Things change, including the way we use our cars, how we drive them and the condition of our roads. Although normal driving is defined as steady driving in non-extreme weather or environments, for most motorists today, being a severe driver is more the rule than the exception. Severe driving refers to:
- Stop-and-go traffic
- Short commutes
- Heavier loads: cargo, passenger or towing a trailer
- Rough or mountainous roads
- Dusty or salty environments
- Driving in extremely hot or cold weather
More and more people are keeping their vehicles longer as the average age of a car on the road today is more than 11 years. Considering the cost of a new car is about $31,000 on average, deciding to keep your car rather than buying a new one makes financial sense, says the non-profit Car Care Council. The Car Care Council offers sensible steps to help motorists maintain their vehicles for safety, dependability and value. Some steps are easy like getting the vehicle serviced regularly and just keeping it clean!
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- That gets you to work, the kids to their activities and carries groceries or the supplies for the next home project?
- The one your business depends on to get the work done and the bills paid?
- Or the one that’s just for fun, making your weekend brighter and the work week all worth it?
Driving after dark brings extra dangers. When you can't see far ahead, you have less time to react to an obstacle in the road, whether that's another car, a person, or an animal. But reduced visibility isn't the only concern. There is so much else going on when you drive at night both inside and outside the vehicle. Have you noticed that when your phone rings at night the glare is almost blinding for a moment? It's much more distracting certainly. With less traffic at night statistics still show that almost a third of traffic fatalities occur between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. The worst times to be on the road are weekend nights, when a lot of people are partying.
After two of the worst winters ever in many parts of the country, the Car Care Council suggests that motorists take a little extra time now to make sure their vehicles are prepared for the unexpected when weather arrives.
“The last two winters brought record-setting snowfall. That may sound like a winter wonderland, but many motorists experienced breakdowns because they did not take preventative measures to make sure their vehicles were ready for the elements,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Taking the time now to have your vehicle checked will help you avoid getting stranded in sub-zero temperatures and facing a costly repair bill.”
Buying a new car might sound cool and exciting, but keeping your current vehicle, and continually maintaining it at recommended intervals, makes more economic sense than purchasing a new one, says the non-profit Car Care Council.
“From the down payment to the monthly car payments and higher insurance rates, the cost of buying a new car adds up really fast,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By simply budgeting the equivalent of just one new car payment, you could cover an entire year’s worth of basic maintenance on your current vehicle and redirect the rest to beef up savings, take a vacation, or pay off credit card debt, college loans and other bills.”