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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #801
June 28, 2008

What to Do If You Are in an Accident: Part II

By Scott Roush


Getting Information :sob:

It's important to get as much as information at the scene of the accident to protect yourself from possible lawsuits. Make a note of the damage to all the vehicles involved in the accident as well as weather and road conditions, date and time of the accident, speed of all cars involved and even draw a diagram or take a picture of the accident showing the position of the vehicles before and after the accident.

Get names, addresses and telephone numbers of all the drivers involved in the accident. Also record the ownership, license plate number, year, make and model of all the cars involved in the accident. In addition, try to get insurance information from other drivers.

It's a good idea to get the names and addresses of any people who may have witnessed the accident. These people may be helpful in a court case if there is any liability involved. Do not discuss the case with the witnesses. Do not give their names to anyone but the police, your attorney or your insurance company. Do get the name and badge number of any police officers at the scene.

Do not admit fault at the accident. Do not make any oral or written statements as to responsibility or blame. Don't tell other people involved in the accident how much liability insurance you carry. Any of these comments may be used against you in a court case. Don't accept offers to settle on the spot without carefully thinking about it. You may be held liable later for the same damages.



 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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94,472 Posts
Discussion Starter #802
June 29, 2008

What to Do If You Are in an Accident: Part III

By Scott Roush
After the Accident

Depending on state law and circumstance of the accident, you may also need to immediately report the accident to department of motor vehicles in your state.

After the accident, it is a good idea to get checked out by a doctor. Although there may be no obvious signs of injury, there may be damage to your neck, back or spinal cord.

If needed, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer to determine your rights and discuss liability regarding the accident.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #803
Dealing with Claims

Immediately report the accident to your insurance company no matter if you are far from home. Ask your agent how to proceed and what forms or documents will be needed to support your claim. Make sure you include all the information you collected from the scene when you are filing a claim.

If you fail to immediately report the accident to your insurance company, it could be ground for the company's denying any obligation to protect your interests in event a claim is made against you.

If a claim is made against you, refer all persons making the claims to your insurance company. Send all legal papers served against you to your insurance company. Consult your lawyer at once if the coverage you purchased is not enough to cover the claims made against you.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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94,472 Posts
Discussion Starter #804
Recovering Damages

Although it may make some people uneasy, there are times when you as an accident victim have the right to sue a negligent driver of a vehicle for personal injury losses.

Such cases include recovery of your medical expenses and other economic losses when they exceed a certain amount of money, depending on state laws; compensation for pain and suffering if you suffer an injury that results in significant disfigurement; a fracture or other kinds of injuries as defined under the no-fault law; compensation for injury resulting in death; for compensation when the injured person or the person at fault does not have insurance meeting minimum state requirements.

It's a sad fact about society that drivers must do so much to protect themselves against lawsuit, especially after something as traumatic as an auto accident. Of course, the most important thing is make sure everyone is safe and healthy. But it is crucial to get all the information you can to protect your finances rather than to be sorry later that you didn't.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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94,472 Posts
Discussion Starter #805
June 30, 2008

Rainy Days
What should I know about driving in the rain?

Wintertime brings intense cold to many parts of the country, but it also brings heavy rain to some regions. Worse still is the springtime combination of both rain and snow, which can make our daily commute or trip to the supermarket just a little more stressful. Here are some things to keep in mind when battling rainy driving conditions.
If you live in an area that doesn’t receive rainfall regularly, a quick downpour can mix with accumulated oil and dirt on the road creating dangerously slick patches on the roadway. Exercise caution when approaching an intersection in these conditions. Allow yourself some extra time for lane-changes and braking. Driving cautiously, even a little more slowly, may pay off if you are forced to brake suddenly.


Maintain those wipers. A clean windshield and wipers that are in good repair can make all the difference in a sudden downpour. Check wiper blades regularly for cracking or fraying, and replace if necessary. Keeping your wiper fluid topped off is also a great help in case a grit and slime-spraying semi cuts in front of you on the freeway. It only takes a second of distraction or reduced visibility to create a real hazard at 50 or 60 miles per hour.


Check weather conditions. As obvious as it sounds, some of the most hazardous driving surfaces are created as ice and snow begin to melt. The combination of water on top of ice can be deadly. If you are headed out of your driveway, switch on the radio for an update on the weather, including temperature changes or storm warnings.


Many tire manufacturers advertise the safety of ‘all-weather’ tires, but nothing can protect you from hydroplaning but common sense and safe driving speeds. Any time you are driving at high speeds on a wet surface you run the risk of losing partial contact with the road, or hydroplaning, although you may not realize it unless you need to stop or swerve in an emergency. Which leads to our last common sense tip.


Slow down. Take a deep breath. Would you rather be on time, or in one piece?


 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #806
Cordless Tire Rescue Kit

By Bob Plunkett

One problem confronting virtually every motorist concerns a tire that could deflate without warning.

It can happen quickly, such as with a puncture that causes the tire to flatten, or slowly, perhaps with a leaky valve that loses air over time and shows up only after the vehicle has been parked.

When the flat occurs, you typically have only a few choices -- roll up your sleeves and change the tire or summon someone else to do the task for you.

Or, you could plan for a flat and keep a portable air compressor on hand to pump up the tire.

Portable air compressors have saturated the market, so shoppers have many choices today.

Yet one that caught our attention due to its cordless operation is called the Airman and packaged as the Cordless Tire Rescue Kit.

This unit measures no larger than a flashlight (eight inches tall by four inches thick and two inches wide), so it will stow easily in the vehicle until needed.

A built-in rechargeable battery can be fully juiced overnight. Having its own power source brings cordless portability, which makes this compressor so handy for use when you're stranded on the side of the road.

You may also tap a car battery for power by using the 12-volt adapter that plugs into the vehicle's power point.

The Airman comes with a gauge on the connector that lets you pre-set a desired amount of compressed air delivered. Once that pre-set pressure is achieved, the Airman automatically shuts off so there's no danger of over-inflating the tire. It also has a quick-connect valve, the air hose and 12-volt adapter with 11-foot linking cord.

 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #807
July 2, 2008

Massage Cushion

By Bob Plunkett

Those who log lots of time in a driver's seat -- whether cooling tires in the commuter lane or hauling cross-country -- will be the first to admit: The typical car seat, even one rigged with firm bolsters and lumbar controls, can be a real pain in the back.

What an aching back needs for extended car travel is massage and heat to stimulate weary back muscles as you roll on down the road.

Elite luxury sedans by Cadillac and Lexus now offer a built-in massage mechanism in the seat. Power-driven controls in the seat when activated will bump and grind against the rider's lumbar back to do the work of an on-board masseur.

Not everyone can afford the luxury of a private seat masseur, of course, although it's possible now to get the next best thing -- the portable Massage Cushion.

This folding seat cushion, measuring roughly to the size of a bucket-style car seat, has been ergonomically designed to support both a user's seat and lower back.

Inside the pad, eight tiny electric motors jiggle in what feels like massaging motion to apply a masseur's fingertip action that stimulates muscles of the back and thighs.

In addition, an interior heat element adds soothing warmth as desired to relax those weary muscles.

A direct link from the seat pad to a corded control wand allows a user to select and direct the motorized massage action and heat. The massage motors may be set in four different positions that support the upper and lower back, or thighs -- or all areas of the backside.

The pad runs on AC and DC electrical power with adapters, and it plugs into a vehicle's power point.

 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #808
July 3, 2008

New Safety Belt Design



Ford Motor Company is experimenting with a new safety belt designs for better protection and improved comfort.

A four-point suspender-type belt would move the belts further out onto the shoulder and away from the occupant's neck. Another style is a variation of the three-point belt that adds a second belt, which criss-crosses down from the other shoulder. A third possibility being explored is an inflatable tube that can deploy from within a shoulder belt in the event of a crash.

All three methods are being analyzed and tested for effectiveness in safety and customer preference.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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94,472 Posts
Discussion Starter #809
July 4, 2008

Tire Technology
By Bob Storck
Amid the media feeding frenzy with SUV tires, Concorde’s problems were delegated to the back page. A new tire unveiled by Michelin, has been designed to be less likely to burst and unlike auto tires, will shatter into tiny fragments in the event of a blow-out, thus being less likely to cause damage.

Aircraft usually use multiple sets of tires, called ‘trucks’ or ‘bogeys’ that allow other tires to take up the load if one fails. This is similar to the concept behind 18 wheel rigs, and often a flat tire is not even noticed by the passengers.

The new aircraft tire technology, christened NZG for “Near Zero Growth”, uses a high-modulus reinforcement material for higher damage resistance and heavier load tolerances. Kevlar linings - the material used to make bulletproof vests - have also been put inside the fuel tanks.

Michelin was the very first manufacturer to apply the radial technology to the aviation industry and while we are not likely to see auto tires that shatter, don’t be surprised if the strengthening benefits aid future tires and high pressure fuel tanks.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #810
July 6, 2008

How to Change a Tire


Before You Raise Your Car

If you are ever uncertain about what to do when jacking up your car, refer back to the owner's manual. For example, check your manual for the proper place to position the jack for your vehicle. Usually, the correct position is somewhere on the frame. Jacks can also be placed near the rear wheel axle. Never place the jack so that the weight of the car rests on something that can bend, break or "give."

Before you attempt to jack up your car, make sure your car is parked on level ground. If you get a flat tire on a hill and can't make it to level ground for fear of causing further damage, park your vehicle close a curb and turn the wheel toward the curb. Also, try to find something to block the downside wheels to prevent your car from rolling.

Even if the car is on level ground, it is a good idea to use something to block the wheels to prevent the car from rolling once it has been jacked up. Bricks, wooden wedges or metal wheels chocks will do the job. Keep these items in your trunk so you don't have to go searching for something on a freeway.

In addition, make sure your car is in Park and the emergency brake is on before you jack up the vehicle.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #811
How to Change a Tire: Part II

By Scott Roush

Dealing with Lug Nuts

Perhaps the biggest mistake a person who never has changed a tire makes is not loosening the lug nuts before jacking up the car. Once the car is jacked up, the wheel will turn freely, which will make it extremely difficult to loosen the lug nuts.

Depending on your vehicle, you will either have a hub cap or wheel cover that needs to be removed before you tackle the lug nuts. Use a screwdriver or the flat end of a lug wrench to pry off the hub cap or wheel cover. Slide your tool where the edge of the cap meets the wheel, apply a little pressure, and the cap should just pop off. Keep the cap nearby! You can use it to store the lug nuts after you have removed them to prevent them from rolling away.

Now comes the part of the job where a person is going to need some muscle, especially if you have never removed the lug nuts from the wheel before. That's because they were likely tighten with a power tool, and will be hard to get started.

The best type of wrench to have is a cross-shaft lug wrench, because it will provide you will the most leverage when prying off stubborn lug nuts. Before you start loosening lug nuts you need to find out if they are right-hand threaded or left-hand threaded so you know which way you have to turn the wrench. You can refer to your owner's manual for this information, or you can look in the center of the lug nuts to see if there an "R" or an "L." This will tell which way the nuts are threaded. Right-hand threaded nuts turn counterclockwise to loosen; left-hand threaded nuts turn clockwise.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #812
July 8, 2008

How to Change a Tire: Part III

By Scott Roush

Jacking Up the Car :thmbdown:

Once you have loosened the lug nuts, it's time to raise the car. Insert the jack handle into the jack. Again, you may want to refer to owner's manual to make sure you are inserting the handle properly.

To raise the jack, apply nice even strokes, up and down, until the car is high enough that the wheel is completely clear of the ground. You should check under the car to make sure it is resting securely on the jack.

After you have checked everything and you feel the car is not going anywhere, then removed the lug nuts completely.

Putting on the New Tire

Have the spare tire ready. Hopefully you have enough air in the spare. You should check your spare tire regularly to ensure it is properly inflated.

Using both hands, pull the flat tire toward you. Carefully lower the tire to the ground once it has cleared the lug bolts.

You now need to pick up the spare tire and place it on the lug bolts. Since tires are heavy, this is where some people may need assistance. Do not hesitate to call someone or accept the help of a friendly face if one comes along.

Once the spare tire is in place, replace the lug nuts and tighten them by hand. Lower the car to the ground using the jack. Once the car is securely on the ground, use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts as much as you can. Put the hub cap or wheel cover in place with the heel of your hand. Don't forget to put the flat tire in your trunk.

Congratulations! You have successfully changed your tire. Hopefully you will never have to do this, but it is a good skill to know.

 
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