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My Top 5 Road Pet Peeves

So, there you are on the road…cruising along…window down….good music on the radio…not a care in the world…and then it happens.  Someone comes through and interrupts your feel good mood with the driving skills of a toddler.  Oblivious to their careless and sometimes dangerous actions, you have now been summoned into a slight fit of road rage.  Everyone’s tolerance is different, but we all have little quirks while driving that really get under our skin.

Here are my top 5 pet peeves on the road:


5. Mr./Ms. Show Off

This is the wonderful individual who decides that they are the superstar of the road and wants everyone to know about it.  Typically this person has some fancy car with a loud motor, limo tents and can be seen weaving in and out of traffic at ridiculous speeds.  Their mission is to let you know that they have somewhere to be and you are obviously in their way!  On the street, this is the person that decides they are now in the Indy 500 and peels off when the light turns green.  Ironically, after hustling to be first, you usually see them sitting at the next red light.  Better luck next time.

4. Brake-r, Brake-r

Not only is this irritating, it is a TOTAL distraction.  This person may not really be driving at turtle speeds, but for some reason, they find it necessary to brake-check every 10 seconds and the constant flashing of their brake light is so annoying.  But it gets worse.  This is also the person slowing down or coming to a COMPLETE stop at a green light for no reason.  No one in front of them.  No car trouble.  Just a blatant disregard for traffic awareness.

3. The Speed Demon

This one is pretty self-explanatory.  Have you ever been on the highway and someone is driving past you so fast, YOU slow down?  Yeah, THAT’S the Speed Demon.  Times like this, I wish I were a cop.

2. Car in the Back Seat

Initially, this driver claimed the number one spot, but got bumped down to 2.  However, my fury with them is still unparalleled.  So, what exactly is the car in the back seat?  It is the car that is driving so close behind you, when you look in your rearview mirror, you would swear that you brought them along for the ride.  Here’s the issue, driving that close behind someone is dangerous and in the event of a quick brake, an accident will occur.  Also, this violates the law and could result in a citation.  As a rule of thumb, you should always allow about 3 seconds of space between you and the car in front of you, NOT a millisecond.  It’s just plain RUDE!

1. The Phantom Blinker

It was really a coin toss to see who would get the number one spot, but this tops my list because it grinds my gears to no end.  In the past few weeks, it is uncanny how many incidents I’ve had with the phantom blinker.   This is the driver that refuses to use a blinker and expects you to know their next move.  You usually find this person when traffic is horrendous and they decide to switch lanes at the same time that you do.  While you made sure to signal to move around the congestion, they just pull out very swiftly and sometimes totally unaware of the oncoming traffic, putting others at risk of a collision.  This may also be the person that is preparing to make a left or right turn, but decides that no one else needs to know that.  As they approach their turn slow to a near stop and turn, all without so much as a tap on the signal indicator.  SO ANNOYING! Let the road rage begin!

At some point, we have all been victims (and culprits) of these behaviors and I know that there are a lot more that didn’t make the list.  Which ones top your list?


Winter Safety


Today marks the official start of winter and we’ve already gotten a taste of what’s to come.  Winds at a high and temps got pretty low.  It was possibly the first time this year that it actually felt like winter.  However, weather in St. Louis can be VERY unpredictable (as we know) and the little bit of snow we’ve gotten so far COULD be all we see.  In either case, ensuring that your vehicle is weatherproof for the winter diminishes any worry no matter the weather conditions.  Here is a list of 6 important tips (in no particular order) to combat your car and yourself against the winter elements:

6. Tire Check – Making sure that all of your tires have the proper tread depth is essential, especially for areas that anticipate lots of snow and ice.  Any tires on your vehicle that appear worn unevenly or completely should be replaced.  Also, ensure tire pressure is accurate and tires are properly balanced.

5. Full Tank – Ensuring that you have a full gas tank is a great winter proofing tip.  You can never be too certain that a trip in your car is going to be “simple” or “quick”, especially in harsh weather conditions.  Delays due to weather can happen and making sure your vehicle is fully fueled eliminates the inconveniences of running out of gas.

4. Battery Life – You will hear this time and time again that you NEVER want to have a half-hearted battery in your vehicle when winter time comes.  Cold temperatures cause your car battery to work overtime and crank out more energy to power the vehicle.  You don’t want to take a chance of having your battery crap out on you. Your local Lou Fusz dealership offers battery testing, so stop by and make sure your battery survive the cold.

3. Coolant/Heating – While we’ve got the hood up, you also want to check that the antifreeze in your car is topped off.  It is recommended that a system flush is performed every two years and if possible before winter strikes.

*BONUS* – Also, make sure that your heating system is testing and working before winter comes. It’s already cold outside, no need to have cold air slapping you in the face inside your vehicle.

2. Exterior Lighting – Exterior lights on your vehicle should always be functional.  These lights include: headlights, tail lights, brake lighting and turn signal lights and even fog lights if you have them.  This is essential for the safety of you and others on the road so that your car is seen by them and theirs by you if vision is obstructed by rain, sleet and/or snow and ice.

1. The “Just In” Case – It is important to always have an emergency case of essential items on hand at all times during the winter.  No matter how new or advanced the vehicle, you always want to prepare for the worst and have backup items in the event that you or another traveler are stranded or stuck.  Some helpful items to include are: flashlights with extra batteries, jumper cables, blankets, coats/boots and other warm clothing, ice scraper/brush, and food items.  Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have a candle and matches to keep warm in case of power failure in cold weather.

Hopefully, this has served as a good guideline to follow to make sure that you and your car can survive whatever winter has in store.

See anything missing from the list? Leave a comment with your top cold weather tip.

Let’s make this winter and safe one!

Everyone have a VERY Merry Christmas!

Memory Lane: The First Set of Wheels

Today is a day that I like to call “Feel Good Friday”.  It puts me in a good mood so I’m posting some feel good content.  Ready??

Do you remember your first car?

Ahh, wasn’t that a great day?

The day when you finally had wheels of your own and you didn’t have to depend on your parents to cart you around.   You felt a sense of liberation and independence.  And if you had a car before the rest of your friends, you were SUPER COOL!   Be honest, you weren’t really concerned with the responsibility that came with the car (insurance, maintenance etc.), you just knew that you had to wash it every now and then, gas it, round up the posse and GO!

As for my first car, it was the pinnacle of pristine automotive invention.   It was the epitome of luxury on wheels!  I’m talking a silver 1996 Chevrolet Corsica.  The car belonged to my friend’s grandfather and it was in very good condition to have been 8 years old at the time.  When the topic of buying the car came up, he went from grandfather to Godfather, declaring for me to “make him an offer he can’t refuse”…and I did.

The craziest thing about my first car (dubbed “The Bucket”) was that I got it and my license in the same week and I was nineteen at the time.  Yep, NINETEEN and I was just getting my license.  However, that’s another story for another post.  Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that car did and seen A LOT of things.  Through accidents, tickets, taking me back and forth to college, and a little recreational mischief, the bucket was there for it ALL.  Unfortunately, the bucket has gone on to that big tow yard in the sky, but it had a long and semi-healthy 5 years.

I often wonder how things would have been if I had a different car back then.  What if I would have purchased a brand new car or my dream car (which I can’t recall right now)?  Would I have been in some of the situations that I was in with the bucket?  What would I have named it?  Ah, heck…this could go on all night.  Let’s just say that if the car had been newer, I would have definitely taken better care of it.

As of now, my 1999 Chevy Malibu (dubbed “The Bu”) is still kicking.  It may not look the best, but it RUNS!  However, I would not object to a new car, especially a 2013 GMC Terrain or 2013 Buick Regal (just a couple of my personal faves).

So what about you guys?  What are your first car memories?  Are they good?  Are they bad?  Was it a new car or a clunker?  I want to hear ALL about it.  Keep this “Feel Good Friday” going by sounding off and sharing your stories below.

Thanks for another week of reading and liking!

Until next time…I’m OUT!