Ford Escape Driving Through Snow

Winter Safety Tips: Safe Driving in Snow and Ice

Ford Escape Driving Through Snow

Having good tires, driving slow, and checking your antifreeze are all ways to ensure you drive safely this winter.

 

Pretty much anyone who’s lived in Missouri has had his or her fair share of winter weather driving. After all, the area gets around 13 inches of snow each year. Missourians know the precipitation well. But, it doesn’t hurt to get a refresher each winter on a few of the best tips for safe driving in snow and ice.

 

Prioritize the Tires

One of the best things you can do for safe winter driving is to give your tires a little attention. Make sure all four of your tires are in good shape and have plenty of tread. Check the tread by placing a penny in it to see how deep it goes. If Lincoln’s head sticks up, you need new tires.

Keeping your tires properly inflated is important, too. As many Missourians have figured out the hard way, cold weather lowers a tire’s air pressure. Yet, good air pressure is key to a tire’s ability to grip the road in poor conditions. Keep an eye on your tire pressure all winter long.

 

Take it Slow

Veteran drivers are sure to have learned this lesson long ago, but newer drivers might need the reminder. As a general rule when handling your car in snow or ice, do everything more slowly. Accelerate slowly, turn slowly and brake slowly. In fact, don’t brake at all if you can help it. Using regular brakes on ice often leads to sliding out of control. It’s better to gently let off the accelerator to come to a gradual stop.

Tips for Sharing the Road with Motorcyclists

sharing the road with motorcyclists

Learning to share the road with cars and motorcycles is the best way to prevent accidents.

 

As the weather warms, we’ll be sharing the road with motorcyclists more and more often, and it’s important to know how to drive alongside them safely. More than half of motorcycle fatalities happen in an accident with another driver. Motorcyclists are often harder to see and their movements aren’t as clear from a car, so follow these tips and keep yourself and our two-wheeling friends safe.

First of all, let go of any anger you may feel and learn to accept motorcyclists’ presence on the road. They aren’t going anywhere, and they aren’t there to make you mad. They often change lanes to improve their own visibility to other drivers. Being angry at them makes you drive more recklessly.

Motorcycles often look farther away than they are and don’t appear to be going as fast, so don’t turn unless you’re sure the motorcycle is far from you—or just wait until it passes. Pay attention to a motorcycle’s turn signals—they aren’t self-canceling, so they might still be on when they aren’t supposed to be.

Put more distance between yourself and motorcycles than you would a car, especially in wet road conditions.

If you have anymore tips on sharing the road with motorcyclists please share below or visit us at Jimmy Michel Motors in Aurora, MO.

Three Tips For New Drivers

New teen driver Springfield MO

Keep the smile on your face and your mind on the road with these tips for new drivers.

If you just happened to get your license, remembering all of the rules and conventions of the road at all times can seem a bit daunting. To help you out, we’ve outlined some of the best tips for new drivers.

Right-of-way may be the most important thing you need to learn to stay safe on the road. Granted, “Yield” signs tell us that others have the right-of-way but many times, there aren’t any signs to tell you who has the right-of-way in a given traffic situation. To expect another to yield when it is your responsibility, and vice versa, can quickly lead to very dangerous situations. Here are a number of situations you should be aware of.

A lot of your education has focused on how to prevent mishaps, as it should. However, you should be fully prepared for a breakdown. You should know that if you cannot get onto the shoulder, or if you manage to get to the shoulder but do not feel safe getting out, do not get out of the your vehicle. Keep your seatbelt on and call for help. The bottom line is that you should make a plan, just in case. Car broken down? Our Service Department can help!

It’s also important to remember, as you begin you driving, that you should never stop learning. Learn from your mistakes! We all get lucky from time to time so use those experiences to be safer in the future.

 

How Power Steering Works – Car Parts 101

The power steering system is a complex but necessary part of any car. It’s possible to drive without power steering, which gives us easy control over the direction we turn the wheel in, but it’s not safe and it’s definitely not fun. If you’ve ever wondered how power steering works, we’ve got a simple guide for you.

Hand Steering Vehicle - How power steering works

How power steering works is a mystery to many people, but it makes driving much, much easier.

There are several components of power steering systems. One is the rotary-vane pump, which encases a set of retractable vanes that spin inside a chamber and provides hydraulic power to the steering. The engine powers the pump using a belt and pulley. The vanes are what move the hydraulic fluid through the system.

The power steering system remains inactive when the driver isn’t turning the wheel, so it uses the rotary valve to tell it when the wheel is being turned. A metal rod called a torsion bar is connected to the steering wheel and the pinion that turns the wheels, so when the driver turns the wheel it applies torque that turns the wheels.

Holiday Travel Tips For the Season

Family Traveling

Planning instead of procrastinating is key to our holiday travel tips.

Thanksgiving has come and gone which means Christmas is right around the corner. After that is New Year’s Eve. That means many people will be traveling. Traveling during the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful, not if you take these holiday travel tips from us here at Jimmy Michel Motors, anyway!

  1. Don’t Procrastinate. Procrastination will only lead to stress. If you put off booking a flight until the week before you need to leave, you may not get a flight at all. Avoid putting off packing as well or you’re more likely to forget something. Lastly, make housing arrangements before arriving at your destination. Dropping in on your in-laws isn’t the best way to gain their favor.
  2. Travel Early or Late. When booking a flight, schedule for either early in the morning or late at night. Most people tend to fly during the middle of the day so by booking at either of those times, you’ll face less crowds. That means a smoother time going through security and making it to your gate on time.
  3. Plan Ahead. If you’re only bringing clothes in your bags, consider mailing them to your destination. Many airlines charge extra fees for every bag checked. That number can run into the hundreds if you aren’t careful.

Where are you headed for the holidays?

Tips for Off-Roading: What to Do Before Hitting the Trails

2016 Ford Expedition

Take your Expedition or other Ford vehicle off-roading with these tips to make the best of the experience.

 

Off-roading can be fun, especially if you know how to do it right. We’ve put together a list of tips for off-roading, ensuring you’re always safe and able to have fun. No one wants to end up stranded, so keeping these in mind could just define your driving experience.

According to Popular Mechanics, the best thing to do is to scope out the area first. Know where there might be unexpected terrain, drop-offs, and pedestrians. Look out for things like deer crossings, hills, and gorges. Remember, you can always stop and walk around if you can’t see what’s ahead.

Next, shift into four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive as soon as you hit the trail. Though you might think it sounds like common sense, many off-roaders forget to shift – before you know it you could end up stuck. Carry a reminder like a sticky-note so you don’t forget.

Always bring recovery gear. A sturdy rug can help you out of a rut and a spade can help you fill in holes. Serious gear should include a two-inch-wide tow strap (with fabric ends, not hooks), a pair of strong clevises, and an electric winch. Most importantly, bring a friend to help out.

Four Signs You Are A Bad Driver

The first step to handling a problem is admitting that you have one in the first place. Do you suspect you might be a bad driver? To help you determine if you have a problem, here are a four signs you are a bad driver.

 

Front Bumper Accident

If you’re a bad driver, it’s better to find out from our list than it is to find out on — or veering off — the road.

1. Where do people often pass you?

Everyone knows the rule, keep on the right unless you intend to pass. If people are passing you on the right, that means you are camping out in the left lane. Not only will this not make you any friends, it interrupts the flow of traffic.

2. You get into a lot of accidents.

As Jalopnik says, if your “bumpers have more than three colors on them,” you might be a bad driver.

3. Your tires and brakes are wearing out too quickly.

Wearing out your brakes could indicate that you are a “tailgater.” If your tire specialist tells you that you visit him or her far more often than others, it might mean you are taking corners too quickly.

4. Your friends always make excuses to drive when you go out.

But all of your friends get carsick if they ride shotgun, you say? All of them? Really?

If bad driving has already gotten the best of you, check out our service department to book an appointment.

How many of these sins do you or those dearest to you commit?