Thanksgiving Road Trip Tips

ThanksgivingThanksgiving Day and weekend typically have horrible traffic, so if you’re planning on taking a road trip out of town, it’s important to keep these Thanksgiving road trip tips in mind.

Auto-related deaths on Thanksgiving have generally less to do with drunk driving and more about long distances and heavy traffic. Try to leave early on your trip, since other drivers will be less drowsy and there will be fewer of them on the road, but you should also avoid leaving earlier than you would normally get up in the morning. Driving too early in the morning isn’t any better than driving at night—you’ll still be sleepy and off your game.

Another thing to look out for is stress. The holidays can take a lot out of us, and getting everyone together for a several-hour road trip with the prospect of dealing with relatives isn’t the most exciting. Heavy traffic just increases stress, so you just have to avoid letting it get the better of you and causing you to drive recklessly. And be watchful of other stressed-out drivers!

When packing food and luggage in the car, make sure everything is secured and won’t move. If you do get in a wreck or even just come to a sudden stop and there are heavy, loose items around, it could seriously injure you or a passenger.

Bring plenty of games, handheld devices, audiobooks, and regular books to keep your kids entertained on the trip. Avoid driving after you eat turkey, especially at night—the Tryptophan in turkey makes you drowsy. If you can, stay with your relatives.

What Does a Car’s Torque Mean?

dashboardThere are a lot of confusing terms when it comes to checking out new cars and reading through the specifications. While horsepower is pretty self-explanatory, torque is a widely referred to spec that not many drivers can define. Even more of a mystery is what torque actually does in a car. So, just what does a car’s torque mean? Let us DeVoe Buick GMC explain.

Putting it plain and simple, torque causes a car to accelerate. While the torque specification is a higher number than the torque on the wheels, it’s still a good indicator of how fast a car can accelerate.

There are a few things that can help a car accelerate other than torque. A lighter car and lower center-of-mass will obviously help.

We’ve defined what torque is but not how it effects the vehicle in reality. Take a truck like the GMC Sierra 1500, for example.

If you’ve ever read the specifications on a full-size pickup, odds are you noticed that the engines fall in the range of a V6 or V8 and may include a diesel option here and there. The reason for that size of an engine is simple: the larger the engine, the more torque it can produce.

An engine with high torque won’t be as effective without large wheels and tires, which is why trucks are usually so massive.

Manual Versus Automatic

manual transmissionWhen it comes to manual versus automatic transmissions, both have their pros and cons, and it’s important to understand the differences when you go to make a decision on what car to buy.

If you have the resources and patience to learn to how to drive manual, it could save you a lot of money. Cars with manual transmissions tend to have lower sticker prices and use less gas than automatics.

Manual transmissions are also preferred by auto enthusiasts and sports car drivers. Acceleration is greatly improved with manual transmissions, and driving lovers prefer the better performance and extra control the stick shift provides.

Then again, with automatic transmissions being the more common choice, fewer and fewer people know how to drive manual cars. So if you want to learn, it could be difficult to find a teacher or even someone who owns a manual car. Plus, automatic cars don’t require learned skills to be able to get them up a steep hill. If you’re not an enthusiast and you prefer easy to exciting, automatic is probably right for you.

Gas Mileage Tips You Might Not Have Known: Pinching-Pennies Can Add Up

green drivingAlthough gas prices have been low recently, it seems as though they might be on the rise again. That’s why we’ve put together a list of gas mileage tips–saving money has never been this easy.

According to Fuel Economy.gov, there are multiple methods of saving money. Among the easiest is changing your driving habits. By driving the speed limit, removing excess weight, avoiding idling, and using cruise control, you’ll save big in the long run.

Car maintenance is also important. Not only will regular upkeep increase resale value, but it’ll also make your car more efficient. The three major things to stay on top of are tire pressure, oil changes, and air filters. Correct tire pressure reduces unnecessary friction, changing the oil regularly keeps your engine running smoothly, and new air filters optimize air flow, essential for combustion.

Planning and combing trips is also a great way to optimize fuel economy. Carpooling is an obvious tip, but it’s also important to plan out your day to avoid stops. Nothing is worse than unnecessary driving.

Last but not least, consider fuel economy when you’re buying a car. We at DeVoe Buick GMC offer customers the latest in fuel efficient systems in our models. Both brands offer unique engine configurations (like fuel-saving Eco-mode), lightweight materials (carbon fiber and aluminum alloys), and aerodynamic design. When you buy Buick or GMC, you get performance and efficiency.

How to Use your GPS Legally

How to use your GPS LegallyDid you know that using a GPS while driving can be considered illegal? Well… it depends on when and how you use it. We think that GPSs can save a lot of time and effort which is why we want to educate you on how to use your GPS legally.

According to a recent article by Consumer Reports, the NHTSA reported that 421,000 people were hurt and or died in collisions involving distracted drivers. Some of those accidents occurred while drivers were inputting data or looking at directions on their GPS.

Here are a few tips when using your GPS. You should follow these at all times to remain focused on the road and to refrain from getting a ticket.

  • Choose the right device for you. If you do a lot of commuting where you need a GPS, consider getting a standalone GPS instead of using your smartphone. Smartphones eat data and battery life that you may need later.
  • Get as hands-free as you can. In no state are you allowed to hold a electronic device like a smartphone or GPS while you’re driving. Make sure you program your device for the destination before you take off.
  • Mount your device in the right spot. Don’t let your GPS hinder your ability to see out of the windshield. Try sticking your GPS to the dashboard instead of suctioning it to the windshield. Windshield mounts are illegal in 28 states anyway.

Do you have any GPS tips you would add to this list? Let us know in the comment section below! Happy Travels from DeVoe Buick GMC.

Stop Dozing off Behind the Wheel

One of the most dangerous hazards out their driving on the road with you is actually yourself!  Last year, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) falling asleep while driving caused 100,000 reported crashes.  Those crashes resulted in 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries.

Our goal, here at DeVoe Buick GMC, is not only to provide you reliable new and used vehicles, but also to help you stay safe on the road.  We recently found an article in the New York Daily News that highlighted some very useful tips to fight off fatigue when you are behind the wheel.

  • When you feel sleeping taking over, don’t try to fight it; pull over for a quick refresher nap or switch drivers if you have people with you.
  • If you are going on a road trip, take people with you!  Having company to play road games, to talk to or even to share the driving responsibilities with is a huge help.
  • Make sure you have some extra cash in case you need to stop off at a hotel for the night.
  • Pack snacks for your long drive, but avoid eating heavy meals.
  • Try to drive at times when you would normally be awake.
  • Stop at rest areas to take a break and refresh.  Many of them offer drinks or snacks and sometimes have great scenic views.

Next time you head out on the road, make sure you are well rested and keep these tips in mind.

Ways to be a Safer Driver

More often than not, we find ourselves getting behind the wheel of our cars without thinking twice about the dangers of the road, or the condition of my car. However, the American Medical Association recently compiled a nice list of things to consider before driving.

  • Plan your trips ahead of time. You may not have time to check traffic and weather conditions, but at the very least, have an idea of where you’re going. Flipping through the directions on your iPhone isn’t exactly the safest thing to do while cruising at 60 mph.
  • Wear your safety belt. It’s so easy to forget this little strap, but it could save your life. And just a side note: no one thinks you’re tougher if you don’t wear a seat belt.
  • Don’t speed. Sure, there may be times where you have to go a few miles per hour above the speed limit to get past that semi, but most of the time it’s a lot safer to just follow the speed limits – they’re there for a reason.
  • Keep enough distance between you and the car ahead of you. For city driving, follow the three second rule. For highway driving, make sure there’s five seconds between you and the driver in front of you.
  • Always double check your blind spots. Don’t just assume there’s nothing behind there.

For more tips on how to be a safer driver, visit the American Medical Association website. And if you’re in the market for a new, safe, fun-to-drive car, swing by DeVoe Buick GMC in Naples, Florida.