Drive Defensively In Florida

Posted December 20th, 2014 by admin and filed in Safety

Car care is a vital part of auto safety in Fort Myers. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on Florida roads is to drive safely.

Defensive driving is safe driving. And defensive driving is all about attitude. You have to decide that you will be a safe driver in Florida, no matter what anyone else is doing.

Fort Myers auto owners can start with awareness. Always maintain awareness of your surroundings, the road conditions, other vehicles on the Fort Myers road or freeway and road hazards. Have you ever suddenly realized that you have arrived somewhere, but you don’t really remember driving there? That is unsafe driving.

Never assume that other Fort Myers auto owners are paying attention. You be the one on alert. You be the one to take initiative to stay out of the way of other Florida drivers. And don’t let familiarity dull your alertness. Remind yourself to pay as close attention while driving on the roads near your Fort Myers home as you would in unfamiliar territory around Florida.

Prepare your sedan so you can give the road your full attention. Secure passengers and pets before leaving the driveway. Secure loose items in your sedan so they can’t become projectiles if you have to brake suddenly. If children or pets become a distraction while driving, pull over and take care of the problem before re-entering traffic. Unclutter your windows. Take down the danglies from your rearview mirror. And don’t use your sedan dashboard as an office. Move distractions and clutter to the backseat. Keep your windshield clear.

Properly maintain your sedan. Preventive maintenance doesn’t just prevent repairs; it prevents unsafe vehicles. Make sure your tires, lights, brakes, suspension, alignment and steering get regular check-ups at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center. Also, listen to your honest Terry Wynter Auto Service Center service advisor when he gives you auto advice about other systems in your sedan. Knowing about the wear and tear on your sedan can help you avoid dangerous situations.

Avoid driving when you are sleepy or angry. Get a good night’s sleep before a road trip in Florida, and learn to set aside relationship, job or other issues while you are in a vehicle. Again, you have to take charge of your own safety. Don’t daydream in your vehicle. Also, talking to passengers can be a distraction. Keep your mind on the road. Conversations may keep you from daydreaming or excessive boredom on a long trip, but always keep your driving foremost in your mind.

Maintain a proper speed. Driving too fast is dangerous on crowded Fort Myers roads, but driving too slowly can cause accidents, too. At night, don’t overdrive your headlights. Your stopping distance needs to be shorter than the distance your headlights are illuminating.

Never drink and drive. Alcohol plays a part in half of all fatal accidents in Florida and nationally. Also, don’t drive drugged. Pay attention to the warning labels on any medications you are taking.

Other Lehigh Acres motorists need to see you and know what you want to do. Use your sedan turn signals, and stay out of other Florida drivers’ blind spots.

If you can, avoid driving over debris in the road. You can damage your sedan or end up in an accident. Of course, if swerving to avoid the debris is dangerous, then slow down and navigate as best you can. Do what you can to alert other auto owners to the problem. You may want to pull to the side of the Bonita Springs road and report the debris or move it to the side of the road, if you can do so safely.

Never follow too closely on Fort Myers roads or interstates. Observe the two-second rule. Choose an object ahead such as a tree or traffic sign. As the car in front of you passes it, start counting: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand. If you reach the object before you’re done, you’re too close. Back off.

If you are on one of the Florida highways, or if you are hauling a heavy load, or if you are tired, or if in any way you are not the model of the alert and attentive driver, then increase that two-second rule to three seconds. Give yourself an added measure of safety. If the Fort Myers weather is bad, increase the rule to five seconds.

Inevitably, someone always pulls in front of you when you are trying to follow the “seconds” rules. Don’t get mad. Just back off and leave them to their bad driving habits. Remember, you are not going to give up your safety for anyone else’s cussedness. It’s always a bad trade.

If someone is following you too closely, pull over and let them pass. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. If you’re late, worry about it after you’re there, not while you’re on the road.

If you see a vehicle driving erratically in Fort Myers, stay away. Take the next right or the next exit off the interstate. Notify the Fort Myers police as soon as you are safely stopped.

And of course, don’t be the idiot driver we all complain about in Fort Myers. Don’t contest your right-of-way, don’t race to beat someone to a merge, and don’t cut into someone else’s two seconds of space. Winning these types of ego trips may end up losing you your sedan—or worse, your life or the life of a friend.

The professional automotive team at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center wants all Fort Myers motorists to stay smart and stay safe.

Blind Spot Safety For Fort Myers Driving

Posted November 28th, 2014 by admin and filed in Safety

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Blind spots may be a good thing when it comes to a spouse’s annoying habits, but when driving an automobile in Fort Myers, they are definitely to be avoided. So, while it’s not good marital advice, it’s good auto advice to minimize your own blind spots and stay out of other Fort Myers drivers’ blind spots, especially when it comes to large, heavy vehicles like trucks and buses.

First, minimize your own blind spots. Do this before you pull out of the driveway or parking space. Adjust your rearview mirror so that you see as much of the area behind you as possible. And, no, this doesn’t include the passengers in the back seat. The rearview mirror isn’t designed to be a baby monitor.

Next, lean to the side until your head almost touches the driver’s side window. Now adjust the driver’s side mirror so that it just catches the side of the sedan. Then, lean to the middle of the car and adjust the passenger’s side mirror in the same way. These adjustments will ensure you the widest possible view behind your vehicle.

Of course, you can’t eliminate blind spots entirely. There is always an area behind any vehicle where the driver just can’t see what’s there. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. Toddlers are just the right size to hide in a pickup’s or SUV’s blind spot. The blind spot on an RV or tractor-trailer can actually hide your crossover! You should always check behind any vehicle before getting in and backing up. And if you sit in the sedan for a few minutes before backing up, it is vital to get out and check again, especially if you are pulling out of a neighborhood driveway in Fort Myers. No precaution is too extreme if it saves the life of a child.

Once you have taken care of your own blind spots, be aware that other Fort Myers car owners have them, too. And avoid them. Trucks and buses have large blind spots, and they have blind spots on all four sides, so they should always be given extra room on Bonita Springs roads. They are also heavy, which means they need more room to stop, and their length means they need a wider area for turns, and their large size makes them less maneuverable than a car.

Trucks may cause about 60% of the accidents involving a truck and a car, but 78% of fatalities in such accidents are with the smaller vehicle. The number of fatalities in Florida, as well as the number of crashes, could be cut significantly if Fort Myers drivers learned to properly share Florida roads with trucks.

Never follow a truck too closely. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side mirror, then he can’t see you. If you need to pass a truck, it is essential to make sure you give yourself enough time to pass the rig. Wait for the right opportunity rather than “cutting it close.” On a two-lane Florida highway, it’s always a good idea to wait for a passing zone if they are available. A little patience could save your life or the lives of others. Turn on your turn signal so the truck knows what you’re planning, and pass on the left whenever possible. Remember those blind spots? They are much larger on the right side of a truck.

Once you’ve committed to passing the truck, don’t muck about. Pass it quickly and give yourself plenty of room to move back over. It is vital to wait until you can see both headlights in your rearview mirror before pulling back in front of the truck. Once again, use your sedan turn signals. After you pull in front of the truck, decelerate to the regulated driving speed slowly. Remember that the truck has a long stopping distance, which translates into a long slowing distance. And, since trucks are so big, we often perceive them as traveling more slowly than they really are. Trucks are a lot of weight moving at a high speed, and we need to treat them accordingly.

Never pull to the right of a truck at an intersection unless you are absolutely certain it is not going to turn. Check if its turn signals are on or if it has angled to the left or right. (Trucks often begin a right turn by angling to the left to widen their turning area.) Trucks need a lot of room on city streets, and they probably can’t see you if you pull along their right side. Too many cars have ended up in Fort Myers body shops because the car owners thought they could beat that truck to the right turn, or they only noticed the seemingly open lane, and not the truck angling into a turn.

While learning to share Fort Myers area roads and interstates with trucks and other large vehicles may not seem like preventive auto maintenance, it does, in fact, go hand-in-hand with good Fort Myers car care. Keeping your sedan out of the body shop can save you big bucks and prevent the stress of a major accident, along with the injuries that could come with it.

The team at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center in Fort Myers urges you to stay safe, and stay on the road!

NEW ONLINE SEARCH TOOL ALLOWS CONSUMERS TO DISCOVER SAFETY RECALLS ON VEHICLES

Posted September 30th, 2014 by admin and filed in Automotive News, Safety

NHTSA_KWhat if your vehicle was recalled and you were never made aware? Millions of vehicles in the United States are recalled every year due to a variety of safety issues, ranging from minor to more critical. Of that, one in every seven U.S. cars have been recalled but not repaired. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has unveiled their solution to informing the public of any defects or safety concerns to a person’s vehicle.

Through the organization’s website, NHTSA has released a new tool designed to allow consumers to input their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into an online search tool. Results will appear if a consumer has an open recall. If there are none, owners will see “No Open Recalls” displayed. This is a great tool to use when considering purchasing a used car, searching for recalls that may not be covered in the news, or for an overall piece of mind for you and your loved ones.

What is the cost of the tool?

The tool is completely FREE of charge and quick and easy to use.

Where is my Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) located? 

Your VIN # can be found directly on your car near the driver’s side. Look for it on the dashboard of the vehicle or on the side door on the door post where the door latches when it is closed.

Vin

Where can I locate this FREE tool?

The new tool is available on www.safercar.gov/vinlookup

At Terry Wynter Auto Service, we are thrilled by the initiatives NHTSA has unveiled in attempt to aid in avoidable safety issues. While a potential recall on your vehicle requires a visit to the dealership, Terry Wynter Auto Service Center is qualified both in training and equipment to handle all vehicle maintenance and non-warranty repair. Schedule an appointment with us today and let us help ease your mind of any safety concerns! www.terrywynterauto.com

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Airbag Recalls: What Vehicle Owners Should Know

Posted June 25th, 2014 by admin and filed in Automotive News, Safety

A recent recall on vehicle airbags for BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota will affect more than a million vehicles nationwide because their airbag inflators could rupture. This especially affects Floridians as it relates directly to cars operating in hot, humid climates, like our own in Southwest Florida. If the airbag ruptures during a crash, shards of metal could be expelled with the airbag causing serious injury to drivers and passengers.

ABC-7 contacted us as an expert source in the story and our own Terry Wynter gave his insight on the recall and what vehicle owners should know.

Check out the great story: http://www.nbc-2.com/story/25851525/local-car-expert-weighs-in-on-widespread-recalls

 

Emergency Items For Fort Myers motorists

Posted January 28th, 2014 by admin and filed in Safety

Safe Florida travel starts with preventive maintenance and good car care at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center. But there are other things Fort Myers auto owners can do to prepare for emergencies on the road. Here’s some auto advice that can help you plan for emergencies, and just may save your life — or someone else’s.

First, Fort Myers motorists should consider keeping an auto emergency kit in their car. The kit should contain items that will allow you to deal with common emergencies on the road.

Some vital items you should carry in your sedan include jumper cables (or a booster box), flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools. Other useful items include gloves, two quarts of oil, some antifreeze, water and everything you need to change a tire. You might also consider a can of tire inflator, which is a great temporary fix for minor flats.

But taking care of your sedan is only part of emergency preparedness. It is key to take care of the people in the car, too. For this reason, you should carry a first aid kit, drinkable water and blankets. Other items to consider include high-calorie food items (like energy bars), toilet paper, a towel, a hat and boots. And, of course, when you travel in Florida and out-of-state you should always have your cell phone, some emergency cash and a credit card.

Depending on where you live, you may need to add other critical items to this list. For example, sunscreen, sunglasses, and extra water would be good to have on hand in a hot climate. For the cold and snowy Florida season, some salt, a hand shovel, emergency blankets and matches might be in order. Also, if your Florida area is prone to severe weather or earthquakes, you should check with your local Red Cross or disaster preparedness office for their recommendations on what to keep on hand in your sedan for emergencies.

When you travel away from your Fort Myers home, you should check the weather forecasts before you leave, and pack appropriate emergency supplies. Also, do some research about the areas you will be traveling through so you can be prepared for the climate and terrain. Remember the basics: heat, water, shelter, light, and food.

When you travel, it is key to leave your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member. Check in periodically at prearranged checkpoints. That way, if something does happen, someone else will quickly know you are in trouble and will be able to send help. These checkpoints will also help rescuers find you quickly, as they will have a better idea as to where you are.

The automotive professionals at Terry Wynter Auto Service Center want Fort Myers auto owners to be safe
. Preventive maintenance, proper planning, smart communication: these are the basics of safe travel.