Choosing a Family Car

5 Car Features That Make Driving At Night Safer

Posted by on November 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Car Features That Make Driving At Night Safer

As the winter months draw in, an increasing number of American drivers must face the prospect of driving home in the dark. Unfortunately, research shows that you’re three times more likely to die when driving in the dark, so it pays to choose a car that comes with the latest night driving safety features. If you spend a lot of time driving in the dark, look for the five following optional safety features in your next car. Active cruise control Cruise control takes a lot of the effort out of driving. With cruise control, the car’s on-board computer regulates your engine and braking system to keep your vehicle a safe distance away from the car in front. More advanced active cruise control systems on some cars now also make night driving even safer. The latest active cruise control systems have lots of features that can help you avoid a collision at night. For example, some systems will warn you with a beep about a car that is approaching from another lane. Similarly, some active cruise control systems can also bring your vehicle quickly and safely to a stop if your car detects a non-moving vehicle in front of you. HID lighting High-intensity discharge (HID) lighting uses different gasses and metal salts within a specially designed glass tube bulb to create an efficient and more effective glow. These lights emit a striking blue-white light that places less strain on your eyes. As such, if you have to drive long distances at night, HID lighting can cut the risk of driver fatigue, which can easily cause a fatal accident. Multi-zone climate control It’s often difficult (if not impossible) to find a comfortable temperature that suits everybody in your car. During a long overnight journey, you may want the kids to stay asleep in the back of the car, but the driver needs to stay alert. If you rack up the heater to keep the kids warm, you may also send the driver to sleep, with disastrous consequences. Multi-zone climate control can help you get around this problem. Many models on the market offer dual-zone climate controls that allow you to separately adjust the front and rear of the cabin. Tri-zone systems give you even more flexibility and will allow the driver, front passenger and rear passengers to choose their own temperature settings. Lane departure warning systems It’s easy to lose concentration when driving at night, but if your car strays out of the right lane for a split-second you could cause a fatal collision. Lane departure warning systems use a simple camera to check that your car hasn’t moved outside the road markings when your turn signal isn’t on. If the camera senses a problem, the system alerts the driver using a sound, a warning light on the dash or a vibration through the driver’s seat. More advanced systems will even lightly apply the brake to one wheel to help quickly get the car back in the right lane. Night vision Several luxury car brands include night vision systems as standard, but some less expensive makes now also offer this technology as an optional extra. Night vision systems use infrared imaging to project an image of the road ahead on a special screen on the car’s dash or a head-up display. Newer night vision systems...

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Diving Into Details: 3 Areas To Focus On When Buying A Used Car

Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Diving Into Details: 3 Areas To Focus On When Buying A Used Car

When you buy a used car, there’s often less transparency for you as a consumer than when you buy new. Here are three areas to focus on to give yourself an advantage. The Safety Rating Of The Vehicle Factors that influence safety ratings may be different when you buy a car than when it was produced; also, it may be difficult to find the rating for your specific make, model and year of manufacture. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a website where you should be able to find the safety rating for your car of interest, but if not, the following features are essential for protection: Head protection: Material that absorbs the energy of an impact, usually hidden in the vehicle’s interior trim, or air bags specifically designed to protect from the neck up. Head-restraining features: Additions to the seats, such as adjustable extensions, which minimize jolting if the vehicle is hit from behind. Anti-lock Braking System: A wheel-locking prevention feature which provides greater steering control, helping the driver to avoid accidents. Traction control: Improves the stability of the car during rapid acceleration. Electronic stability control: Aids in steering under frantic or extreme conditions, such as sliding in snow or on ice. Vehicle weight: A heavier car means less force is absorbed by occupants in a crash, making it safer than a lighter model. Airbags: Front and side airbags protect against occupants making impact with the windshield, steering wheel, dash and side door or oncoming vehicle. Previously deployed bags aren’t suppose to be reused, but that doesn’t stop some from trying. Be sure by finding out about the vehicle in question. Depreciation Of Your New Used Car If you don’t plan on driving your used vehicle until it’s completely worn out and ready for the automotive graveyard, you should consider the various factors affecting depreciation. Although depreciation eventually slows down as a car ages, it will change how much you’re able to sell for later, and be influenced by these numbers: Availability of the model: Supply and demand increases or decreases the retail value. Features: A car loaded with features may retain value better. Mileage: The fewer, the better, so keep this in mind before you buy your used car and travel with it. Fuel efficiency: Even older cars with great fuel consumption numbers sell for more. Model replacement cycles: Determines how quickly a certain model is rendered obsolete or less valuable. If you find a used vehicle you like with low mileage that is less than a decade old, you’re more likely to suffer less with depreciation on initial price and when reselling, plus have a lower monthly payment and insurance rate. The Manufacturer’s Warranty Even when buying new, manufacturer’s warranties can be confusing; it’s important to ask for clarity from any seller regarding your protection with a used vehicle. A manufacturer’s warranty should be valid until the specified expiration period, which begins at the time of the original owner’s purchase, not when the vehicle was made. So, if your interest is peaked on the used car lot and the original owner purchased the car one year ago, subtract one from the total years of guarantee to determine what you will be left with. If you’re looking at an as-is, no promises deal and...

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