There's nothing like cruising the open road with your favorite music bumping from the speakers. Although traditional AM/FM radio was once the go-to for most drivers, new streaming services like Pandora and Spotify are quickly gaining steam as the popular choice for young people who want to listen to music while they're driving.
According to a recent study from the NPD Group, people under the age of 35 typically spend about one-quarter of their weekly music listening time using online radio services. This is up from 17 percent just a year ago and now is equal to the amount of time they spend listening to traditional radio, which is rapidly decreasing in use.
About 20 percent of people who take advantage of Pandora and iHeartRadio, two of the most popular streaming radio services, do so while driving, the study shows. Of those individuals who regularly use these music programs, more than half say they do most of their listening in cars, and many of these motorists access the music on smartphones or other mobile devices.
While this allows them to get music in any location, it also means they have to have some kind of adaptor to connect the device to the vehicle. There are a few tools that drivers can use to hook up their phones to car speakers, but some more recent models of automobiles are equipped with USB adaptors, charging stations and phone docks that are ready for all kinds of smartphones.
Drivers looking to buy their next vehicle, complete with a wide range of music capabilities, can find a number of safe options at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which carries a wide selection of CARFAX certified used cars, trucks and SUVs.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and this year, the National Safety Council has chosen the theme, "What were you thinking?" The main point of this year's campaign is to clear up the mystery surrounding hands-free devices and distracted driving.
Many different behaviors cause distraction behind the wheel, from adjusting the radio and talking with passengers to using navigation systems and answering a call. Hands-free options like Bluetooth have allowed drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, but engaging in conversation still detracts a driver's attention from the task of safely operating their vehicle.
"Many drivers have a false sense of security that hands-free devices make cellphone use while driving safe," Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, said in a press release. "More than 30 research studies show hands-free devices provide no safety benefit as the distraction to the brain remains. We hope people will take time this April to help spread this important message so needless tragedies can be prevented."
Going hands-free may seem like a safe alternative to holding a phone up to your ear, but the reality is that anything you're doing in addition to driving can be distracting enough to dramatically increase your risk of crashing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's distracted driving awareness website, Distraction.gov, reports that about 18 percent of all accidents in 2010 were reported to have been caused by distracted driving.
Drivers should take this information to heart and save their conversations for when they're off the road. They should also bring the issue up with friends and family to help spread awareness.
In addition to adopting safe driving behaviors, motorists should have reliable vehicles. Those in the market for used cars can head to NJ State Auto Auction to check out the wide selection of used makes and models. Every vehicle on the lot is CARFAX certified.
While teens are often thought to rebel against their parents, this is not the case when it comes to learning the rules of the road. Many studies and surveys have found that teen drivers are open to driving lessons from their parents and are especially receptive to the example mothers and fathers set behind the wheel.
One of the major issues that parents face is teaching their youngsters to avoid distracted driving behaviors like texting and talking on the phone, and Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is working to help parents set the right example.
"Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy involves parents throughout our integrated Driving Program because they play an instrumental role in the development of their teens' safe driving habits," said Carolyn Duchene, director of the academy. "Parents must remember that their driving behaviors are being witnessed and replicated by their teen drivers. So it's important that parents not only remind their teens about the dangers and consequences of distracted driving, but they must also be good role models behind the wheel."
During April, which is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Mercedes' driving school will be hosting demonstrations that allow teen drivers to experience the glaring differences between driving with and without distractions on a closed course in Burbank, Calif. Parents in the New York/New Jersey area can practice similar techniques and check out the academy's website for helpful tips to teach their kids about safe driving.
When it comes time for teenagers to get behind the wheel of their own vehicle, parents can take them to NJ State Auto Auction, which carries a wide selection of used cars, trucks and SUVs. There are plenty of safe, reliable options to choose from, and each one is CARFAX certified, giving parents even more piece of mind that their kids will be safe on the road.
Automotive maintenance is a key ingredient of keeping your car running well, and to remind drivers, the Car Care Council designated April as National Car Care Month. So, if you haven't had a tune-up in a while or you're due for an oil change, now is the time to take your car to a trusted mechanic like the experts at New Jersey Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center. There are also a few things you can do at home to keep your vehicle in check and spot any issues early to avoid costly repairs down the line.
Keep Fluids In Check
Every couple of weeks, you should pop the hood (while the engine is cool) and check all the fluids – oil, transmission, brake, antifreeze, power steering and even windshield washer fluid. If you notice any levels are low, add more and check back in a few days. A noticeable drop could indicate a leak in the system.
Check Your Tires
Having the correct air pressure in your tires is key to staying safe on the road and maintaining a good fuel economy. Too little air will reduce your car's fuel efficiency, but too much air can increase the risk of a blow-out or a crash. Keep a pressure gauge in your glove compartment to check the tires once every week or so.
Listen Up For Unusual Sounds
Most cars will "speak up" when they're experiencing issues. Noises, such as grinding, squeaking, whining and pinging can indicate serious issues, so it's a good idea to turn the radio off every now and then and listen to your car. Any sounds that seem out of place are worth investigating.
Whether you think something's wrong or you're ready to get your car a tune-up, you can bring it over to the Total Car Care Center at NJ State Auto Auction. The garage caters to the public and can help you address any issues your car might have.
Fuel economy has been a major concern for consumers in recent years, and those who are hoping that reduced gasoline dependency will help protect the environment will be glad to know new rules are being put in place to help Mother Earth. The U.S Environmental protection Agency (EPA) recently announced updated gasoline usage standards that are aimed at reducing pollution as well as improving safety on the road and helping drivers save money at the pump.
"The Obama administration has taken a series of steps to reinvigorate the auto industry and ensure that the cars of tomorrow are cleaner, more efficient and saving drivers money at the pump, and these common-sense cleaner fuels and cars standards are another example of how we can protect the environment and public health in an affordable and practical way," said Bob Perciasepe, the EPA's acting administrator.
The new emission and fuel standard is known as "Tier 3," and its implementation will be required by 2017. Under the new rules, the amount of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides will have to be reduced by 80 percent, automakers will have to cut toxic air pollutants by 40 percent, and fuel vapor emissions will need to be as close to zero as possible.
Some are concerned that the new standards will increase gas prices, but the EPA indicates these changes will actually reduce the cost of fuel by as much as a penny a gallon. The cost of new cars may increase an average of $130, but the savings in environmental protection and healthcare can more than make up for this. Previous studies have found children exposed to vehicle emissions can develop respiratory problems such as asthma.
While these new standards will not be fully recognized for a few years, drivers can still search for the most environmentally friendly used cars, trucks and SUVs at New Jersey Auto Auction, which carries a wide selection of makes and models.