What to Do if You Hit an Animal while Driving

If you’re unfortunate enough to hit an animal while driving, there are some things you should do, both in terms of your own safety and the law.

Immediately after the collision, pull over to the side of the road and put your emergency lights on, and if you have flares put them out so other drivers have forewarning.

If you hit an animal, it’s important to call the police and report the accident. Many states require you to do so and enforce penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an animal collision.

This is good not only so that the animal can get some kind of medical attention or be removed from the scene but also so that you have a report of the incident to tell your insurance company about if your vehicle needs repairs.

After you’ve called the authorities, take photos of the scene to document for the police report and your insurance company. If the animal seems to still be alive, keep an eye on it and keep some distance from it—it’s probably scared and may attack if you get too close.

Do your best to avoid hitting animals by staying off the road when it’s dark, going the speed limit, and avoiding driving distractions.

hit an animal

Staying Safe: Distraction-Free Driving Tips

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers are distracted for nearly 30% of the time they are driving, which is one of the major causes of accidents around the world. Eating, smoking, texting, and simply talking are just some of the ways we get distracted behind the wheel. That’s why we’ve put together a list on distraction-free driving tips.

The DMV distinguishes between many types of distractions: cognitive, visual, auditory, and biomechanical distractions. Cognitive distractions are those that keep you from paying attention. Ever forget you’re on the road for a second? That’s cognitive. Try pulling over to stretch your legs, taking breaths, and talking yourself back into focus.

Visual distractions take your eyes off the road. These should be avoided whenever possible, and includes things like changing the radio, texting, putting in a CD, or digging through the glove box. Never take your eyes off the road – try setting the music before your trip, and pull over if absolutely necessary.

Auditory distractions keep your attention away from the road as well, and include things like wireless phones, on-board DVD players, and even Sat-Nav systems. You should always turn the volume down as much as possible, but not using them at all is best.

Finally, biomechanical distractions refer to distractions caused by mechanisms in your car. Ever play with your mirrors, seat, or knobs? Try to adjust everything before you take off, not while you’re in the car.

distraction-free driving tips

Out With the Cold and in with the Dew – Rain Driving Tips

As we say goodbye to the cold winter weather, we not only welcome sunshine and warmer temps, but also usher in a new season of intermittently slick, wet streets. So in celebration of spring’s arrival, here are a few rain driving tips for you to remember:

  1. Turn on your headlights. With inclement weather comes decreased visibility. Turning on your headlights, even when it’s daytime, can make it easier to see what’s in front of you.
  2. Slow down and expand your following distance! With reduced visual discernibility, decreasing your speed and increasing your car lengths could significantly reduce your chances of a fender bender.
  3. Remain vigilant. Keep both hands on the steering wheel, check your mirrors, and minimize distractions by turning off your cell phone and radio.
  4. Avoid hydroplaning. However, sometimes it happens. If you do find your car’s traction is reduced, take your foot off of the accelerator and steer in the direction you want to go. Do NOT slam on the brakes or suddenly turn your vehicle, as this will worsen the situation.

We at Mountaineer Lincoln wish all of our readers safe travels during this rainy season, and don’t forget to stop by to see our newest luxury Lincoln lineup.

rain driving tips

Gas Mileage Tips You Didn’t Know: Air Conditioning vs. Open Windows

With warmer weather on the way, you’ll most likely be driving with your windows down or cranking the air conditioning. Believe it or not, both can decrease your car’s gas mileage; however, the question is: Which is worse for fuel economy?

According to How Stuff Works, the debate is essentially whether or not drag from having windows open is worse than running an A/C unit. This is one of the most important gas mileage tips you could get this summer. The question is more complicated than it seems, though; in reality, the answer depends on the driving conditions.

When you’re driving at speeds around 50 mph or more, it’s better to have the windows up and the A/C on. This is because having the windows down drastically increases drag. In fact, in certain cars, this will decrease your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by 20% or more. Using the A/C in these conditions will only decrease efficiency by about 10%.

Driving with the windows down is better only when you’re driving at low speeds. Because drag increases exponentially, as you increase speeds you should consider rolling your windows up. An easy rule to go by is if you’re in town on a small road, drive with the windows down. If you’re on the highway or in the country, use the A/C.

gas mileage tips

Windshield Wiper Maintenance: It’s Worth It

In the spectrum of car maintenance, it’s easy to overlook the all-important windshield wiper. Some people may even grow complacent enough to consider the wiper’s role as a matter of mere convenience. Of course, that’s until they fail (like when the rubber separates from the metal arm) during a snowstorm.

When you’ve got to resort to sticking your head out of the driver’s side window, and you’re eating snow and your eyes are watering and your face is becoming quickly frost-bitten, those are the moments when you realize that the windshield wiper ranks up there with other safety systems like brakes or airbags.

In reality, windshield wiper maintenance is quite simple. It consists of keeping them clean. That could be as simple wetting a paper towel and running it along the rubber part. That’s an easy thing to do while you’re filling up at the gas station.

While you’re cleaning them, feel to see if the rubber is chipped or otherwise damaged. If so, it may be time to replace them. And if you are going to replace one, you might as well replace the other one.

When it does come time for replacement, good luck trying to install the rubber refills (that’s where you keep the metal arm and attach new rubber to it). They say somebody actually did it once a long time ago in Fargo, North Dakota, but that claim has never been substantiated. Replacing the whole arm is a little more expensive, but it’s probably worth the extra dough.

windshield wiper maintenance

Be Ready for Any Weather with These Winter Driving Tips

It’s that time of year again—time for snow tires and salt and all the things that come with the intersection of winter weather and driving. Fortunately for you, loyal Mountaineer Lincoln readers, we’re here to provide you with all the winter driving tips you need to get your driving done in a safe but practical manner this winter. You can’t control the weather and you can’t control the roads, but at least you can control how your car is equipped to handle both of them.

Preparation for winter driving should always start with your tires—if you don’t have good tires, tires that are equipped to handle the elements and that are not worn down, then you are likely not going to be successful as you drive. However, there are other areas of maintenance, too. Make sure all your vehicle’s fluids are full, buy new wipers, check your engine, transmission and brakes. Keep your car in tip-top shape to handle nature’s worst.

There’s also some personal maintenance that goes into winter driving as well. Never drive when you are tired, especially not in the winter when the cold and the dark creates a depressive effect. Always keep your car stashed with emergency equipment, from extra gas and blankets, food, clothes, and water to things as simple as a cell phone. For more tips on outlasting the long, cold winter, come see us at Mountaineer Lincoln. We also have excellent vehicles!

winter driving tips