Saturday, 27 April 2013

Driver Training Series: The Science of Vision

If you stand far enough away, all things, regardless of actual size, become quite small. You've known this to be true since your youth. Do you understand why?

Understanding the science behind vision is a key component to proper vehicle operations. All behind-the-wheel techniques begin with the processing of visual cues. This processing begins in the brain.

Regardless of training, when it comes down to a moment, action will always be faster than reaction. In action, your brain has taken a visual cue and completed all mental and physical processes to come to a decision. In reaction, your brain must receive a visual cue, go through all necessary processes, and then based on feed back, make a decision. In reaction, decisions typically need to be made quickly. When time and space are limited, visual overload of the brain may occur.

Without proper visual perspective, a reactive decision will become a high stress situation. In these circumstances, fight-or-flight kicks in and will bring a slew of unwanted side effects, including tunnel vision and loss of motor skills. To prevent visual overload while operating a vehicle, you must learn to increase time and space. While driving, increases in speed will shorten your visual depth of field and subconsciously increase anxiety. To counteract this response, you will need to increase distance between your vehicle and the next closest vehicle or hard object. This increased distance will allow for extra time to receive a visual cue and make a decision.

Let's put the visual process into a scenario. In busy traffic, many drivers simply stare at the vehicle immediately ahead of them; when brake lights go on, these drivers brake. Using your understanding of vision, you will be in the habit of looking approximately ten-seconds in front of the leading vehicle. This lead vehicle should be in your peripheral vision as your focus will remain squarely on accepting visual cues and analyzing the road ahead; looking for potential dangers that may occur. You will anticipate braking or prepare an evasive maneuver based on a potential danger and not on brake lights. If done properly, you will either brake or perform the prepared evasive maneuver prior-to the lead vehicle even displaying brake lights.

This vision/reaction scenario is best case with limited disruptive factors. Part of understanding vision is to be aware of the disruptive factors that affect vision. All drivers should have optimum vision before operating a vehicle and have any nearsightedness or farsightedness corrected. Other factors, including vehicle speed, light glare, age, window tinting, weather-conditions and roadway abnormalities will also hinder the reception of visual cues. Hindered visual cues from the listed factors will require the same driving approach as visual overload: slowing down and increasing space will allow you to observe and respond appropriately.

With vision supplying approximately 95 percent of incoming data to a driver, the understanding of vision and the processes involved will positively affect your ability to operate and control a motor vehicle. Now that we've explained how to Get Situated in a vehicle, and given an overview on the Science of Vision, next week we'll cruise through Physical laws and handling characteristics.

Electrical Vehicles and LED Lights for the Future

If you were to ask an individual during the early 1940s and 1950s about the future of automobiles, they would have told you that they were expecting flying cars within the turn of the 20th century. While technology has allowed man to take far steps in automotive engineering from when it was first manufactured, we have not yet reached the technology to create flying cars for the public unfortunately. Not yet at least. The 21st century is an innovative stage of engineering where "green technology" is the key focus and in an attempt to rely less on fossil fuels and more on alternative choices such as electricity. Hybrid vehicles with a gas and electric engine combined are becoming more and more popular among consumers to save money on gas and reduce toxic emissions. Full electrical vehicles are also starting emerge as well, but with a steep price tag attached to them. To conserve energy, more efficient methods of lighting such as LED lights are also becoming increasingly popular among car manufacturers and regular consumers. LED lighting technology is becoming the future of automotive lighting engineering.

Hybrid vehicles are automobiles that utilize both a gas engine and electric motor to propel itself. A small list of notable hybrid vehicles that many consumers drive include the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Lexus CT200H, Ford Fusion, and many more. Thanks to the engineering of these automobiles, it is not common to see an EPA-rated MPG (Miles Per Gallon) of 40 or more on the street or highway. Several benefits of hybrid vehicles include saving money by spending less money at the gas station, reducing your carbon foot print in the world, and access to HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) or better known as carpool lanes. While saving money and giving you access to more convenient features on the highway, hybrid cars also produce less harmful emissions such as carbon monoxide, mono-nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide

In addition to hybrid vehicles, auto manufacturers are beginning to produce and sell full electric vehicles such as the Scion iQ, Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Roadster, Toyota RAV4 EV, and more. Unlike their close hybrid counter parts; these full electric cars do not utilize a gas engine. Full electric vehicles are the ultimate way to save money on gas; savings up to $580 advertised by companies like Tesla. Since these cars do not use an internal combustion engine, they produce no tail pipe emissions; this is a gold standard of a green technology vehicle. One of the downsides of this new era of automobiles is the steep initial price tag drives consumers away, but over time they will become more affordable as the technology progresses. In addition to cost, the integration of charging stations throughout the country is still several years away making it inconvenient to travel long distances without worrying to charge the car.

Other technology innovations to improve the efficiency of the vehicle are also being integrated into these cars such as LED lighting. LED stands for a "light emitting diode" and is a semi-conductor that lights up when power is applied. LED lighting is much more efficient at turning energy into visible light compared to incandescent bulbs. This feature of the light makes it an attractive piece of technology to have for hybrid and full electric vehicles which benefits from every bit of electricity efficiency it can have. Many manufacturers are beginning to integrate LED technology into their cars; for example the Toyota Prius and Lexus CT200H have options to come equipped with factory installed LED headlights. Factory installed LED tail lights and LED daytime running lights are also becoming more and more popular among car manufacturers as well; whether the car is a hybrid, full electric, or a gas/diesel engine. Not only are LED lights more efficient, they are also able to produce a more aesthetic ally appealing color of light. LED lights can be produced in various shades such as warm white, pure white, red, amber and more which can all be used in different ways on the vehicle; examples include the license plate lights, turn signals, headlights, running lights, tail lights, interior lights, and more!

While we are not in the era of flying cars just yet, we are slowly moving forward in technology one step at a time. While the cost of this advanced technology is still expensive, as it improves and becomes more integrated into the everyday world; it will become more affordable. LED lights are becoming standard equipment on many vehicles and even commercial and residential lighting. The future for LED lights is very bright and will continue to grow and mature with the automobile industry as the "green technology" era unfolds.

There Are a Number of Used Cars for Sale

Making the decision to purchase a vehicle is an important one and not one that should be made hastily. There are many options available to customers and everyone's needs and wants are different. Many people have their hearts set on purchasing or leasing a brand new vehicle while others are more interested in used cars for sale.

Most people who are looking for used cars for sale will begin their search at a dealership. Customers want to go to a dealership that has a reputation for great customer service. People want to get the most for their money and they want to work with a sales staff that will listen to and understand their wants and needs without putting them under a great deal of pressure to make a purchase. They also want a great selection of vehicles to choose from.

When it comes to financing used cars for sale customers will have a variety of different needs. Most customers are looking for the lowest interest rate possible with the shortest length loan. Not all customers will be great candidates for financing. People with bad credit or even first time buyers may need some special financing offers in order to get approved. Quite often people with credit issues will have to put down a higher down payment or they may qualify at a much higher interest rate for financing.

Many customers also want good service after they make their purchase. Having a reliable place to take their vehicle for any repairs or routine maintenance is important to customers because they want someone who they can trust. Many service departments offer customers the option of scheduling their appointments online and they also offer the convenience of early morning drop off service and after hours pick up. Many used cars for sale will come with an extended warranty that will wind up saving customers money in the long run. Some dealerships will even let customers buy parts from them directly if they want to do the repair work themselves.

Sometimes during the search for the perfect vehicle a customer may find exactly what they are looking for at a different dealership. As long as the dealerships are in the same family or network it should not be a problem to have a specific vehicle transferred to a different dealership to satisfy the customer. Going the extra mile for a customer is a great way to turn a customer into a customer for life.

Part of helping customers find great used cars for sale involves taking the time to listen and understand what their needs really are. It is quite common for people to fall in love with a vehicle only to discover that the vehicle does not fit in their budget or it may not have all of the features they are looking for. A great sales person will take the time to work with a customer and help them find exactly what they are looking for. This type of customer service usually means a great deal to a customer.

The Benefits of Purchasing Used Cars From Dealerships

If you look around your city or town, you will discover that used cars are everywhere. Pre-owned vehicles can be purchased from private sellers or from dealerships that sell used automobiles. You will also discover that many dealerships that sell new vehicles also sell pre-owned ones as well. You have a plethora of choices when it comes to the purchase of a second-hand vehicle.

For those people who have owned used cars in the past (and perhaps own one right now), and have bought their cars from dealerships, the benefits are well known and understood. However, if you have always had new cars or if you are looking for your first car, it helps to know the reasons why you should consider purchasing a certified pre-owned automobile from a local dealer.

Your choice of transportation is a significant one and one you want to be smart about. Making such an important purchase should not be taken lightly. Consider buying from a dealer in your area because of the rigorous inspections that the vehicles undergo. As a rule, used cars that have been certified with the manufacturer's warranty are required to meet higher standards in terms of their mechanical function, appearance and detailing.

It is essential that you make sure that the dealership you are planning to purchase a second-hand vehicle from is able to offer you some type of history report on the car, such as CARFAX. This will let you know that the automobile is worthy of the certification it receives.

If you like one-stop shopping, you have come to the right place. Big dealers tend to have a large selection of pre-owned automobiles for prospective customers to pick from. You will also have the option of test-driving as many motor vehicles as you would like to in a safe manner. This will help to put your mind at ease that you are making a good investment with your transportation dollars.

When you make a purchased from a private seller, you are taking more of a chance. There is more risk involved because the seller is a stranger to you and does not require the certification that dealers obtain for their products. Looking for used cars from private sellers can also be more time consuming and cause more stress.

If you need to finance a pre-owned automobile, the process will be easier if you make the decision to buy from a dealership in your area. The professional will be able to assist you in filling out the credit application while you are there sitting in the office. More than likely, the company will offer instant approval while you wait.

For the individual who does not like to do a lot of paperwork, buying from a dealership will take the hassle out of standing in line waiting to be served at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The dealer will ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed and filled out for you.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Used Car Dealers Offer Many Options To The Public

Transportation is an absolute necessity. Not only for a way to get to work and back but also for use in just daily living. In everybody's life there is always something you need to do and somewhere you need to go. This is especially true if you have a family. Because of the lack of mass transit in most of the United States the automobile is a must have for just about everyone. Not that long ago it was common for anyone that needed transportation to just go out to a new automobile dealership and buy a brand new automobile. New automobiles were advertised as reliable and because they all came with warranties, many of them extended, a new automobile was an easy sell. This all changed after the housing crash of 2007. When the crash occurred many Americans were not only devastated financially but their credit rating also collapsed with the economy. As a result of this the banking system reacted by not only tightening credit but in many cases just not lending to anyone unless their credit was pristine. In the automotive industry this resulted in a shift in buyer preferences from buying transportation at new dealerships to used car dealers. The second-hand automobile franchises and shops under the new economy were much more amenable to people with less than good credit and even bad credit to not only put them in an affordable automobile but to also finance their purchase regardless of their credit score. It is common even today to see advertisements from used car dealers touting the slogan "Your Job Is Your Credit" to lure prospects into their shops. The other thing that that has changed radically has been the public's perception of used car dealers. The perception at one time was very negative but today with the emergence of the large corporate mega store they have become not only respectable but are being touted as the place to go to get not only extremely reliable transportation but transportation at a very reasonable cost.

What kinds of automobiles are available at a used car dealer's showroom? The short answer is just about anything you might desire or need. They carry sedans, trucks, SUVs, even foreign makes, and specialty vehicles. Generally speaking a second-hand automobile dealer's inventory comes with the equivalent of a factory warranty and options. The choices available to the public at some of the larger locations can literally be in the thousands of different models and makes. You can even get high-end sports models and European touring vehicles if you so desire. One of the newer features advertised by some of the larger locations is their ability to buy your automobile from you regardless of whether or not you purchase a vehicle from them or not. This has become a very popular option with the general public as it satisfies the need to get rid of their old vehicle with no muss and no fuss. This offer has been enhanced to include the buy feature guarantee regardless of the shape your old vehicle it is in and even regardless of whether it is running or not. This guaranteed buy offer has resulted in a major increase in not only traffic at the locations offering the service but also in a dramatic increase in unit sales.

Contemplating the Worth of Used Cars - Know Your Stuff Before You Buy

With the cost of everything getting more expensive all of the time, more and more people are turning to used cars, instead of looking at newer vehicles for their transportation needs. Before you decide that a second-hand automobile is in your future, you want to know what you can do to improve your purchase experience and ensure that you get the most out of your hard-earned money!

Most people would agree that there is nothing like buying a new vehicle, however sometimes it is not possible to buy new. If this describes your situation, you will have to turn your attention to the selection of pre-owned automobiles that are available.

Being armed with knowledge is your best offense when you visit a car lot and talk to a salesperson. You need to know what you want when you first arrive (or even better, BEFORE you arrive). If you know what type of automobile you are in the market for, you won't waste any time in finding it.

Know the make, model and trim that appeals most to you when it comes to used cars. In that way, you will not be steered away from the choice that is best for your needs and your budget. Being aware of the dealer inventory is important and you should keep an open mind when you are browsing, but being clear and focused about what you want will work in your favor.

It is always best to research your top choices for used cars. If you are on the fence about which model will suit you best, take the time to do research online and in the real world. Look up websites that offer information about each automobile. If you have previously purchased the vehicle you are interested in now, you already have prior knowledge and understanding about what it has going for it and what it does not have going for it. There are several websites that have lots to offer up in terms of educating you about motor vehicles.

It would also be wise to talk to other buyers and ask for their opinions and advice. What do they drive and what would they recommend? Ask about their experiences with used cars. You never know what helpful pieces of advice they may have to offer you! If the name of a certain automobile keeps being brought up over and over again and others tell you that it is a good choice, there is something to that. Take what you have been told and investigate further.

You might like to do things alone, but shopping for pre-owned automobiles is something you should do with another person, especially if you are very new to the car purchasing experience. Having someone by your side to point out things that might not occur to you in the process is beneficial and should not be underestimated.

Why Buy Used Cars From Trusted Dealerships

You could buy used cars from people selling them on the street. You could buy them from an individual you just met over the Internet. Yet, there are some big risks involved in this process if these are the routes you plan to take. The problem is that you will, undoubtedly, have to take on those risks without any backup from a company. Instead of worrying about if you will end up purchasing a lemon, invest wisely in the right company. You will get exactly what you need and even more than you expect when you do.

There's Recourse

One of the biggest reasons to turn to a trusted used cars dealership instead of buying off the street is because you have some recourse. Most reputable dealerships are not out to get you. If you purchase a vehicle and then find out there is a problem with it, they will help you to get it fixed and, in some cases, allow you to bring it back or exchange it. Of course, you should learn the terms and conditions of the sale before making the actual purchase. For most people, though, it is possible to get some backup if things do go wrong when you work with a reliable provider. This is not likely to happen, though, when you buy an as-is vehicle off the street.

More Options

Today's average dealer lot has plenty of vehicles to offer for those looking for a previously owned auto. That means you do not have to settle. You can select the style, features, and, in some cases, even the mileage that you find acceptable. This flexibility is what can help you to define your success in this purchase. Why not purchase what really fills your needs and makes you happy rather than purchasing just whatever you can find?

Financing Is Available

Buying privately means limited financing options. Most banks work with established businesses they can trust when it comes to financing used cars. It is not easy to find a bank willing to cut you a check to buy one from an average person off the street. What's more, you may not end up spending any more by making the purchase from a trusted professional anyway. There are few reasons to overlook the professionals in this decision.

You should compare all the options available to you. Factor in the availability of loans and the ease of finding exactly what you need. You may find that a reputable used cars lot is the best place to find exactly what you need.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Important Things You Must Know About ECM Testing

The advance in technology and especially computerization has changed the way everything is done in just about all areas of life. The automobile industry has not been left behind with changes being observed. This is more pronounced especially with the newer trucks and cars which come with modern inbuilt gadgets that ensure the vehicle performs at its optimum level. The end result has been the driving experience has changed completely with technology taking the leading role in making the driver's life easier and much better.

Enter the engine control module (ECM) and vehicle owners don't have to fumble any more about what is happening with any system in the vehicle. You can easily know what is going on without necessarily opening the hood and start looking for trouble. While all this is true, there is more to all these benefits than just fitting the ECM and sitting back to wait for its periodic reports when things are not working fine. Just like any other gadget in your car, the ECM, which diagnoses all the problems, also needs to be tested so as to ensure it is working optimally and not sending erroneous results. This way you will enjoy the privileges of having it in your vehicle.

The one important reason you need to have the ECM tested is that when it is working properly in your car, it will bring on correct information. The importance of having correct information is that you will be ensuring safety, not just for the car, but also for you, your passengers as well as other road users. The trouble of driving with an untested gadget is that you could be driving an accident prone vehicle without your knowledge.

If you are driving one of the older vehicles that don't have one already, you are better off going for reconstructed or re-manufactured ones. This gadget will be installed but it is also important that you have it checked and tested so that you are sure it is sending the right signals. As soon as a warning message if flashed, your responsibility is to take the car to a mechanic so that they do a checkup immediately. If the gadget is functioning well, this will ensure the problem is rectified immediately and you avoid bigger problems that would have come up later as a result of neglect. However, if the mechanic realizes that there is really no such problem that will be an indication that the ECM is faulty and needs to be tested. Always ensure the machine is tested by an authorized professional who knows everything to do with such gadgets.

There is no doubt that the engine control module comes with a guarantee; this is a gadget like any other and since it can malfunction, your sole responsibility is to make sure it is tested and in good working condition. Should the gadget be found to be faulty, you can easily claim the warranty and you have it replaced with a new one. Don't struggle with the tests yourself but let it be tested and all the results be interpreted by a qualified technician and you can be sure that you will be a happy and of course safe driver.

Tow Truck Drivers Face Many Risks On The Roads

Tow truck drivers diligently serve the public. They provide absolutely essential services in removing damaged, wrecked and disabled vehicles from the roads. They also provide non-towing services such as locksmith services and changing tires. Unfortunately, many of these tow truck drivers fail to take basic safety precautions for themselves and as a result are injured or killed in the line of duty.

Death and dying is a reality of the towing industry. The very nature of the towing industry is dealing with disabled vehicles and accidents. It can be a very dangerous job as accidents can happen at any time and without prior warning. Tow truck operators should never assume that accidents will never happen to them. At any moment they could be seriously injured or killed. Fatalities of tow truck drivers are occurring on an ever-increasing basis.

Recently, a 47-year-old operator in Louisiana died after being hit by a truck while he was clearing debris from the roadway after an earlier crash. At the time of the crash he was standing on the shoulder of the highway.

An 18-year-old operator was hit and killed while he was trying to help a motorist with a flat tire. At the time of this accident he had pulled over to the shoulder of the road.

A Florida operator was killed while he was preparing to tow a car from Interstate 95. He had been putting out his cones. At the time of the accident he was placing down the last cone when he was struck.

Many of the accidents involving tow truck drivers happened while they were loading vehicles, changing tires or performing other tasks while working on the emergency shoulder of the road. The drivers may have been standing or working underneath disabled vehicles after an impact. They also may have been distracted and not paying attention to their surroundings.

"Move over laws" are enacted aim to protect emergency workers. The purpose of these laws is to protect emergency responders working along the roadside. This law requires drivers to move away from the vehicle by one lane if they notice emergency vehicles with sirens or flashing lights. If they are unable to move over one lane they must reduce their speed below the posted speed limit. This law includes law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances and tow trucks with flashing lights whose drivers are performing their road service duties.

While "Move over laws" may help protect tow truck operators accidents still occur. Drivers should perform their duties in a manner that is safe for themselves and their clients. A few of the ways tow truck operators endanger their lives are as follows:

1. Changing a vehicle's tire on the traffic side of the road
2. Standing partially in the traffic lane
3. Walking with their backs to traffic

Tow truck operators should acknowledge the risks of their jobs and take the necessary precautions to be safe. They must always pay attention to their surroundings and traffic and avoid taking unnecessary risks. They work diligently to serve motorists. Nevertheless, it is important that they return home safely themselves.

Shop at the Best Car Dealerships

Shopping at the best car dealerships will land you the sweetest deal on your next vehicle. Not all dealers are created equally; so why settle for less than the best? Look for a place that not only sells vehicles but services and repairs them, as well. You want to find a business that you feel comfortable maintaining a professional relationship with.

Wide Selection

When shopping around for a new vehicle, you want to visit car dealerships that have a wide selection of models. Before you arrive at the lot, you should do your homework and decide upon three or four models you're interested in. Consider price, features, size, and your needs. If you have a family with several growing kids, check into the SUVs and vans. If you need a truck to haul your work tools around, look at trucks or SUVs with hauling capabilities. If there are multiple styles with a range of amenities on the lot, you'll be able to compare, contrast, and test-drive several options.

Service and Repair

If you buy your next vehicle from an auto dealer with a service department, it will make your life easier. Having your vehicle serviced at the same business where you purchased your vehicle is so much more convenient. They will have your vehicle's paperwork in their files and be able to remind you when various maintenance tasks need to be completed. Car dealerships often have comfortable lounges where you can wait for your tires to be rotated, your engine to be tuned up, and your oil to be changed. Wide screen televisions, snacks and cold beverages, and well-trained mechanics can make auto repair a pleasurable experience.

Reputation

It's smart to shop at car dealerships that are in good standing in your community. Ask friends, family members, and co-workers who the most reputable car dealerships are in town. Word-of-mouth referrals are great ways of finding out about topnotch dealers. If you're looking for a specific make or model, ask friends who drive the same cars. You can also look of reviews of dealers online.

Buying a new or used vehicle is a major expenditure. You want to shop at the most reputable car dealerships in town. Find out who has the widest selection of the sedans, trucks, and SUVs that you're interested in. Check out dealers who have comfortable service departments with skilled technicians, savvy mechanics, as well as knowledgeable sales personnel. Find a business that you want to establish a long-term relationship with.

Don't Wait for the Delivery Truck!

Before the Internet, waiting for the mail was something of a guessing game. You never knew if the next delivery truck would be carrying the item you were expecting to arrive. But with the advent of modern mailing technology, the shipping industry has not only increased efficiency in the delivery of parcels, but also allowed senders and receivers to have more control over their shipments.

The first thing to keep in mind if you want to know when your package will arrive is the cost of shipping. If you want a package to arrive sooner, expect to pay more. The most expensive options often involve airplanes to get your order from point A to point B much faster. However, ground shipping is usually a cheaper option and generally only takes a day longer to arrive. You should also be mindful of when your order is being filled. Some companies do not fulfill shipping orders on the weekend or holidays, while others keep their delivery trucks running 24/7. To assure fast delivery, try to place orders - especially online orders - at the beginning of the week and account for any state or federal holidays that might change the delivery date.

While it may seem like a complex task to calculate the actual arrival date of your package, many shipping companies have online tracking systems that allow you to easily follow your order during its entire journey. From the warehouse to the deliver truck, you can now track your package's every movement as it makes its way to your doorstep.

You can do this in several different ways. Make sure you get a tracking number for your parcel; this is fairly standard and will often be provided to you automatically. If you are not able to write down your tracking number or would prefer not to, most shipping forms include a spot to enter your email address and the company will email the information to you. These emails also include a link to the website where you can monitor the status of your package. While the systems can sometimes take a little while to initially enter your order into the system, most provide an incredibly accurate, real-time look at the shipping process.

Another great aspect of these online tracking systems is that you can control when your item arrives. This is especially useful for individuals who live in an area where it is not really safe for a delivery person to leave a package at your door. You now can select a time and date when it would be most convenient for the delivery truck to stop by your home. This saves you the aggravation of having to go to your local shipping warehouse where the package is stored if you miss it or worse, having it returned to the sender.

Improvements to shipping are happening every day, making our lives simpler and our mailing much faster. From advancements in delivery truck design to new tracking systems, shipping has never been easier!