Archive for August, 2016

4 Chapman Arizona

Call Them Haboobs or Monsoons, Dust Storms are Dangerous

Anyone who has lived in Arizona for at least one summer has probably seen a weather occurrence that resembles the 1999 film, “The Mummy.” Most often seen originating in the stretch of dry land between Casa Grande and Phoenix, a giant wall of dust arises seemingly out of nowhere, cutting visibility to near zero. Watching a helicopter camera shot on the evening news, the wall of dust is a frightening natural occurrence that can either be accompanied by torrential downpours or is content to leave a dry path of dirt in its wake. Driving along the I-10 toward Tucson can be particularly dangerous during a dust storm and there have been many fatal collisions as a result. A proper check of filters and fluids at any Chapman Arizona dealership can help your car survive a dust storm. Here are some other tips from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

Avoid the Trip if Possible

The months of June-September are the worst times for dust storms, but they can happen any time of the year. If you are planning a trip through the desert, pay attention to newscasts regarding storm activity, and if a storm is brewing, try and delay your trip if possible. If you must head out, have a few simple rules memorized.

Pull Aside, Stay Alive

ADOT has a long-running publicity campaign with the simple slogan, “Pull Aside, Stay Alive.” As soon as you see a dust storm developing, first check around your vehicle for traffic and begin to reduce your speed. Once it’s safe, either exit the freeway if you can, or pull as far off the paved highway as possible. The natural reaction at this point is to either turn your lights on or flip the switch for your emergency flashers. Do not turn on any lights. Lights are an attraction to other drivers who may be frightened and have zero visibility. Turn all your lights off, put your emergency brake on and keep your foot off the brake until the dust storm passes. Although some storms last an extended period, they are so fast-moving that many can pass by in 15 or 20 minutes.

Be Ready for An Emergency

The Arizona desert is one of the harshest environments on Earth, particularly in the summer. Before heading out on any extended trips through the desert, make sure you have at least a gallon of water, an emergency bag with jumper cables and a roll of duct tape, and a fully-charged phone. You should take your car into a Chapman Arizona service center at the start of the summer for a complete checkup. Clogged air filters can starve your engine for oxygen, causing it to sputter and stall. Summer heat is death on batteries in Arizona, with many cases of brand new batteries unable to hold a charge after only two years. If you haven’t had your car checked lately, take it in now for an oil change and complete examination. Just a few minutes in a dust storm will make you glad you did.

roadrage

AAA Study Shows Aggressive Thoughts at All-time High

A recent study by the Automobile Association of America shows that “road rage” is brewing at least occasionally in 80 percent of all drivers. Although, thankfully, that rage usually never manifests itself into action, at least half of the 2,705 drivers surveyed admitted to tailgating other drivers after suffering a perceived slight. Another third make angry or obscene gestures, while four percent admitted to actually leaving their to get in a verbal or physical confrontation with another driver. Three percent confessed to hitting another vehicle on purpose, which would amount to almost 6 million drivers. Hot temperatures can add to the stress factor, so make sure and take your air conditioner in to one of the Chapman Arizona dealerships for regular service.

As Temperatures Rise, So Does Anger

Studies show that more crime and acts fueled by anger occur on hot days than any other time of the year. When the thermometer starts topping 110 and 115 degrees, as it frequently does in the Valley of the Sun, it causes a physiological response that changes your metabolism and sets off the “fight or flight” button in your sympathetic nervous system. Others point to psychological triggers that include just being tired of the long, hot summer. When you aren’t as comfortable as possible, it doesn’t take much to set them off. Even though they really might just be mad at the heat, they frequently take out their frustration on other things, including people.

Play it Cool to Avoid Road Rage

While you can’t really control how anyone else reacts to the heat or acts out because of a perceived traffic incident, by staying calm and cool you can help avoid acts of aggression out on the roadway. “It’s completely normal for drivers to experience anger behind the wheel, but we must not let our emotions lead to destructive choices,” according to AAA Director of Safety Jake Nelson. “Don’t risk escalating a frustrating situation because you never know what the other driver might do. Maintain a cool head, and focus on reaching your destination safely.”

Drive Defensively and Stay Aware

Because of the connection between the intense desert heat and aggressive driving, it’s best to stay as alert as possible with your eyes taking in the whole landscape of traffic in front of you. Be aware of people driving with their windows down. Unless they just love the hot air, chance are their air conditioning either doesn’t exist or is broken. Maybe they haven’t had the time to swing into a Chapman Arizona dealership and get it fixed, but chances are they aren’t in a good mood. If someone cuts you off or otherwise doesn’t practice safe driving, back off and let them do what they want to do. You may be insulted, but it’s not worth the headaches that come from getting into a confrontation.