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Tuesday, 23-Sep-2014 16:45 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Making A Contract With Teen Drivers

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Making A Contract With Teen Drivers
Making A Contract With Teen Drivers
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When it comes time for your teenage son or daughter to begin driving solo, the best thing you can do to encourage safe driving is to draw up a “driving contract” that clearly spells out family rules as well as the consequences for breaking them.
What’s in a driving contract?
Driving contracts will be slightly different from one family to another, based on a number of relevant factors. But what all driving contracts should have in common are clear rules the teen drive is expected to follow with respect to the car and safety.
According to safety experts, at a very minimum, a good driving contract should cover the following points:
Which car the teen is allowed to drive.
Car care basics: putting gas in when needed, checking tire pressure, oil changes and other regular maintenance. In addition, include rules about keeping the car trash- and clutter-free.
Insurance specifics: some parents find that having teens pay some portion of the car insurance helps to make them more responsible. If this is something you expect, the place to spell it out is in the driving contract.
Safety belt use – for all occupants of the car.
Rules about the use of cell phones for calls or texts, use of MP3s, car stereos and other electronics. Clearly state that calling and texting behind the wheel is not allowed.
No drinking or drug use ever when driving. In addition, the contract should explicitly point out that no alcohol is permitted in the car at any time, and that the teen is not allowed to be a passenger in a car with a driver who’s been drinking or using drugs. Spell out that the teen can always call you to pick them up if they get stranded and need transportation home.
Lay out the rules prohibiting other teens or younger siblings in the car – at least for the first six to 12 months of your teen’s getting a license. The reason for this is that other passengers are a huge distraction to the new teen driver at a time when he or she is Download Windows automobile maintenance schedule most at risk for accidents and crashes.
Spell out rules governing curfew and night driving. More accidents occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. than during daylight hours. Set reasonable and realistic curfew hours, but also insist your teen drive safely to get home without speeding to save minutes.
Rules about law enforcement issues – crashes, tickets and speeding.
Won’t it be tough to get teens to honor the contract?
Parents can expect some pushback from teens at a time when the new driver is eager to be out on the road behind the wheel. Having frequent discussions with teens in advance of their getting their full driver’s license and after will help make the transition easier.
Providing rewards for your teen’s honoring of the driving contract will also make it more palatable. These can include the offer to pay for a free car wash, a week’s worth of gas, a slightly extended curfew for a special event or activity, or some other reward the teen will find enticing. This gives the teen something to work toward and parents a way to show they appreciate the teen doing a good job.
MORE: See Winter Driving Safety Tips For Teens and How Long Should Parents Ride With Teen Drivers?
Where to find teen driving contracts
A number of websites offer sample teen driving contracts available for download. Check with your auto insurance company to see if they have on in their teen driver section. Check out the driving contracts available from Liberty Mutual, I Drive Safely , AAA , and the CDC/American Academy of Pediatrics .
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Tuesday, 23-Sep-2014 11:37 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Making A Contract With Teen Drivers

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Making A Contract With Teen Drivers
Making A Contract With Teen Drivers
Share on Twitter
When it comes time for your teenage son or daughter to begin driving solo, the best thing you can do to encourage safe driving is to draw up a “driving contract” that clearly spells out family rules as well as the consequences for breaking them.
What’s in a driving contract?
Driving contracts will be slightly different from one family to another, based on a number of relevant factors. But what view all driving contracts should have in common are clear rules the teen drive is expected to follow with respect to the car and safety.
According to safety experts, at a very minimum, a good driving contract should cover the following points:
Which car the teen is allowed to drive.
Car care basics: putting gas in when needed, checking tire pressure, oil changes and other regular maintenance. In addition, include rules about keeping the car trash- and clutter-free.
Insurance specifics: some parents find that having teens pay some portion of the car insurance helps to make them more responsible. If this is something you expect, the place to spell it out is in the driving contract.
Safety belt use – for all occupants of the car.
Rules about the use of cell phones for calls or texts, use of MP3s, car stereos and other electronics. Clearly state that calling and texting behind the wheel is not allowed.
No drinking or drug use ever when driving. In addition, the contract should explicitly point out that no alcohol is permitted in the car at any time, and that the teen is not allowed to be a passenger in a car with a driver who’s been drinking or using drugs. Spell out that the teen can always call you to pick them up if they get stranded and need transportation home.
Lay out the rules prohibiting other teens or younger siblings in the car – at least for the first six to 12 months of your teen’s getting a license. The reason for this is that other passengers are a huge distraction to the new teen driver at a time when he or she is most at risk for accidents and crashes.
Spell out rules governing curfew and night driving. More accidents occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. than during daylight hours. Set reasonable and realistic curfew hours, but also insist your teen drive safely to get home without speeding to save minutes.
Rules about law enforcement issues – crashes, tickets and speeding.
Won’t it be tough to get teens to honor the contract?
Parents can expect some pushback from teens at a time when the new driver is eager to be out on the road behind the wheel. Having frequent discussions with teens in advance of their getting their full driver’s license and after will help make the transition easier.
Providing rewards for your teen’s honoring of the driving contract will also make it more palatable. These can include the offer to pay for a free car wash, a week’s worth of gas, a slightly extended curfew for a special event or activity, or some other reward the teen will find enticing. This gives the teen something to work toward and parents a way to show they appreciate the teen doing a good job.
MORE: See Winter Driving Safety Tips For Teens and How Long Should Parents Ride With Teen Drivers?
Where to find teen driving contracts
A number of websites offer sample teen driving contracts available for download. Check with your auto insurance company to see if they have on in their teen driver section. Check out the driving contracts available from Liberty Mutual, I Drive Safely , AAA , and the CDC/American Academy of Pediatrics .
___________________________________________
Follow The Car Connection on  Facebook ,  Twitter  and  Google+ .
 


Monday, 22-Sep-2014 21:56 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Criminals Hit Dollar Stores In Mississippi - Action News 5 - Mem












The call went out around 1:30 Thursday More >> The call went out around 1:30 Thursday afternoon. This area is near Old Brownsville Road. More >> MARSHALL COUNTY, MS - (WMC) - Dollar stores are becoming a target for criminals in Marshall County. The most recent came Saturday in the Mt. Pleasant community. Two clerks were robbed at gunpoint just after the store closed. It's the third dollar store robbery within the past year. "Two of the robberies were here at the Mt. Pleasant store and then one at the Barton store," said Major Kelly McMillen with the Marshall County Sheriff's Office. Winfred Allen has big plans for a corner building down the road from Saturday's crime. "I've got a restaurant that's fixing to open up. It's Chloe's Kitchen," Allen said.

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Monday, 22-Sep-2014 07:06 Email | Share | | Bookmark
2015 Ford Flex

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The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.
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Learn more about how we rate and review cars here .
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Editorial Director, The Car Connection
MSRP not available.
Quick Take
By Marty Padgett
If you're looking to make a statement while you shuffle the kids around, it's hard to beat the 2015 Ford Flex. Read more »
Likes
Ride and handling are impressive for its size
Even more refined than before
Supple, comfortable seats
Pricey as a Platinum or Limited
Styling, party of one
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Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Autoblog »
try as I could, I found no fault with the electric power steering. Its weighting felt natural; the quicker ratio is welcome; and with most of the rubber isolation out of the system, the driver can sense road-surface texture through the rim, but not changes in road-surface grip
2010 Ford Flex Specifications Check Inventory
The Basics:
While nearly every other crossover on the market has gone curvy, the Ford Flex takes a decidedly different approach to design through hard lines boxy styling. The result is a vehicle that stands out as a witty counter-take on today's mainstream, and it's a result that actually proves to provide more comfort and space than many of its raked-roofed alternatives. For 2015, little changes for the Ford Flex, with the exception of a few new colors, and heated mirrors being standardized on SE models.
The Flex doesn't skimp on features, either. In its top Limited guise, it feels like a full-fledged luxury model. The base Flex SE comes standard with three-row seating; an AM/FM CD player; power windows, mirrors and locks; capless fuel filling; and MyKey, which lets owners set pre-programmed levels for radio volume and vehicle speed, effectively putting an electronic leash on younger drivers. Upscale Flex crossovers can be fitted with the EcoBoost turbo engine; all-wheel drive; a leather interior; and a glass panoramic sunroof.
All Flex crossovers except the base SE have MyFord Touch. Upgraded last year, the infotainment controller responds more quickly and its screens have a less cluttered look. The main instrument panel has been redesigned to go along with MyFord Touch, and a left panel can be reconfigured to show a number of different functions, including a graphic tachometer. Also new, just below MyFord Touch, is a capacitive panel that houses supplemental audio and climate-control buttons. There's a physical button for the hazard lamps, but all else (even climate controls) relies on touch.
As large as the Flex is (it's 202 inches long, with an also-long 118-inch wheelbase), it's surprisingly manageable to park and drive around the city. It doesn't exactly drive small, but it doesn't feel much more cumbersome than a mid-size sedan. All the seats in both the first and second rows are cozy, with limousine-like room in every direction, and a choice of buckets or a bench. The long wheelbase pays off most here, but even the third-row seat has leg room for smaller adults, though head room is scant for six-footers.
The Flex does a great impression of the station wagons of the past, and steers clear of the cliches that drive people away from minivans. It's a boxy vehicle, but in the best senses of the word. It doesn't mute those corners, it plays them up, running grooves down its flanks to draw attention to its long, glassy greenhouse and angling off its headlamps to call out its rectangular grille. The retromodern fusion works like a charm, down to the USB-port wink and nod in the grille. The interior is one of Ford's best, with a mix of materials matching up well, blending LCD screens and touch controls in a serene way.
Ford has made good on the Flex's look by giving it good handling and strong performance. The base 3.5-liter V-6 makes 287 hp, but the star of the lineup remains the turbocharged, 365-hp EcoBoost Flex, which runs off 0-60 mph times of under seven seconds and lightens up the Flex's footwork, making it faster than anything in the class. Thanks to a new electric power steering system, a quicker ratio, and a steering unit that's now locked onto the subframe, steering feel is more precise, while a host of improvements improve ride harshness and keep the cabin much quieter from road noise.
It’s a pleasant vehicle to drive, too, and we think it's a step up from the likes of the Traverse, Pilot, and Highlander. Mostly, it's because of the superior ride quality, descended way back from the Volvo XC90 that spun off the Flex' platform, the same one underpinning the Taurus, the Lincoln MKS and the MKT. Even the base Flex carries itself like a smaller wagon, with crisp steering feel and a compliant feel that comes from its long wheelbase, but great control over its body motions even when it's hustled in a way no family vehicle will ever be used. Trust us on this one.
The Flex's comprehensive safety package includes six airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control with anti-rollover technology. A rearview camera and parking sensors are available, as are a blind-spot warning system and adaptive cruise control. It also has options for inflatable second-row seat belts, adaptive cruise control (with forward-collision alert), and a blind-spot monitoring system.
 
Ride and handling are impressive for its size
Even more refined than before
Supple, comfortable seats
Pricey as a Platinum or Limited
Styling, party of one
Back seats not so easy to reach
Touchscreen controls tough to grok


Friday, 19-Sep-2014 23:31 Email | Share | | Bookmark
10 Ways To Know When It’s Time To Repair Or Replace Your Car

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10 Ways To Know When It’s Time To Repair Or Replace Your Car
10 Ways To Know When It’s Time To Repair Or Replace Your Car
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For many consumers, owning a car is not a luxury but a necessity. That doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy their car, even pamper it like a member of the family. But time and road miles tend to wreak all sorts of damage and wear on even the best-kept vehicle.
Sooner or later, the decision must be made whether to repair or replace your car. Here are 10 ways to help make the choice a little easier.
When repairs or maintenance cost more than the car is worth. You’ll know it’s time to get rid of the car and get a new one when the dollars start adding up to the point where it’s going to cost you more I repairs or continual maintenance than the old car is actually worth. The key point to keep in mind here is that older cars tend to require bigger and more costly repairs.
Look at potential future repairs. Plunking down $1,500 or so http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/News/ for a repair job now may help you eke out a few more miles from your old car, but what’s likely to come next? This is the automotive equivalent of a home money pit. At this point, have a trusted mechanic take a look at the car to spot looming problems and give you advice on how serious it is. The more the repair estimates or forecasts climb, the closer you may be to deciding on a new car.
What about safety? Not only do older cars, even the best-maintained of them, tend to wear out, consider the potential risks of having a breakdown while driving. New cars today come equipped with a lot of standard safety equipment, things like advanced airbags, side airbags, better handling and brakes, electronic stability control (now mandated by the federal government), and even rearview cameras. Optional active safety technology includes blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning systems, forward collision alert, drowsiness alert, and automatic parking. Since your old car likely doesn’t have these safety features, when it starts to show its age, maybe it’s time to look at a new car as a replacement.
When your car eats gas and mileage suffers, the problem may not be fixable. Let’s face it. The older your car is, the less fuel-efficient it’s going to be. That’s because it doesn’t have the engineering advances of newer engines, is likely nearing the end of its useful life, and will continue to go downhill or require increasingly more expensive repairs – like a new engine, transmission, or both.
Know what your car is worth. Before making the decision to go ahead and pay for repairs on your old car, you should take the time to find out what it’s worth. Use tools available from sites like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds to determine trade-in or retail value of cars similar to yours. A good rule of thumb is to employ the so-called “50-percent rule.” When repairs cost 50 percent of what your car is worth, it’s time to replace.
Know what your next car will cost. You probably have some idea of the next car you want to buy, since you’ve likely been eyeballing magazine articles and kept a keen eye on models that catch your attention. Not only should you have a fairly good idea what that new car you want will cost, you’ll also need to figure out how you’re going to pay for it. Use the proceeds from the sale or trade-in of your old car to serve as a down payment to lower the amount you’ll need to finance. Weigh and balance whether that monthly payment for the next 36 to 60 months is more or less than the anticipated annual outlay in repairs for your current car. Another rule of thumb here is to consider replacing your car if yearly repair bills are more than 10 percent of the price of the new car you’re looking at.
Factor in insurance costs. Do your homework and calculate the difference in annual insurance costs for your old car compared to a brand-new one. If your old car isn’t worth that much, you could drop comprehensive and collision, saving several hundred dollars. But your old car likely won’t qualify for as many safety-related discounts available for new cars. Also keep in mind that performance, sporty and luxury cars cost more to insure than family sedans. In the end, insurance costs may not move you one way or another to repairing or replacing your old car, but they are something to take into consideration in the decision.
Pay attention to rebates and incentives. Nothing is more enticing than substantial money on the hood or low or zero-percent financing. You might even decide that leasing is a more attractive proposition this time around. When the incentives offered by automakers make the financial case for you, this is really a no-brainer for dumping a repair-prone older car and getting into something new. On the other hand, if your ride isn’t that old and you’ve kept it up religiously, maybe foregoing the temptation to buy new is the right choice.
Lifestyle changes may dictate it’s time for a change. Has your family size increased or decreased? Do you have longer or shorter commutes to work or school? Are there different recreational pursuits you’re now engaged in that require more space or capability, maybe the need to haul items and gear or tow a boat or trailer? Maybe getting into a new vehicle that’s more suited to your driving habits and needs is in order.
When you’ve just had enough of your old car. There’s also a lot to be said for getting out of your old car and into a new one just because you’re past being okay with what you have. You may have started a new job and want something more appropriate for business or you’ve yearned for a new car for the past few years and kept nursing the old one along as long as you could. In this case, if the financial picture makes sense and you can snag a good deal, go for the new car.
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