Categories Blog

How One of My Family Members Died in a Car Accident like Laura Van Ryn

I read about the Laura Van Ryn case in the newspaper and I am so sympathetic to the parents of both of the families. I cannot believe that one girl was mistakenly taken for the other girl. It happens sometimes yes, but it had to be hard for Laura’s family to not know that the girl they talked to in the hospital was not their daughter. That their daughter was dead and they were told that Whitney was their daughter.

I am praying everyday for the families in the crash. Hopefully this mistaken identity confusion never has to happen again because I could not even imagine the pain to be told that your child is in the hospital in critical condition and then later find out that she is not your daughter that your daughter had died in the crash.

My cousin Michael Hughes was killed one night in a horrific car accident. He went to a party one night and everybody at the party was drinking and he got in a car with a number of people who were drinking.

My cousin was not the one who was driving and he knew better than to get in a car with someone who was drinking. We have told him many times not to get in the car with a person who has been drinking because he was just asking for something to happen to him.

My cousin was very depressed because he lost his father a while before this happened and he thought drinking was the solution to his problem, but it wasn’t. It ended his life.

On the night of the accident, my cousin like I said before got in the car with a bunch of kids that were drinking at this party he was at.

Next thing we heard he was dead and how he died will still be in my memory till I die.

What happened was the guy that was driving was drunk and he was on a road he did not know. All of a sudden they came to a really big curve in the road and this guy that was driving was going insanely fast and could not make the turn so the car went over the hill side and hit smack dead in the middle of a tree.

When they hit the tree, my cousin was thrown from the back seat, through the wind shield and hit the tree. He was dead on impact. He was taken to the hospital in hopes to revive him, but his injuries were too severe.

When we all got to the hospital, his mom and grandmother were there and I heard about the crash and I knew he was not going to make it. I went and sat with his mother trying to comfort her, but how can you comfort a mother that has lost her child?

The best thing to do to give advice to those who have lost loved ones in an accident s love them, care for them and make sure they know you are there for them no matter what they need.

There is not easy way to get over a loved ones death no matter how bad the accident was. Advice is so hard to give to someone when they lose a loved one that is so dear to their hearts.

The advice I can give to those who lost a loved one is that they are in a better place now. They are not hurting or worrying about anything anymore. That sometimes does not work because in my cousin’s case, it is hard for a mother to get over losing their one and only child. So just let them know you are there and will never turn away from them when they need something. You never know when you are going to need them as well.

Categories Blog

How to Safely Convert Your Car to Run on Water! The "Next Big Thing"

Like you, no doubt, I have had enough of today’s over-inflated gas prices. Driving less isn’t always an option, and not everyone can or will purchase a hybrid. Unless you’re an oil baron or possess a well-diversified stock portfolio featuring fossil fuel companies, you’re probably also searching for relief from the “pain at the pump”. Fortunately, there is an alternative.

The Trend of the Future

Did you know that you could easily convert your car to employ water, supplemental to diesel/gasoline, to increase your fuel efficiency (by at least 40%), while reducing fueling costs significantly? Forget about distilled-water-only methods or those requiring special agents to be added to the water to form a solution that converts to fuel. A better, more simplified conversion system exists today that uses plain tap water, affordable and easy to find components (costing less than $60), and easy steps.

Most people don’t realize that electricity from your own car’s battery can separate ordinary water into two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen (HHO), which is also known as “Brown’s Gas” or “Hydroxy”. Instead of releasing toxic emissions, the end product is H2O—water! Only one quart of water is needed as a gas supplement to provide over 1800 gallons of HHO gas, which lasts several months.

Safe for You, the Environment, and Your Vehicle

This technology has been proven to work for all standard vehicles such as cars, vans, trucks, and SUV’s, but as yet is untested on hybrids. Compressing flammable hydrogen into storage tanks is potentially dangerous and unnecessary when it’s already available in water and can be easily and safely extracted. Moreover, a conversion process exists that is completely reversible, so that it won’t void your auto manufacturer’s warranty. Unlike standard fuel systems, there has never been an incident or accident using HHO because it is a fuel that generates atomic power with the chemical stability of ordinary water!

Tomorrow’s Biggest Trend

Economists and consumer-trend watchers tell us that today’s fuel crisis not only won’t get much better, but that alternative fuel and power sources are likely to be the most sought after technology on the internet and through other sources over the next six to twelve months, culminating in a worldwide, exclusive conversion to alternative methods of generating power no later than 2012.

There are several fuel conversion systems available via the internet, but the most efficient, easily understood, economical instruction guide is found at: After viewing the supporting videos on the website, like the economists, I’m convinced that within the year, everyone will be insisting on this world-changing technology! After all, shouldn’t you be able to maintain your lifestyle while holding on to more of your hard-earned money?

Categories Blog

NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow Coming Sooner Than Expected

NASCAR’s new Car of Tomorrow has been a hotly debated topic among the Nextel Cup drivers and team owners this season.

Car owners agree that it makes sense to go ahead with the Car of Tomorrow on a full time basis. Of course, they look at it from a financial standpoint, not from a competition standpoint.

All Nextel Cup teams, are being forced to run two programs simultaneously. The Car of Tomorrow is scheduled to run 16 races this season with the current car running the rest.

The burdens put on the teams and owners are more than is necessary. Financially, it is especially hard on the smaller teams that have much less of a budget.

Most of the drivers aren’t too happy with the Car of Tomorrow. They complain about how the car handles and say it’s hard to drive. Some compare the Car of Tomorrow to trying to drive a bus or truck around the track at 150 miles per hour.

Even though he’s won two races with the Car of Tomorrow, Jeff Gordon isn’t ready to go full time with it yet. His criticism is the Car of Tomorrow has yet to run on a 1.5 mile track.

“I still think there are things that need to evolve with this car that are not there yet,” Gordon said.

Most drivers favor going with either the Car of Tomorrow or the current car full time.

Earlier this month, Dale Earnhardt Jr. said, “I don’t like doing two different cars, it’s one or the other. I’d go full time with the Car of Tomorrow right now. Why not?”

The Toyota teams are the biggest fans of running the Car of Tomorrow exclusively. They’re having a hard go of it in their first year in Nextel Cup and believe it would be a tremendous help to their programs.

Michael Waltrip runs a three car Toyota team and thinks the Car of Tomorrow will save everybody money and make Toyota more competitive.

The bottom line is weather for or against the Car of Tomorrow, everybody in Nextel Cup racing will have to adapt. Like it or not, for the 2008 racing season and beyond the Car of Tomorrow will be the “Car of Today.”

Categories Blog

Huntington Car Dealerships Rush to Replenish Inventory

Huntington Car dealerships have seen sales skyrocket as a result of the Cash For Clunkers program. However, dealerships such as Huntington Toyota and Huntington Honda may have not realized how much of a success the program was going to be and that it was going to be extended. In fact, Cash For Clunkers program has been so popular that Huntington car dealerships have actually come close to running out of cars.

Huntington car dealerships as well as dealerships from other parts of the country are currently racing to replenish their inventory to prepare for the next wave of “Cash For Clunkers Buyers.” President Obama recently approved a bill that will provide two billion dollars of additional funding for the program. As a result, hundreds of Huntington citizens are thinking about purchasing new cars.

Huntington citizens are extremely excited about the fact that they will be able to save close to four thousand dollars on a new car. However, when they head to one of the Huntington car dealerships they may be unpleasantly surprised by the fact that the dealership does not have the exact car that they want.

As a result, many Huntington citizens have decided to hold out on trading in their old clunker due to the fact that the dealerships do not have the specific model of the car that they want. However, those Huntington citizens that are willing to wait for their car may still be able to save some money from the Cash For Clunkers program.

Normally car manufacturers can just ship out new cars that they have stored in a warehouse to dealerships. However, car manufacturers don’t have any cars left in their warehouses which means that they have to spend close to a month constructing new cars. This is the main cause of the shortage of cars that Huntington car dealerships currently have.

This problem is not specific to the town of Huntington, it’s a problem throughout the entire state of New York. When an individual heads to a Huntington car dealership and hears that they don’t have the model car that they want they usually check a dealership in a nearby town such as Smithtown. However, to their surprise, they will find that every dealership on Long Island and in New York City have been having the same inventory problems.

Many Huntington car dealerships have decided to try to sell cars before they arrive at their dealerships. However, the problem still remains that many Huntington and Long Island citizens are not willing to wait for their brand new car.

Categories Blog

I (We) Run Our Own Driving School – Would You?

My husband and I operate a large driving school in the state of Victoria, one that sees approximately 9,000 teenagers come through our various doors each year. Many of them are Chinese students, which is common here in Australia. As some of them do not have great English skills, sometimes we have to translate driver license (in Chinese they call it 驾照翻译) for them.

In our business, it’s either feast or famine; summer is crazy hectic, and those weeks after Christmas when we pray for the phone to ring leave me crying out in boredom.

Every once in a while, one of our employees will decide to break off and start their own school. They see the amount of tuition, multiply that by the number of students per class, and decide we must be sitting on a goldmine. They want a piece of the action.

But don’t rev your engine; it’s not all green lights running a driving school. There are many factors to consider before one should make the decision to start a business in this business, and not all of them are financial.

Do you like people? Do you like kids? Being an instructor requires a phenomenal amount of courage, patience, and (no pun intended) street smarts, which is why I’m not an instructor. Some teenagers are sassy; others are timid; most are scared of cars. As a driving coach, you’ll have to take that green 14 year old and turn him into a confident novice driver.

Do you have the time and money to be licensed? In order to obtain an instructor license in Victoria, one must pass a college level class on instructor preparation. The cost varies from $3000 – $5000 depending on the institution. This class takes approximately a year to complete.

Once you have received your transcript, the licensing procedure begins. The applicant must of course have a clean driving record, submit a signed medical form (you pay for the exam), a criminal background check (approximately $75), and a fee of $45 to the State.

And that’s just the licensing to become an instructor.

Licensing a school includes infinitely more layers of paperwork and bureaucracy. Some items to consider are as follows:

Automobiles. Cars are an expensive outlay in a driving school. There is purchase, maintenance, and licensing costs. Cars used for drivers ed must also be outfitted with a dual brake. It’s been our experience that many retail auto shops won’t install dual brakes for reasons of liability. We learned to install the brakes ourselves, and make certain we have a few people on staff who know how to do it too. Driver education vehicles in Victoria must also display appropriate signage, to let others on the road know the car is being used for training.

Insurance. If you think insuring a personal automobile is expensive, try insuring a fleet of cars used specifically for drivers ed. Many insurance companies won’t touch that kind of policy with a 10 foot pole. If you’re running your own school, you will need a bond, workers’ compensation insurance, and an umbrella policy.

Class room space. Will you rent or buy? Class room space must be insured as well, and the State requires a positive review by the local fire marshal before they will approve class room space. Class room space must be supplied with desks and/or tables, dry erase boards, computers, etc.

Office space. Some of the smaller driver training schools operate out of a home office. Larger operations like ours will have a dedicated office and office staff available to answer phones during regular business hours. Some considerations may include storage of files (we’re required to keep records for seven years), computers, office furniture, copy and fax machines, phone and internet service.

Taxes. Running your own business means having to pay taxes – state, federal, local – on a quarterly basis. Employees have taxes taken out each paycheck. Do you have the discipline to set your tax money aside in order to make the payments on time?

Once you have the nuts and bolts of the actual business in place, consider whether or not you have the skill (or can hire the skill) to keep up with paperwork. The State requires paperwork to be submitted before a scheduled class (to let them know where and when the class will be held). Once the class is completed, they want forms filled out regarding who was in class, and the certificates issued to each student. At the end of the year, the licensing begins again (many pages of paperwork to fill out), and the driving school must provide a list of employees, and the number of students who went through the program in each location.

State curriculum is available online. The State written test is drawn from a number of test questions in a pool once a year. This is computer generated and each school receives a set of test questions, all of which are randomly chosen.

Let’s not forget customer service. Do you have the communication skills necessary to explain the program and state laws and regulations? The current graduated licensing law is quite a bit different from the law of the land when the parents took drivers ed. While there are times when the job is satisfying, there are other times when customers call with concerns or complaints. This is to be expected when the lives of minor children are in our hands. Are your problem solving skills sufficient enough to resolve sticky situations?

Also, can you save money from the summer to carry you through those bleak winter months where no one (seems to) wants to attempt to learn to drive? Like saving for taxes, living on a seasonal income takes a certain amount of discipline.

If you’ve answered yes to all of the above, perhaps a career in driver education is a good fit for you.

Categories Blog

Applebee's Car Side to Go Service – Easy Way to Take A Good Meal Home

I know there are some nights when you just don’t feel like cooking. Those nights the usual picks of pizza and Chinese food just don’t seem very appetizing. Applebee’s has come up with a great alternative to bring you a warm and quick meal. This great new service is called Car Side To Go.

What you do is call the restaurant closest to your house and place your order with the employee working the Car Side To Go service. You can check out their menu on their website at, . If you prefer to have a paper copy of the menu, pick one up on your next visit there. The restaurant makes their menus on small paper for you to take home. You can also find the closest location to your home and their phone number on the website.

The employee answering the phone will ask what color and kind of car you will be driving so that they know it is you. The employee will also let you know when your meal will be ready. The average time is about fifteen to twenty minutes. Drive to the restaurant you ordered your food from and you will see signs on three or four parking spots that say “Reserved for Car Side To Go.” Park in one of these spots and your car will be visible on a monitor inside the restaurant.

About two minutes after you park, someone will come to the car with your food and your bill. You can pay cash or credit card from the comfort of your car. The Applebee’s employee can give you change and also run your card inside while you wait. It is proper to tip the person who brings your food out to you. Two or three dollars is usually sufficient enough.

I find that this service is an excellent addition to Applebee’s other services. Sometimes you want something a bit more than the regular fast food but you don’t feel like sitting down to eat at a restaurant. Applebee’s makes their car side service a great alternative to that predicament. The prices are the same and the food still tastes great and is prepared exactly as it would be if it were eaten in the restaurant. The proportions are also the same and are very filling.

I definitely recommend Applebee’s Car Side To Go for anybody looking for a good meal to take home. Run out on that cold or rainy night and pick up your warm meal! Then bring it home and eat it in front of your favorite TV show.

Categories Blog

The Best Car I've Owned

I love cars and I always have so I am particularly attentive to what I drive and what it looks like. Some people love their first cars, their first new cars, or their collector cars. I happen to have a special place in my heart for my current car. I drive a Toyota Solara SLE V6 and I absolutely love it because it is me.

My car is a color known as Oceanus Blue on stone grey and has a great set of options. I have satellite radio, a six disc CD player along with a sun roof and yes the customary air conditioning and heater. My car also has heated leather seats and lovely wood grain touches on the interior. The fact that it is a coupe gives it appealing lines and a sporty feel. Enough about the specs of the vehicle and let me talk a little about the sentimental value.

The car also has a great on board trip computer that provides information on average miles per gallon of gas as well as average miles driven per trip. My car’s sleek design is perfect as far as safety goes. I was rear ended once and with the exception of the bumper the car was in perfect condition. The airbags deployed as expected and I was safe that time. The car has also never left me stranded which is more than I can say for a previous car that I had.

My car represents a compliment to my style as a person. I like cars that are fast, have a nice sleek look and provide a good service. My car gives me that service and that look that I crave and enjoy. The car does have a V6 engine which makes it a bit hard on gas but not as hard as other cars. I love the car because even after 5 years it still looks impressive on the road and it still works impressively. Whenever I take out I am amazed at how well the engine responds as if it were new. Part of what makes this car my favorite is the road trips.

I take my care on extended trips to places like Tampa, St. Augustine, and Ft. Lauderdale. I love the handling because the steering wheel is soft and smooth. One particular road trip that makes this car my favorite was one were I encountered a thunder storm of somewhat epic proportions and still made it to my destination safely. The weight of the engine keeps the car stable during rough weather. My car means a lot too because it’s the one my son learned to drive in and that holds a special place in my heart. I have taken my family on so many outings in it that I’ve lost count and every time it’s still a fun time.

I love this car because it almost feels like an old friend in some ways. I have had great experiences in it and with it. I feel like if my car were to talk it would say something like ” It’s been a hell of a ride.”

Categories Blog

Check Out that Used Car Before Buying Online

Many people like the idea of buying a used car. More and more are warming up to the idea of buying that used car online. The Internet makes it easy to comparison shop and find the perfect car that has all the features you are looking for. It’s highly likely that you’ll even walk away with a great deal when you buy online.

Used car classified advertising on the Internet have are becoming extremely popular. On eBay, the car trading section is the largest growing trading area. People are buying used cars by the thousands.

A recent study by J.D. Power and Associates suggests that consumers are getting more comfortable buying used cars online and even recommending the process to their friends and family.

Before you log on and make a deal on your next car there are some things you should know in order to avoid potential problems.

Know What You Want

The first steps in buying a car online, just like in the real world, are to determine what it is you are looking for. It helps you narrow down your search and focus on finding the right car.

The Internet makes it easy. Manufacturers have information about their cars online. You can also find reviews, recommendations, and inside information from people who know the make and model you’re looking for. If the Internet is good for one thing, it’s finding someone with an opinion about something.

Once you compile a list of the features you want, you can begin your search. Sites like eBay feature car auctions, which is an exciting way to buy a used car, but you can also find dealers who list their inventory online for an easy, outright sale. Private owners list their cars through classified and car trader sites, as well. You can probably come up with hundreds of possibilities when you plug some of the things you’re looking for into Google.

Before you start shopping around, it’s a good idea to get a hint of how much you’ll spend on the car of your dreams. There are quite a few really good car valuation web sites online. These sites will give you an idea of how much the car you are looking for is worth. It can be a terrific price negotiation tool.

In the past you used to be able to get this information from the Kelly Blue Book. The Kelly Blue Book is now online, but there are other sites that will help you value the car based on local market factors. You might expect to pay more for a certain type of car in certain parts of the country, for example. This might come into play when dealing buying a car online.

Order a Vehicle History Report

When you find a car that meets your needs, you’ll want to do some research. Of course, it helps to talk to the owner or dealer. Most recognize that buying online is not like buying a car from a car lot. Dealers who are serious about selling cars online will work with you to make sure you’re happy with your purchase.

When you talk to people – whether on the phone or through email – make sure to get all your questions answered. If the seller tells you about possible defects with the car, ask for photos that show what he’s talking about. Most owners will be happy to help you out if it means making the sale.

Another thing you’ll want to do is get a copy of the vehicle history report for the car. Auto dealers have the ability to provide this to prospective buyers and many will do it for free. If you go through a private seller, you can request a copy of the history report through companies like CarFax.

To request a vehicle history report, simply provide the vehicle identification number, or VIN. The report will provide you with information about accidents the car has been involved in, odometer readings, and even whether the car was salvaged. The report can provide a wealth of information for the prospective buyer.

Let the Buyer Beware

Buying a car online is not a lot different than buying a car offline. You still need to do some homework. Know what you are looking for. Read the reviews and look for reliable information. Deal with reputable companies.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price and terms. Unless you’re dealing with an auction site where the price is determined by competitive bidding, all the same offline rules apply.

With over one million used cars bought and sold online each year, finding your dream car on the Internet is a very real possibility.

Categories Blog

What to Do when You Are in a Car Accident

You’re either reading this because you’ve recently been in a car accident, or you are trying to prepare yourself for the eventuality of a car accident. Hopefully, you’ll never actually need to use this guide, but if you do, it will help you make an unfortunate incident less of a headache. I’ve been involved in auto insurance claims for a number of years, and the following observations will help you and your insurance carrier have a smoother claim process.

Before a car accident ever happens, you need to ensure you have a few items stocked in your car: pen/pencil, paper, disposable camera and your insurance card. Having all of these items handy beforehand will ensure that you can are able to obtain the necessary information and help set the state for a smooth (as possible) incident.

The very first thing you need to consider is your safety. Think about where the accident happened and where your vehicle is currently stopped. If you’re blocking traffic, at the bottom of an icy hill, or around a blind curve the first thing you should do is move your car to the shoulder, if it is possible. If your car is immobile, step away from your vehicle in the direction against the flow of traffic you are blocking. This will ensure that if your vehicle is truck, debris will not be thrown in your direction.

Next, it’s a good to check on the other person to see if they need any medical attention. Helping the other person can by no means be considered an admission of fault.

You want to exchange information with the other person: name, address, telephone number(s) and insurance company and policy number. Basically, you want the other person to have their insurance company be able to reach you. It’s also a good idea to jot down the make/model of any other vehicles and license plates. Make note of how many passengers and try to get their names.

Next, if there are any witnesses who stopped, try to get their name(s) and telephone number(s). Even if it seems clear-cut as to who is at fault for the accident, get their names. Many times, a witness leaves the scene of an accident without leaving their name and something develops later on that would make their statement critical to the investigation.

It’s also a good idea to call the police. In some jurisdictions, you can be charged for leaving the scene of an accident. In other jurisdictions, the coverages available to you depend on whether or not the police were involved with the accident. Besides, it’s always a good idea to have someone oversee the exchange to make sure everyone is cooperative. They likely will not file an actual report if the accident is minor, so don’t expect to have a police report.

With the disposable camera you keep in your car, take pictures of everything: your car, the other cars with license plates, the drivers and passengers of the other car (assuming this doesn’t create a hostile environment), the scene layout, where the cars came to rest, any debris or skid marks left on the roadway, anything that would have obstructed the view of one driver or another, any non-vehicle property that was damaged, and any thing else you think might be important. If the other driver starts doing jumping jacks and pushups, try to snap a picture of that in case he later says he was so terribly injured. Most of these pictures will be of no use and your insurance company will do little with them, but that is a good thing. However, in few and far between claims, some of this information can be very handy in determining the outcome of the investigation.

Next, call your insurance company. You don’t have to do it from the scene of the accident, in the ambulance, your hospital bed, or as soon as you get home and are too hyper to talk. Do what you need to do to get comfortable, go home, and call to report the accident when you are of clear mind. It is important to report the accident as soon as possible, but there is no problem calling them the next morning if that is what you feel you need to do.

If you’ve calmly followed these steps, you have done everything you can to collect the information your insurance company needs to investigate the accident. From there, it’s a matter of cooperating with your claims representative and following through until the case is resolved.

Categories Blog

Car Review: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan

The 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan is considered to be a compact sports utility vehicle, but it is so very much more. The Tiguan takes the best features of a sedan and incorporates them into a classy and stylish mini sports utility vehicle. Starting at an MSRP of only $23,200, the Tiguan gets 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway, better than most others in this class.

The performance of the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan is due to the 2.0 TSFI 4 cylinder engine, with a 200 Horsepower output. With a top speed of 131 miles per hour, the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in only 7.8 seconds, which is quite impressive for this class. The electromechanical power steering system and 4 corner independent suspension allow for a smooth ride and excellent control. The Tiguan features an anti-lock braking system with anti-slip regulation and electronic brake distribution for consistent stopping.

On the exterior of the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan, the sleek design is accompanied by dual exhaust tips and 16 inch alloy wheels with anti-theft wheel locks. The rear wiper with intermittent wipe feature allows for a greater field of vision in inclement weather conditions.

Starting with the driver and passenger bucket seats, the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan is made for comfort. With a telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, and front and rear reading lights the Tiguan seemingly has it all covered. Illuminated driver and passenger vanity mirrors, illuminated entry system, and fold flat rear seats have the owner’s best interests at heart. An AM/FM stereo with a CD player and 8 speakers keep the occupants entertained, while a ventilation system with microfilter keeps them healthy.

The 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan comes with a safety package that is amazing, to say the least. Starting with the 6 standard airbags, the safety engineering is superior to most in this class. With crash-optimized front end and pedals, a deformable steering column, and anti-intrusion side door beams any Tiguan occupants are well protected in an accident. The daytime running lights, automatic hazard lights and brake pad wear indicator round out safety features that are superior to most in this class.

Overall, the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan is quite a unique and dependable vehicle for it’s low price. With the success of the Volkswagen engineering team, you can be certain this one will be a hit.