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Archive for May, 2015
One of the hardest times in a senior citizen’s life is when it comes time to give up the car keys due to physical or mental deterioration. The independence that comes with driving a vehicle is an important milestone for a young person just turning legal age. The opposite end of that spectrum can result in depression when it comes time to realize that it’s time to rely on someone else for running daily errands such as shopping, going to the cleaners and meeting a friend for lunch. To help seniors stay on the road as long as reasonably possible, the American Automobile Association offers several programs that keep driving skills sharp and focus on the road where it belongs.
Designed for drivers age 55 and older, this program offers tips to sharpen your night driving skills, understand the technology offered in new vehicles, and understand how safe driving methods have evolved since you first earned your license. Tips from this online course include how to avoid distractions, steer clear of road rage and drive defensively. Some insurance companies also offer discounts by completing courses like this one.
This DVD-based course tests your ability to make quick decisions that can mean the difference between coming home safely or heading to the hospital. This simulated driving course tests your skill in judging gaps in oncoming traffic, especially useful when turning left at an intersection. It also marks your ability to merge into freeway traffic safely and detect road hazards and other possible driving disruptions. This course is an excellent way to supplement the lane change assist safety features available on many vehicles sold at the Chapman Arizona dealerships.
This online resource offered at AAA.com is not really a class, but a compilation of materials and programs designed to help keep the senior citizens in your family driving safely for as long as possible. Medical programs like Roadwise Rx help understand how regular medications affect a senior’s ability to react on the road. CarFit clinics bring in trained occupational therapists to make sure the design of a vehicle isn’t creating undue ergonomic stress on your senior family member’s body. A driver improvement course is specifically designed to help bolster a senior citizen’s confidence behind the wheel by increasing their awareness of the dangers of the road. If the senior citizen in your family is living on a fixed income but requires a dependable vehicle, stop by a Chapman Arizona dealership and take a look at the large inventory of low-mileage used cars.
Although the deserts of Arizona offer a brutal backdrop for a summer drive, it doesn’t take long until you’re in the mountains and enjoying cool breezes, Ponderosa pines and the history that makes the state one of the most popular tourist destinations in America. Along with Native American ruins, old mining towns and a number of other historic sites, there are many popular ghost towns perfect for a day trip from Phoenix, Tucson or Flagstaff. Get your car checked at one of the Chapman Arizona dealerships before you go so you can focus on your task at hand: meeting one of Arizona’s famous ghosts!
This mining town was once one of the four largest cities in the Arizona territory. Located a little northeast of Prescott and south of Sedona, it was a booming industrial area fueled by copper and the things men do when they are off shift. Once the “Wickedest City in the West,” the town’s community center is sometimes called Spook Hall, famous for a woman who haunts the area in front of the building, walking back and forth where ladies of the evening used to ply their trade. Today, Jerome is a town perched precariously on a hillside that features artists, jewelery shops and some fine dining. The Jerome Grand Hotel was originally the copper company’s hospital. Sounds of illness and ghost sightings are prevalent for those who stay there today.
Down in the southeastern corner of the state, Bisbee was another mining town that dried up when the copper, silver and lead had been mined out. Today it is a tourist destination, popular for the Copper Queen Hotel, a Victorian landmark that is the oldest continuous operating hotel in the state. It is said that Julia Howell, a prostitute in the early 1900s, continues to roam the halls late at night. She whispers sweet nothings in men’s ears and sometimes appears visually, but only to men. Those who dare book Room 315 are sometimes awakened to a seductive striptease that disappears into thin air as quickly as it began. Other former hotel employees also appear from time-to-time, according to first-hand customer accounts.
Located near Kingman in the northwestern corner of the state, Oatman is another old mining town that was a central stopping point on Route 66. Movie stars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard were frequent guests of the old Oatman Hotel, and can now be seen on some nights partying in the building’s lobby. Individual rooms are also haunted by former guests, and the saloon is a popular spot for watching ghost-propelled money and glasses fly through the air. Remember to get your tire pressure checked, some fresh oil and other regular maintenance completed at a Chapman Arizona dealership before crossing the desert this summer to meet the state’s ghost population.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that although crude oil prices are on the rise, U.S. consumers should be able to make it through this summer with gasoline prices almost $1 less than they were a year ago. Even though world oil inventories are up, expected demand is driving prices up from the extreme low points of the winter. Also, some West Coast refineries suffered problems which drove the price up from winter lows that had not been seen in a long, long time.
Average Household to Spend $675 Less on Gas
The EIA says the median U.S. household will spend almost $700 less on gas in 2015 as opposed to just a year ago. Part of that is due to lower gas costs and another part is due to the influx of energy efficient vehicles like you can buy at any Chapman Arizona dealership. While most cars were hard-pressed to top 20 miles per gallon just a few years ago, now there are many that provide fuel estimates of 45 miles per gallon or more. Even pickup trucks like the Dodge Ram, Chevy Silverado and Ford F-150 reach into the high 20-mile-per gallon range.
Gas Prices Go Up Every Summer
If it seems like gas prices rise every summer, you’re absolutely right. The Clean Air Act of 1990 forces oil companies to use seasonal blends in the summer that provide cleaner emissions, but lower fuel economy. Because more fuel is used, that increases demand which drives the price up even higher. More Americans use the roads during the summer for family vacations, creating an even higher demand As these seasonal blends are specific to different regions, they cannot be shipped across country to help control spiking gas prices.
Control Your Gas Mileage
By keeping your car in tip top condition and driving sensibly, you can easily add 2 to 3 miles per gallon to your car’s fuel economy. First, make sure all your tires are properly inflated and you change your oil and air filter regularly. Second, look up when you drive to get the big picture. Try and time lights so you can keep your car moving. Don’t stomp on the gas or the brakes and try to maintain an even speed. Take advantage of downhill runs to let gravity do the work for you. Take your car to any of the Chapman Arizona dealerships and get it checked out so you can have a safe and economical summer.
When the temperature starts to climb above the 115 degree mark for the 10th day in a row, chances are your nerves can become a little fried. Longtime Arizona residents know that cooler temps are just a short drive from the Valley, but for newcomers the diversity of the state’s terrain may be a bit of a surprise. Here are some good day trips to get you out of the heat and bring your sanity back.
Also known as the Beeline Highway, Route 87 heads out of Mesa, past the Fountain Hills turnoff and immediately begins to climb up into the mountains. It’s only a little more than an hour to Payson now that the road has been widened to four lanes. This small mountain town has plenty of picknicking and hiking opportunities, but can still be a little warm in the daytime. If you really want to cool off, keep going north about 15 miles until you hit Pine and another two miles to Strawberry. There are plenty of little restaurants and hiking opportunities to keep you busy for a day.
Head north on Interstate 17 and feel the weather start to cool as soon as you’re about an hour out of town. Take the exit for Highway 260 and turn to the right for Camp Verde, a nice mountain community with temps about 10 to 15 degrees lower than the valley. For a little more variety, take a left on 260 and go through Cottonwood and then straight up to the old mountain community of Jerome. Now mostly an artist’s enclave, you’ll wonder at how some of the homes are attached to the side of a sheer mountain. For sheer beauty, head back down 260 and go north on 89A to experience the gorgeous red rocks in Sedona. Some people come for the pyramid power and vortexes, while others just come to buy jewelry.
Originally the state capital, Prescott offers a ton of history in a mountain setting. You can just wander the historic downtown and have a cocktail on Whiskey Row, or explore the many hiking and biking trails that surround the city. The Elks Theatre is a 100-year-old building that has been refurbished and is now a great place to catch a concert or live performance. Make sure you take your vehicle to a Chapman Arizona dealership before putting it through the stress of driving in the mountains this summer.
The Insurance Considerations of Buying a Car
You have saved up for months and now you are ready to make your car purchase. You know exactly what you want, the cost of the car and exactly how much you can afford. Should you be jumping in signing the papers now?
Only do that if you have considered the insurance on your Chapman Arizona car. Liability coverage is mandatory in all states and all lenders will require you have some type of insurance on your vehicle before they lend you money.
Always check out the insurance rates when looking for car deals. There are some things you can do to ensure you get the lowest possible insurance rates.
What Really Matters
Premiums are based on a number of factors such as where you live, how often you drive, your age, your gender, and more. Some of these factors you can’t change however, you can make choices that will lower your premiums such as:
– Know your car safety ratings. A safer car means lower risk of claim, which means a lower premium.
– Look at the car’s safety features. Automatic air bags, anti-lock brakes and daytime running lights all qualify for lower rates.
– Security features that include anti-theft devices like alarms, vehicle tracking and VIN etching also qualify for discounts.
What DOES NOT Matter
Car insurance rates are NOT set. Here are some common myths:
– Red cars cost more to insure. Color doesn’t matter so get whatever color you want.
– You can insure older cars for less. Although the replacement value of an older car might be lower, they will not have some of the more modern safety features that can lower the rates.
– Insurance on cheaper cars is less. These cars are cheap for a reason and can actually present additional risk.
Additional Ways To Save
Whatever car you decide to go with, here are some additional ways to reduce your premiums:
– Shop around. Use an independent agent to get the best price.
– Bundling. Bundle your auto insurance with your other insurance coverages.
– Deductibles. The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums tend to be. Be careful though, you will have to come up with that higher amount if anything happens.
– Some other ways to reduce your insurance premiums include building up your credit score. The better your credit score, the less of a risk the insurer perceive you to be.
– Your driving history also comes into play. Successful completion of a certified defensive driving class can reduce your premiums.
– Telematics are devices that keep track of your driving speed, braking patterns and time spent on the road. Some insurers offer lower rates for good driving habits.