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Car Care Spring/Summer 2016

Driving technique changes Tips for buying RVs What to do with a recall

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Spring/Summer Car Care

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Take a sunny spring road trip on the Peninsula with the help of these safety tips.

Car Care

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Spring/Summer 2016

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Basic automobile maintenance to get your automobile ready for warmer weather.

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4 April 2016

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

Spring/Summer Car Care

Safe driving techniques have changed By METROCREATIVE

Driving today is different than it might have been when many motorists first earned their drivers’ licenses. As a result, safe driving techniques have changed. Learning these changes and adjusting driving habits can keep motorists and their passengers safe.

WATCH THE CLOCK Older guidelines indicated keeping hands on the steering wheel at the positions of 10 and 2 if you were imagining it as a clock. New information indicates this can be dangerous to the arms and hands should the air bag deploy in a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and American Automobile Association (AAA) now say you should grip the wheel at the 9 and 3 positions, which safely allows drivers to maintain control of their vehicles. CHANGE YOUR TURNS Air bag safety also comes into play when making turns. Rather than the

formerly taught way of hand-over-hand turning, drivers should push with one hand and pull with the other to steer the wheel, safely keeping their hands away from the plastic casing and the possible release of heat and pressure from an exploding air bag.

HAZARD LIGHTS Use hazard lights only when real hazards are encountered. Some people are very generous in their use of hazard lights, turning them on when double-parking, in bad weather or when they are carrying a heavy load. Various states and areas have specific laws governing the use of hazard lights, including when and when not to use them. Hazard lights may inadvertently put drivers in danger because they can override turning signals. Some other drivers have become so accustomed to seeing hazard lights that they may not take them seriously. American insurance company Esurance suggests checking local laws to determine which situations warrant using hazard lights.







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Adjusting what you think you know about driving can help keep motorists and passengers safe.

DON’T BLOCK THE ‘FAST LANE’ The far-left lane has long been considered the passing lane. Some police departments have begun cracking down on those who drive in the left lane for extended periods of time, while others are slightly more lenient with the law. (See story on Page 15.) When you do find yourself in the left lane, recognize that you should maintain highway speed or accelerate slightly to get around the car you need to pass. Driving slowly in the left lane can compromise your own safety and that of your passengers and fellow drivers. ANTICIPATE ROAD CONDITIONS There are differences between driving on rural roads, paved roads and heavily trafficked highways, especially during inclement weather or when encounter-

ing adverse conditions. There’s no magic speed or technique that is ideal all of the time. Drivers need to learn to adapt to the conditions to facilitate safe passage. Keep in mind that it can be difficult to stop on gravel, wet roadways or those covered with leaves.

AVOID THE BIG RUSH Always try to leave extra time to reach a destination. This way you will not have to speed or make tricky maneuvers to get to an appointment on time. Rushing around can lead to distractions or unsafe practices. Reduce your accident risk by building extra time into your trip. Driving rules are not static, and drivers should stay current on practices that are safe and those that are no longer correct to use on the roadways.

Spring/Summer Car Care

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

April 2016


W’ Y Next Big Purchase? Towing cargo safely By METROCREATIVE

The size and weight of a trailer and the cargo it’s towing must be considered before embarking on a trip. Warm weather is on the horizon, and people from all over are preparing their vehicles for another season of road trips. In addition to packing the interior cargo areas full of equipment and luggage, many road-trippers also haul gear and recreational accessories with them. There’s more to towing than hitching a trailer and hitting the open road. A number of factors come into play when towing cargo or another vehicle, including the towing capacity of the vehicle doing the hauling. The following are some safety tips for road trippers hitting the road with trailer in tow.

TOW VEHICLES While many vehicles have towing capabilities, not all of those vehicles are necessarily right for the job. Review the towing capacities of various vehicles depending on the type of trailer that will be towed. A larger, more powerful vehicle may be necessary if you will be towing something large and heavy, such as a boat or a recreational vehicle. You may need more horsepower to maintain a safe driving speed when towing especially heavy cargo.

breakaway switch located on the tongue of the trailer that activates the trailer brakes in the event it separates from the tow vehicle. Having the right equipment can mean the difference between safely towing cargo and getting in a wreck.

ABILITY Having a lot of power and the right equipment is not enough to safely tow cargo. Recklessness on the road, which includes driving over the speed limit, is a recipe for a wreck. It typically takes time and some practice for drivers to grow accustomed to driving while towing cargo. Driving while towing cargo requires that drivers maneuver their vehicles differently than they would in typical conditions and that they drive at slower speeds while leaving room for a larger turning radius. In addition, drivers must accommodate for the extra weight when braking.

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VEHICLE CHECK Verifying that the trailer hitch is secure is not the only inspection drivers must conduct before hitting the open road. The vehicle doing the towing should be serviced, and any repairs should be made. Check fluid levels, particularly the transmission fluid. In addition, make sure the water level in the battery is acceptable and have the motor oil changed if it is nearing its EQUIPMENT mileage limit. Different manufacturers offer towing Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a good idea to replace the air packages equipped to work in concert with your vehicle. Towing packages may filter, examine the tires for adequate tread and test the brakes. include certain types of hitches, batterWhen the trip begins, give your vehiies, flasher systems, extended-view side mirrors, and even special axles and tires. cle and the hitch a once-over to doubleIn many areas, a trailer with a loaded check that everything is in working order. This can be done during service weight of more than 1,500 pounds requires a separate braking system and a station stops along the trip.

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6 April 2016

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

Spring/Summer Car Care

Spring road trip tips for drivers on the Peninsula By METROCREATIVE

Spring is a season of rebirth for many people, who welcome the warm weather with open arms, especially those who just endured a harsh winter. Spending time outdoors when the weather warms up is a popular pastime for many people each spring. Road trips taken by college kids or high schoolers hitting the road for spring break or professionals and parents packing up the car for a weekend getaway have become synonymous with spring. A road trip is a great way to get outdoors and make the most of a warm day. But there are a few tricks of the trade drivers can employ to ensure their road trips are as enjoyable as possible.

WASH THE CAR Give your car a good wash. Drivers who live in areas with heavy snowfall should give their vehicles a thorough cleaning before hitting the road for a spring road trip. Salt and sand can build up on a vehicle over the course of a snowy winter, so a power washing will help remove excess salt, sand or dirt and help the car run more smoothly. CHECK-UP Get the vehicle a tune-up. A tune-up, including an oil change, should be part of your pre-trip planning. Make sure winter hasn’t caused any damage to the vehicle’s body and ask your mechanic to perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle’s suspension and brakes. If any problems arise, address them before embarking on your road trip. ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE Subscribe to a roadside assistance program. Roadside assistance programs, whether it’s American Automobile Association (AAA) or a program offered through your insurance company, provide a measure of security to road-trippers. Many roadside assistance programs provide variety of emergency assistance for members, including: •  Towing service if your vehicle cannot start or operate safely •  Battery service if your car’s battery needs a jump •  Flat tire service if you get a flat tire and don’t have a spare or cannot change the tire yourself •  Fuel delivery service if your car runs out of gas •  Lockout service if you lock your

LAURA LOFGREN | Peninsula Daily News A car travels along scenic Mora Road to reach Rialto Beach near LaPush on the North Olympic Peninsula’s West End. The two-lane road follows the Quillayute River to a parking area that supplies easy access to the driftwood-strewn beach.

keys in the car These services can act as a safety net should an issue arise when you’re on the road and far away from home or far away from a service station. Keep your membership card in your wallet and store the customer service number in your cellular phone should you accidentally lose your membership card or lock it inside your car.

FUNDS Bring cash as well as credit cards on

the trip. When embarking on a road trip, don’t assume you will have ready access to an ATM on your trip or at your destination. This means you may reach a point when you have no cash on hand. While it’s a good idea to bring some cash along on the trip, bring a credit card or cards as well should you find yourself with no cash. A major credit card, such as a Mastercard, American Express or Visa, is likely to be accepted at most filling stations.

DRIVE-THRUS ON THE PENINSULA NEAH BAY: HIGHWAY 112 TO CAPE FLATTERY For a long day trip, start early out on state Highway 112 and head toward Neah Bay and Cape Flattery. Once on 112, also known as the Strait of Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway, enjoy the rolling countryside that leads to scenic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

FORKS: COASTAL BEACHES A favorite route, no matter the distance, is heading down U.S. Highway 101 past Forks toward the coastal beaches. If starting in Port Angeles and eastward, drivers and passengers can take in views of the Elwha River, Lake Sutherland and Lake Crescent before that long extension into Forks and beyond. Several miles past Forks, the Pacific comes into view.

GPS Invest in a road navigation system. A road navigation system, or GPS, is a good investment for drivers about to embark on a road trip. A road navigation system can be your best friend, helping you find your way in places with which you are unfamiliar. Road navigation systems can alert you to traffic conditions while providing directions and alternate routes. Some systems will even alert you to nearby filling stations, lodging or restaurants.

PORT ANGELES: HURRICANE RIDGE A staple for any Peninsula local or tourist alike, the 17-mile drive up to Hurricane Ridge is worth the twists and turns. This trip requires an Olympic National Park pass.

PORT TOWNSEND: HISTORIC SEASIDE TOWN Traveling east on U.S. Highway 101, exit onto state Highway 20 and head northeast for 12 miles to historic Port Townsend. The highway turns into Water Street once in town and runs next to Admiralty Inlet ending at the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

BRINNON TO QUILCENE: SHORT DISTANCE TO VIEWS U.S. Highway 101 hugs the shore of the Hood Canal on the eastern edge of Olympic National Forest and provides plenty of spectacular views along each twist and turn. One scenic portion of this road is the short distance between Brinnon and Quilcene.

April 2016

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

Spring/Summer Car Care

Basic automobile maintenance going into warmer weather


Local experts lend advice on what to do this spring to keep your automobile running down the road this summer and beyond designated capacity, which is detailed on the tires. Keeping the correct air pressure in your tires helps Car maintenance should be performed routinely, but them last longer, helps the car handle better and safer and helps save money on fuel. It is recommended that with springtime upon the North Olympic Peninsula, drivers check their tire pressure every other time they what better time than now to go over a few basics fill up at the gas station. before heading out on the open road? As far as snow tires are concerned, Schroeder says The first thing to check is your tire tread and pressure. Randy Schroeder, store manager at Les Schwab’s you can ride on those as long as you like, but studded tires needed to be removed by March 31. Port Angeles location, said tread depth often is overWhile rain came bearing down this winter and into looked by drivers. spring, wiper blades got plenty of use. With chances He said an easy way to check to see if tires have of more drizzles ahead, double check your car’s wiper good depth is the penny test. blades. Look for cracks and wear, replacing them each “Turn the penny upside down and put it in the spring and fall if necessary. tread groove,” Schroeder said. To get your ride road-ready, check your fluids and “If you can see the top of [President Abraham] Lincoln’s head, then it’s time for new tires. If [his head] is look for fluid leaks. Another telltale and easily identifiable sign that a vehicle needs some maintenance is partially covered, you’re usually OK.” Schroeder said Les Schwab offers free tire-pressure the sight of fluids beneath the car. If you notice puddles or stains beneath where you checks for those who aren’t sure how to go about it normally park your car, your vehicle may be leaking themselves. fluids. At home, make sure all tires are filled to their By LAURA LOFGREN | Peninsula Daily News

Authorized Service Center


Keeping correct air pressure in tires makes them last longer, helps the car handle better and helps save money on fuel.

Note the color and consistency of the fluid and then call your mechanic to determine which fluid is leaking and how to fix the problem. Leon Skerbeck, owner, operator and working technician of Rusty’s Import Auto Repair in Port Angeles — a shop that focuses on northern European vehicles — said he sees “at least one fluid level that needs attention” after about a year of no maintenance on a car. Skerbeck said car owners should invest at least four times a year in an overall vehicle inspection, which includes brake checks, light checks, air filter checks, oil changes and more. >> ADVICE continued on Page 10


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10 April 2016

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

The cracked windshield scenario By METROCREATIVE

A windshield crack is something that should be remedied soon. The scenario is all too common. Drivers are traveling down the road, and a pebble gets kicked up and hits their windshield, causing a small chip to appear. Slowly but surely that chip turns into a spreading, snaking crack that only gets worse with each bump and pothole. Having a broken windshield is not only unsightly and a big inconvenience, it can also be illegal. That’s because the crack reduces the efficacy of the window safety composition, meaning it may shatter in the event of an impact accident and cause extensive injuries. The crack also may impede a driver’s ability to see the road clearly. It’s important to note that liability car insurance typically doesn’t cover a cracked windshield that occurs in a collision. Instead, drivers hoping to be covered need to have collision insurance on their vehicle. However, not all windshields crack in a car accident. Many are damaged in nonaccident-related circumstances, whether this be a tree branch that falls on the car or a rock kicked up from the roadway. It’s important to read an insurance policy thoroughly to be sure that nonaccident-related cracks to the windshield will be covered. Even if the damage is covered, it may not be worth the expense of paying the insurance deductible and filing a claim, which may end up raising your rate in the long run. Many small nicks can be repaired easily with a kit purchased from an automotive supply store.

Inexpensive and user-friendly, the instructions guide users through the process of sealing the crack and preventing it from spreading. If the crack is beyond the scope of a do-it-yourself fix, a windshield repair service that specializes in this type of work might be necessary. These companies use products that harden quickly and reglaze the windshield so that the crack may not even be noticeable afterward. Upon inspection, a mechanic or a windshield replacement company may determine that the crack is not something that can be mended. The entire windshield will have to be replaced at this point. In some cases the windshield can be removed and replaced in the same day. While there is no way to prevent a cracked windshield entirely, there are certain ways to reduce the risk. This includes avoiding running over any debris on the road that can be kicked back at the windshield.

Spring/Summer Car Care << ADVICE continued from Page 7

“We now have these extended service intervals,” Skerbeck said. “And it’s been a year since someone checked your car. It used to be [every] 3,000 miles.” Whether your vehicle is brand new or has some miles on it, consult the owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations with regard to changing fluids and replacing filters. Many recent models can now be driven roughly 5,000 miles before they need an oil change, but check your owner’s manual for the guidelines established by your vehicle’s manufacturer and adhere to that schedule religiously. If you drive an older car, recognize that the vehicle may benefit from more frequent oil changes and tune-ups. Skerbeck stresses that vehicle owners should visit an automotive repair shop that specializes in their make and model, and to put a little extra money into maintenance. “It’s worth it to spend the money to protect the investment,” he said. Look under the hood, as well. While many drivers feel that the area beneath their vehicles’ hoods is best left to the professionals, you can still lift up the hood every so often to see if there are any glaring problems that demand attention. Inspect rubber belts for signs of wear and tear, and know that such belts may need to be replaced every 50,000 miles or even more frequently depending on your driving habits. Lifting the hood also is necessary when checking fluid levels, which you should check periodically and before and after any long trips. And what better time than springtime to clear out the trunk. A car filled with clutter is carrying unnecessary weight, making it harder for the car to accelerate and consuming more fuel than it should be.

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Spring/Summer Car Care

April 2016


Consider angles before buying a recreational vehicle

Upholstered sofas and dining room banquettes may be upgraded to leather. Some RVs have an additional Buyers should do their homework before purchasing kitchenette built into the exterior of the unit for easy an recreational vehicle (RV). access when barbecuing or cooking at a campsite. Opportunity for adventure abounds for RV owners. How you plan to use the RV should also be considWith a motor home parked in the driveway, a road ered prior to purchasing one. trip or instant family getaway is only a few steps Will you be spending time cooking meals and sleepaway. ing inside, or will it mainly be used as a storage unit While RVs can be rented, serious road-trippers offor your camping gear? Do you plan on taking exten prefer purchasing one so that it can be customized tended vacations and desire all the comforts of home? with the features desired and always be at the ready. Defining these goals will help you find the right RV RVs vary in price depending on the vehicle, and for you. there are a few things prospective RV owners should Another thing to consider is renting an RV for a day know before they begin shopping. or two to get a feel for driving it and what it is like to First, drivers who have not previously owned an RV spend a night inside. or even stepped inside of one might have an inaccuYou may be able to determine if you need more or rate perception of these vehicles. less of a mobile home when you ultimately decide to Today’s recreational vehicles are much more than purchase. meets the eye, and it pays to attend an RV show to Make sure everything works before you drive the become acquainted with the various types of motor RV off of the lot. homes. This way you will be familiar with the jargon Repairs can be expensive, and you do not want to be expand, either manually or electronically, pushing out and have a reasonable idea of what you want before walls to provide even more interior room when the RV stuck with a lemon when you’re on the road. going to a dealership. Find out if there are any roadside assistance packis parked. There are various classes of RVs, but the largest ages that can be negotiated to offer you peace of mind RVs have different floor plans, and there are many ones tend to be the most expensive. with your first RV. Some RVs have an engine and are driven like a bus, different models to fit a buyer’s needs. The decision of whether to purchase an RV reMany RVs are equipped with no frills furnishings, while other models hitch to the back of a truck or van. but there are models that feature top-of-the-line appli- quires ample forethought. Comparing a number of If you will be towing an RV, you must be certain the car or truck doing the towing is equipped to tow a ances and fixtures. It’s possible to get granite counter- different models and designs and weighing personal needs can give buyers a good idea of which RV is tops and cherry cabinets in an RV, but such accessovehicle the weight and size of your particular RV. right for them. ries will increase the cost of the vehicle. Some RVs have fixed dimensions, while others By METROCREATIVE


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How to pack a car safely

Taking the time to load up the car smartly for a trip could help save time — and save lives — this spring By METROCREATIVE


Spring/Summer Car Care

This is the prime season for road trips, which many people feel are the most affordable vacation option available. They also provide unsurpassed views of the countryside and the ability to slow down and customize the trip as desired. Packing the car for a road trip can be complicated. Although the goal may be to cram as much as possible into the car and get on the road quickly, part of the safety plan for this year’s adventure should include packing properly to avoid injury. Americans drive trillions of miles in any given year. Although it is difficult to make a direct comparison between how many people choose driving as opposed to flying, when comparing data from the Federal Highway Administration and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, for every mile Americans flew, they drove about six more in 2011. With so many miles clocked on the road, it is essential to make the experience as safe as possible — and that means properly securing belongings in a vehicle before getting on the road. In 2009, a laptop computer became a projectile that killed its owner. Heather Storey of Surrey, B.C., was driving to work when her vehicle was hit by a tow truck. Her laptop was propelled at such a force that it caused a deadly injury to her head. Unsecured or improperly packed items in a car or truck have the potential to cause serious injury when on the road or, at the very least, may obscure visibility when driving, Consumer Reports said. The organization and others offer drivers a series of tips that can help make travel safer. •  Adjust tire pressure prior to travel. Consult the owners manual to determine the proper tire pressure when the vehicle is carrying a full load. This will not only help alleviate unnecessary wear and tear on the tires, but also can help prevent a tire blow-out. •  Know the car’s limits. It also is important to stay below the maximum permitted weight or maximum load capacity for the car or truck.

Consumer Reports says that the capacity for small SUVs can span from 825 pounds to 1,155 pounds. Midsize SUVs may carry anywhere from 900 pounds to 1,405 pounds. Minivan capacities can vary significantly as well. The load capacity is specified in the owner’s manual. •  Store the heaviest items at the lowest, most central part of the vehicle. This helps reduce effects on handling that can lead to problems with steering or braking. Drivers should keep the overall center of gravity lower to help reduce the risk of rollover. •  Make sure everything is secured in the car or truck. Use crates or boxes to house smaller items. Use straps or rope to tie down anything loaded in the back of a truck or SUV to the vehicle’s cargo anchors. Load as much as you can into a car’s trunk to avoid having loose items rolling around inside the passenger area. •  Keep a clear view of mirrors and the rear of the vehicle. Do not pack any items higher than the level of the rear seats. Not only can these items fly forward in the event of sharp braking or a crash, but they also may obscure the driver’s view of the road. •  Invest in a roof rack or cargo box. Only place light items on the roof of the car so you can free up interior space. Secure roof items tightly, as they will be caught by the updraft while driving and you do not want to send them airborne and onto the roadway. Also, if you do use the roof for storage, be aware of how much taller the items will make your vehicle so you know if you can safely drive beneath underpasses. •  Make sure passengers can be seated safely. Packing a car doesn’t always mean being able to fit suitcases and belongings. It also means ensuring passengers can ride safely. Do not seat more passengers than can be restrained by the seat belts in the car. If there is not enough room, it is safer in the long run to take two cars. Pack a vehicle safely and make sure it is maintained before heading out on your first road trip of the season.

April 2016

Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

Spring/Summer Car Care


AUTO RECALLS: What to do? Many benefits go with

recalled due to a faulty gas pedal. Vehicle safety recalls An automotive recall are designed to keep roadways and passengers is how manufacturers inform drivers that there safe. New cars are purchased could be something about their cars or trucks that or leased to provide a reliable mode of transpor- presents a risk of injury tation. But some vehicles or property damage. The recall may be malfunction even when independently conducted they are fresh off of the by the manufacturer or dealership lot. ordered by a safety group, Other times manufacsuch as the National turers or safety watchHighway Traffic Safety dog groups determine Administration. that certain cars and The recall involves the trucks have an issue that manufacturer providing requires a recall to keep a free, safe and effective roadways safe. remedy for the faulty Vehicle recall statistics component. are difficult to pin down. When a recall is anThat’s because there is no nounced, drivers may not standard rate of recalls per year, as recalls depend have to immediately visit on safety statistics for par- a dealership to have the ticular makes and models. problem corrected. Owners should wait for an For example, in 2009 official letter. more than 40 million The letter will narrow Toyota vehicles were By METROCREATIVE

down which vehicles are affected. There should be a specific window of time presented in which the vehicle can be repaired. Vehicle owners are urged to pay attention to the performance of their cars or trucks to see if they are exhibiting any problems. If so, schedule an appointment for repair according to the recall instructions provided. The notification letter should include the risk of hazard posed by the problem as well as the free remedy and how long the repair should take. There also should be a description of what an owner can do if he or she is unable to have the problem remedied within a reasonable amount of time and without charge.

>> RECALLS continued on Page 15

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automotive roof racks By METROCREATIVE

Today’s auto manufacturers understand that maximized cargo space is a feature many buyers want in their new vehicles. But even the most spacious car or SUV may not always provide the right amount of space drivers need to haul large items. Roof racks benefit travelers and everyday motorists in numerous ways. Racks make it easy to transport cargo that does not fit the shape or size of a car trunk or cargo area of an SUV. Also, roof racks enable drivers to free up interior space and keep sight lines open, contributing to driver safety. By boosting a vehicle’s storage space, roof racks essentially transform the top of a car or truck into a second trunk. Moving items up and outside of the car can free up additional legroom and give passengers greater comfort on longer trips. Plus, roof racks provide a sturdy surface on which to store kayaks,

mountain bikes, furniture, surfboards and more without damaging the paint and finish of the vehicle. Roof racks are sold in a variety of styles and applications. Roof boxes and bags also can be purchased, if you have items that need to be protected from the elements. Many auto manufacturers offer roof racks as an option on new vehicles, or they can be installed after-market by a qualified professional. When purchasing roof racks, drivers should consider their needs and the size of the items they’re most likely to store.

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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

Spring/Summer Car Care

How can you prevent a backover accident? By METROCREATIVE

Young children, cyclists and pedestrians are especially vulnerable to injury when vehicles are backing up — either in or out of parking spaces or a driveway. In July of 2011, 78-year-old Yolanda Casal was thrown into the air and killed after she was hit by a sports utility vehicle (SUV) that was backing up on the streets of New York City. Her daughter was also struck and suffered broken ribs. In the same year, Judy Neiman was backing out of her parking space in Washington state when she struck her 9-year-old daughter Sydnee, who did not survive her injuries. Neiman has since lobbied lawmakers to establish laws requiring mandatory back-up cameras on vehicles. Backover is the term applied to hitting a person or object while a vehicle is in reverse. With the prevalence of sport utility vehicles (SUV) and minivans, backover accidents have increased. Figures from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say backovers kill 292 people on average in the United States every year. There are many people who believe that back-up cameras on vehicles can save hundreds of people, particularly young children, from backover accidents. An SUV that has rear windows nearly 5 feet off the ground does not enable drivers to clearly see a person or object directly behind the vehicle. Most children under the age of 10 (the segment of the population most likely to be injured in a backover) are much shorter than that height. Even without legislation already in place, many SUVs and vans now come equipped with reverse cameras as a standard feature or as an option. Therefore, consumers can choose brands that offer this added safety feature. After-market cameras also are avail-

able for installation. In addition to using cameras, there are other safety precautions drivers can take to reduce backover accidents. •  Children should be instructed not to play in, under or around vehicles. •  Drivers should always assume someone or something is behind the vehicle. Conduct an inspection behind the car or truck prior to getting in the vehicle and backing up. •  Do not back up the vehicle until you have ensured all passengers are in the car and safely belted in.

•  Be aware of the vehicle’s blind spots at all times. •  Always clear windows from visual obstructions before putting the car or truck in gear. Do not reduce visibility any further. •  Always back up slowly and with the windows rolled down so you can look and listen for anything that might be behind the vehicle. •  Keep the radio off, put your cellphone away and avoid any distractions in the car when moving in reverse. •  Teach teens learning to drive how to safely move in reverse.

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Peninsula Daily News/Sequim Gazette

Spring/Summer Car Care

Left lane is a passing lane

April 2016



Many Washington drivers are unaware that driving in the left lane for extended periods of time can be against the law. The left lane is designed to operate as a passing lane. In order to combat this problem, Chief John R. Batiste said the Washington State Patrol recently conducted a statewide emphasis patrol to bring increased awareness to the left-lane law. State troopers focused their efforts on locating and stopping left-lane violators. Last year, the State Patrol stopped 13,909 left lane law violators. According to the law, RCW 46.61.100(2), upon all roadways having two or more lanes for traffic moving in the same direction, all vehicles shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, except for overtaking and passing another vehicle in the same direction, when traveling at a speed greater than the traffic flow, when moving left to allow traffic to merge or

when preparing for a left turn at an intersection, exit or into a private road or driveway when such left turn is legally permitted.

Road emergency kit essentials By METROCREATIVE

Motorists never know when problems with their vehicles may force them to pull off the road and onto the shoulder. Whether it’s a flat tire, a sputtering engine or an empty gas tank, such circumstances are never welcome. But such situations need not be so unbearable. Drivers who keep roadside emergency kits

in their vehicles may find themselves getting back on the road more quickly the next time an unforeseen problem forces them to pull off the highway. The following are some must-have items drivers should include in their roadside emergency kits: •  Roadside flares •  First-aid kit •  Jumper cables •  Warm blankets • Flashlight • Batteries

<< RECALLS continued from Page 13

informed of a recall: 1. Contact the dealer service manager and explain that you are inquiring about work required as part of a recall. 2. If the manager has not remedied the situation and provided the next steps, contact the manufacturer, which should be able to handle the situation. 3. If all else fails, owners can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.recalls.gov.

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If repair work has been done on a vehicle prior to knowledge of the recall, owners may be eligible for reimbursement for their expenses, provided they kept their receipts. While reimbursement for damages that the defect may have caused are not covered by recalls, owners may be able to solicit reimbursement privately. The following are steps to take when

•  Screwdrivers (both flat-head and Phillips) •  Tire-pressure gauge •  Spare tire •  De-icing agent • Nonperishable snacks •  Extra fluids (motor oil, brake fluid, antifreeze, windshield washer) • Pliers •  Cellphone charger •  Important phone numbers (mechanic, auto insurance company)

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Special Sections - Spring Summer Car Care April 2016  


Special Sections - Spring Summer Car Care April 2016