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Learning to Drive Slower

I drive slower these days. While I used to be a bit of a driving maniac (ask my wife), 1570950981_7a96f784d4_bpassing everybody and stepping hard on my accelerator, I would also get increasingly frustrated when people would drive slow and keep me from driving fast, or cut me off. Driving was a stressful experience.

Not anymore. These days, driving is a much more calm, serene experience, and I enjoy it much more.

I look around at other drivers and wonder whether they really need to get to where they’re going so fast, and whether they’ll slow down when they get there. I wonder if it’s really worth burning all that gas and getting so angry and risking so many lives. And then I think about other things, because driving for me has become a time of contemplation.

I heartily recommend driving slower — for many reasons, but one of the best reasons is that it has made me a much happier person. It’s such a simple step to take, but it makes an incredibly big difference.

Recently a reader named Vadim wrote to me with the following comment on speeding:

I have recently acquired a TomTom GPS in car navigator. Amongst its many astonishing features, it has a display on it that shows you your estimated arrival time for the route you are traveling … Now here is the kicker; I used to routinely travel at 130% of the speed limit everywhere … I thought that I was keeping myself alert and saving time. My TomTom, however, disagreed. In fact anywhere I traveled (and I routinely drive more than 100 miles) I would only shave off 5-10 minutes of the estimated arrival time! 5-10minuts of time that is then wasted because I wasn’t late to start off with!

Since then, I adopted a new way of driving, I never speed.

I love this comment, and it inspired me to write this post. People often think they’re saving time by driving faster, but it’s not very much time, and it’s not worth your sanity or safety.

Here are just 5 reasons to drive slower:

  1. Save gas. The best ways to save gas (besides driving less or driving a fuel-efficient vehicle) are to avoid excessive idling, more gradual accelerating and decelerating, and driving slower (see report on Edmunds.com). With gas prices so high these days, wasting gas by driving unnecessarily fast is something we can’t afford.
  2. Save lives. Driving fast can kill people (including the driver). Two stats: Traffic is the biggest single killer of 12-16 year olds. Surprisingly, at 35mph you are twice as likely to kill someone you hit as at 30mph. (Source) Faster driving gives you a shorter amount of time to respond to something in your path, and even a fraction of a second can mean the difference between life and death. Drive slower for your safety and that of those around you … especially drive slow around runners, cyclists, schools, and neighborhoods with kids on the streets.
  3. Save time? As Vadim pointed out in his email, while you think you’re saving time by driving faster, it’s not a lot of time. And that small amount of time you’re saving isn’t worth it, considering the other factors on this list. Better yet, start out a few minutes early and you’ll arrive at the same time as someone who drove faster but started later, and you’ll arrive much happier than that person to boot.
  4. Save your sanity. The above three reasons are very important ones, but for me the most noticeable difference has been the huge drop in stress levels when I drive. Far from being a crazy experience, driving is actually a relaxing and pleasant experience now. I no longer get road rage, because I simply don’t care whether other drivers are going slow or cutting me off.
  5. Simplify your life. This is related to the one above, but expanded. In addition to saving your stress levels, driving slower can reduce many other complications as well — the headache of accidents and speeding tickets, for one, going to the gas station too often, for another, but also the hectic pace of life. Why must we rush through life? Slow down and enjoy life more. If we’re always in a hurry to get places, when will we get to our destination and finally be happy? Life is a journey — make it a pleasant one.

OK, assuming that you want to drive slower, here are some of the tips that worked best for me:

  • Play relaxing music. My favorite is anything by Jack Johnson or Ben Harper. But anything that relaxes you is good: “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate, “Drive Slow” by Kanye West, anything by Otis Redding or Aretha, “Feels Like Rain” by John Hyatt, “Son of a Preacher Man” by Aretha or Dusty Springfield, Radiohead, Prince, Sade … Whatever you choose, enjoy it, and relax.
  • Ignore other drivers. This was my problem before. I cared so much about what the other drivers were doing, that it would stress me out. At times, it would cause me to drive faster to spite other drivers (awful, I know). Now, I just ignore them. Well, I pay attention so I don’t crash into anyone, but I don’t worry about what they’re doing or how dumb they are.
  • Leave early. If you speed because you’re running late, make it a habit of getting ready early and leaving early. Now you don’t have to worry about being late, and you can enjoy the ride.
  • Brainstorm. I like to use my drive time for contemplation. I come up with ideas for things to write about, I think about my day (either the day to come or the day in review), I think about my life as a whole and where I want to go.
  • Keep to the right. If you drive slower than the other crazy drivers out there, it’s wise to keep out of their way if possible and keep to the right. While I tend to ignore other drivers who might get mad at me for driving slow (I don’t care about them anymore), it’s good to be polite.
  • Enjoy the drive. Most of all, make your drive a pleasant experience — whether that’s through music or contemplation or however you want to enjoy the ride, remember that the ride is just as important as the destination.

Save Yourself Money

Whether changing the oil, replacing the wiper blades or checking the tires, finding the Close up of a man writing on a clipboard in a garagetime to perform simple preventative vehicle maintenance is money in the bank, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

According to research conducted by IMR Inc., one out of three consumers that put off routine vehicle maintenance do so because they cannot find a convenient time. In addition, millennials and those who own older vehicles are more likely to delay routine maintenance.

“There is an old adage that if you take care of your car, your car will take care of you,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Making time to perform routine auto care not only ensures a safer, more dependable vehicle, but car owners can preserve the trade-in value and save money by addressing small issues before they become more complicated, expensive repairs.”

The most common maintenance procedures to keep a car operating safely and reliably while maintaining its long-term value involve checking the oil, filters and fluids, the belts and hoses, brakes, tires and air conditioning. The Car Care Council also recommends an annual tune-up and wheel alignment.

Daylight is Fleeting

Adjust for Fewer Hours of Daylight

In the fall there are fewer hours of daylight. In the earlier darkness it is common to see children outside playing or riding their bicycles. People are walking their dogs, jogging or taking late afternoon or evening walks. In the fading light of dusk it is more difficult to see the children and pedestrians.

  • Watch out for children at their bus stops in the morning and as they return home in the afternoon.
  • Halloween is a fun fall holiday. Take special care where children are out trick or treating. They may be wearing masks or costumes that limit their visibility.
  • Always drive defensively.

Vehicle Maintenance

  • Keep your headlights cleaned and in proper working order, making sure they are aligned.
  • Replace your windshield wiper blades if they show any signs of wear.
  • Keep an emergency car safety kit in your vehicle.

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Know Your Vehicle

Most people do not really care about how their vehicles work. However, it is very Drivingimportant that car owners understand at least the basic functioning and the basic maintenance of their vehicles. One of important areas that demands your attention is the transmission fluid replacement. This is one of the areas that gets the least attention from the vehicle owners. People have various notions about the transmission fluid and new drivers in particular have various questions and doubts about their vehicle’s transmission fluid. To save themselves from the hassles of learning about the function of transmission fluid and about the transmission fluid maintenance, most drivers shift this burden to their transmission repair shop. While there is nothing wrong in having your transmission fluid maintenance needs handled by your transmission repair shop, having some basic understanding about these things will certainly prove to be handy. You will at least know then when to take your vehicle to your transmission repair shop to get the transmission fluid replaced or checked.

One of the most common questions that people have regarding their vehicle’s transmission fluid is, “How often should I change my transmission fluid?” You will find the answer to this question in your vehicle’s manual. It is best to stick to what your vehicle’s manual says regarding the frequency of transmission fluid replacement. The next question that you are likely to have is, “What will happen if you fail to replace the transmission fluid as per the indicated mileage chart?” You will not notice anything immediately but if you ignore it for too long then it will start damaging the vehicle. Your vehicle will simply lockup after a certain limit then you will have to go for complete repair and servicing, which will result in a huge bill. Though complete vehicle lockup happens in extreme cases, it will start reducing the vehicle’s performance. The wear and tear of your vehicle’s engine will increase to an undue level leading to further major repairs. Additional issues that you can notice include reduced mileage and noisy engine. Do not push your vehicle to the extremes. Get better mileage by having your transmission fluid checked regularly and replaced correctly. It does not matter even if you do not know how to handle this task. All that you are required to do is to set regular reminders in your mobile phone or on your computer to check the transmission fluid regularly. This will save you from unnecessary problems and expensive repairs. At times, you may not have to replace the transmission fluid but it may just require a top up. How frequently you may have to top up will of course depend on how extensively you use your vehicle. Most people have ended up with huge bills just because they have been pushing their vehicle too far. It is best to establish long-term relationship with a Eagle Transmission Repair so that you can make sure that your transmission fluid is replaced regularly at the right frequency. We offer Transmission fluid Services starting at $89.99

When It Comes To Transmissions, ‘Rebuilt’ Is a Term You Should Know

Being that it applies to transmission repair, the term “rebuilt” is term you should become familiar with. Despite the fact that the average transmission has over 300 parts, replacing only a few internal parts can label a transmission as “rebuilt”. In the state of Texas, the terms “rebuilt”, “overhauled” or “reconditioned” may be used if the number of parts replaced is equal to two or more. Be sure to ask if the parts are new, reconditioned or used and what exactly is being replaced for the quoted price.

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More Ways To Save Money On Gas

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First of all, check your gas cap! Believe it or not, it’s been estimated that nearly 17% of cars on the road have broken or missing gas caps. What’s the big deal? Escaping fumes not only hurt fuel economy but release smog-causing compounds into the air.

While you’re at it, slow down. For every 5 mph you reduce highway speed, you can reduce fuel consumption by 7%. Avoiding jack-rabbit starts and stops will improve fuel economy as well. Don’t believe it? Lousy driving on the highway can add as much as one-third to your gas bill.