Month: August 2017

IIHS says today’s technology is saving lives

A long time ago, I was in a pretty bad accident. It was, basically, a head-on collision. The damage to my car was extensive. If you had seen me that day, you would have assumed the damage to me was worse. Most who did see me just after the accident weren’t sure I would make it. I was flown by Life Flight to a nearby trauma center and was then admitted to the hospital where I spent the next few weeks recovering. Obviously, I survived. With the exception of a few scars, you’d never even know I was involved in an accident. These days, advancements in technology are preventing accidents like mine from happening. Lane departure warning and blind spot detection, two safety options available on many vehicles today, are preventing accidents, therefore also thwarting injuries and saving lives. Jessica Cicchino, vice president of research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), is conducting a series of studies in which she reviews data from police reports. She then analyzes the data to evaluate crashes that technologies are designed to address. Results of her most recent study indicate that, when looking at single-vehicle, sideswipe and head-on crashes, lane departure warnings reduce the number of injury-related crashes by 21 percent. To put this into perspective, during 2015 alone, if all vehicles … Read More

The hits keep coming for Chrysler Pacifica and Jeep® Grand Cherokee

Think about your own vehicle. Whether you love it or are just waiting to trade up, there is probably something you would add, update or otherwise change about it, right? You are not alone. But if you are the owner of either a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica or a 2017 Jeep® Grand Cherokee, it’s likely those wanted changes are minor. “Even the most satisfied owner would change something about their vehicle if given the opportunity,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVAs) identify vehicles whose owners want the least amount of change – those that are truly hitting the mark with owners.” Rolling over the competition in the IVA Mid-Size SUV segment for the seventh consecutive year, the ever-popular Jeep® Grand Cherokee continues to set the standard for off-road capability combined with on-road refinement. “The Grand Cherokee is a perennial best-in-class winner in AutoPacific’s IVAs,” said Peterson. “Its excellent design, capability and breadth of the product offering contribute to the Grand Cherokee’s award-winning ways.” Sharing the limelight and taking the top spot in the Minivan segment, Chrysler Pacifica continues to impress as it treks through its inaugural year. “Chrysler’s new Pacifica minivan checks all the boxes a minivan owner desires. Pacifica is the minivan that most closely meets the expectations of its buyers,” said Peterson. “As the … Read More

When was the last time you visited the Ram Trucks YouTube channel?

I am so lucky. I actually have a job that PAYS me to watch YouTube. How cool is that? If you are not so lucky, but do spend some time watching videos online, checking out the Ram Trucks YouTube channel is definitely worth your time. While it does have helpful information for anyone in the market for a Ram truck, it also has stories from real-life Ram owners, like Kim and David who have put 1.4 million miles on their 2007 Ram 3500. And Ram owners who have banded together to make a difference. There are hard-working Ram owners who understand that even the toughest jobs can be fun. (Part of Ram’s salute to everyday workers from the 2016 American Music Awards.) If you need something to make you smile, catch The Winch It! Brothers. One (more more!) of their Power Wagon posts is sure to cause a chuckle or two. And, of course, there are the classics. The ones that inspire. The ones that tug at heart strings. The ones we’ll never forget.

My daughter wants a Jeep® Wrangler as her first vehicle – here’s why

I wish I could remember what age I was when I started thinking about driving and getting my first car. I’m pretty sure I was older than 11. My daughter, on the other hand, at the ripe old age of 11, has decided that a Jeep® Wrangler is not only the vehicle that she wants, it’s also the vehicle she needs. So, I sat her down the other day to ask her why. Below is the rather lengthy list of reasons she provided. It can get places in winter. This one is tough to argue. And being able to get to where you want and need to go, even when there is a foot of snow is necessary where we live. It can also get places in the spring, summer and fall. It’s four-wheel drive, right? I didn’t have the heart to tell her that not all Jeep brand vehicles are four-wheel drive. But I loved her logic. At her age, she doesn’t really know what four-wheel drive is or why it’s important, but she hears us talk about it enough to know she’ll likely need it. It seems like a high-quality car. Who am I to argue with 11-year-old logic? It’s bigger, so in an accident I wouldn’t get hurt as bad as in a small car. I hope … Read More

Private sounds positively perfect – or does it?

When you’re out driving around, how often do you think about the road on which you’re actually driving? As long as the weather is clear, snow isn’t in the forecast and there isn’t an obstruction blocking your path, there really isn’t anything to consider. Or is there? Until recently, outside of complaining about the potholes on I-35 (really, if you’ve EVER driven through Dallas you know exactly what I’m talking about), I’ve never given much thought about roads, road maintenance or anything else pertaining to roads. They take me where I need to go, some more quickly than others, but in general, they do their job. In the last couple of years, I’ve learned a great deal about types of roads. Specifically private (or nonmaintained) roads, which I didn’t previously know existed outside of what I would have considered a long driveway. But they do. And they are, perhaps, more common than you might think. Living on a private road has many ups and downs, and by that I’m not referring to the grade. Some find the cons of living on a nonmaintained road too much hassle. Others agree that the benefits surpass any additional cost and/or work that may be involved. I used to live on a private road. I liked it a lot. To me, there were a … Read More

Both feet on the floor at all times, please

If we’re taking a long road trip (sometimes even a short one) I will typically kick off my shoes and make myself comfortable in the passenger seat. This generally includes leaning back with my feet on the dashboard. My daughter does the same thing. Judging strictly from random glances at others along the highway, we are not alone. Recently, however, a friend pointed out why we definitely should NOT be doing this. After reading an article she forwarded me, and then reading portions of the same article to my daughter, going forward, we will be finding alternative methods for making ourselves comfortable during long car rides. Here’s why. While I’ve been involved in a couple of vehicle accidents, one of which caused the airbags to deploy, I never gave a second thought to what could happen if one of those air bags were to deploy while my feet were occupying the same space from which the bag bursts out. Have you? Consider this – the purpose of an airbag is to prevent your body from, upon impact, being propelled forward toward the dashboard of the vehicle. In order to do so, it must deploy at a rate of speed that is faster than your body is being thrust forward. I don’t know what that rate is, but it’s fast. And … Read More

9 reasons why Jeep® Wrangler is the ultimate all-season vehicle

There is the wave. The tire covers. And the go-anywhere, do-anything, free-spirited outlook on life. But outside of that, what makes being the owner of a Jeep® Wrangler so awesome? In truth, the reasons are too numerous to count. While undoubtedly Jeep Wrangler is the ultimate summer vehicle, a quick look at all four seasons proves that the Wrangler is a great vehicle all year through. Spring Melting snow and spring rains mean mud. But mud is just another word for fun to Jeep owners who wear theirs streaked across and caked on their Wranglers with pride, as a badge of honor. April 4 is National 4X4 Day. Summer Warm temperatures mean the top comes down and the doors come off, which is just cool. Jeep hair is cool. Summer adventures are best when you hook up the camper and head off for places unknown. Fall Off-roading is fun any time. But in the fall you can get off the beaten path and experience the fall colors in a way that non-Jeep owners only wish they could see. If you’re headed off to school, there is more than adequate space to haul the necessary contents for a dorm room. Winter Four-wheel drive comes in handy when Old Man Winter decides to dump a few inches (or feet!) of the white … Read More

There is still time to make some lasting memories this summer

Remember the old “how I spent my summer vacation” essays from grade school? These days, I’m afraid mine would be pretty boring. Gone are the days of rushing to get my morning chores out of the way so I could spend the afternoon with my friends at the pool. Or riding bikes. Or whatever other kind of adventure we found interesting on any given day. Recently, though, I have been reminded that time away from our structured lives is important. Time to rejuvenate, relax and be “unstructured” for a bit is good for everyone. As the end of summer approaches and the back-to-school frenzy begins, you may find yourself thinking, “There just isn’t time!” Ah, but there is. Relaxing doesn’t have to mean a week at the beach. Take time out for a weekend away (a long weekend would be even better!). Or, if your schedule doesn’t allow for a weekend during this crazy time of year, try one day – one electronic-free day where everyone leaves any kind of mobile device at home, jumps in the car and heads out for a family adventure. Now that you have the right idea about WHAT to do, are you perplexed about WHERE to go? No worries. Here are a few ideas that may either work for you or get your own … Read More

Kango and Chrysler create one-of-a-kind partnership

If you are like most parents, your kids’ activities keep you on-the-go. We only have one at home, but she still manages to keep both of us busy. Have you ever found yourself wishing that there was a kid’s version of Uber or Lyft? You know – a safe way for your kids to get from point A to point B while you finish up at work, make dinner or get some work done around the house. (Maybe even, dare I say, take a much-needed nap?) Kango is your wish come true. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, that is. Founded by CEO Sara Schaer and CTO Kaliyuga Sivakumar, Kango is an app-based, on-demand ride and child care service for families on the move. And what else would you expect from an innovative rideshare service but a first-of-its-kind partnership with an auto manufacturer? That’s right. Kango recently partnered with Chrysler, providing lease opportunities of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan to eligible Kango drivers. “Kango is excited to partner with Chrysler,” said Schaer. “In addition to being a green vehicle with the best mileage of any minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid will help us meet the growing demand for shared carpool rides for groups of kids going places. Drivers save money on gas. Kids are delighted with the … Read More

Sleep peacefully under the stars with Skycamp

When you think of the roof of your vehicle, you may think open air, sunshine and freedom. Or extra cargo space. Have you ever looked at the roof of your vehicle and thought to yourself, “Self, that looks like some mighty comfy sleeping accommodations right there.” No? Me either. But Soon Park did. Inspiration fueled by authors Jack Kerouac (On the Road) and Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House) and his passion for traveling helped Park make his dream a reality. Today, he is the founder of iKamper, rooftop tents for adventurous souls. “The idea of having my own private room that takes me to all mysterious lands and unrevealed places fascinates me even now. iKamper roof top tents make dreams come true. With your little tree house on top of your car, you can go anywhere – strange lands and unknown places,” says Park. “iKamper roof top tents take campers away from their daily routine into nature where they can see another part of themselves and embrace people and nature. With iKamper roof top tents, campers take a journey back to their childhood.” But why a roof top tent? Wouldn’t it be equally convenient to just pull a travel trailer? Or an old-fashioned, sleep-on-the-ground tent? First, do you want to sleep on the ground? And have you ever tried … Read More