night after a long week of work, and you’re ready to cut loose. The weatherman is yapping on the news channel about how this weekend will be perfect temperatures and cloudless skies. Your mind wanders to that bike in your garage, and you start thinking about how a ride is in order. Whether you have ridden that bike every day to work this week, or you are just taking it out of the garage from the winter, giving your bike a quick motorcycle check is the best way to start a ride.

How Much is Your Life Worth: A Guide to Motorcycle Safety Equipment

Sitting at a motorcycle rally in 1997, I was talking to a grizzled old biker. He was different from the rest of the bikers there; he used a full face helmet and a leather jacket when he rode, even in the heat of summer. He explained to me that I was a ~explicative~ idiot for not wearing a real DOT helmet and that my brain bucket wasn’t worth its weight in doggie droppings. We talked about the price of helmets, and how his was a $500 helmet before the custom paint, so I asked him how much a rider should spend on a helmet. His response has echoed to me ever since. “Well kid, how much is your head worth?”