Weird & Surprising Auto Laws from across the Country

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We’re all too familiar with parking and speeding tickets… but did you know that in Georgia, you can spit from a truck but not from a car or bus?

The auto repair experts at Lindbergh Automotive are here to keep you informed and keep your vehicle safe – give us a call at 404.445.0575 for vehicle maintenance and stay safely on the roads in Atlanta.

From common sense to just plain weird, there are some unusual traffic laws across the country. And while not all of these may be strictly enforced, it’s worth a look at these surprising auto tickets:

No Common Sense…

  • It’s illegal to drive while blindfolded (Alabama)
  • Don’t take a nap on the street… it’s illegal to “use the road as a bed” (Eureka, California)
  • Not only is it unwise, it’s illegal to jump from a car at 65 mph (Glendale, California)
  • Stay on the roads! It’s illegal to drive on sidewalks (Dunn, North Carolina) or through playgrounds (Dublin, Georgia) or through a cemetery (Dunn, North Carolina)
  • You’ll be fined for reading a comic book while driving (Oklahoma)

 

What about two wheels?

  • When you’re on your bicycle, you must resist “fancy riding” (Galesburg, Illinois)
  • No roller skating on the streets – stick to the side walks (Canton, Ohio)
  • The above law also applies to “any coaster, toy vehicle, skateboard or similar device” – with a fine up to $1,000!

 

Our Furry Friends

  • Dogs may favor fire hydrants and inviting human legs, but you’ll get a fine if your dog “molests” a vehicle (Fort Thomas, Kentucky)
  • It’s illegal – and horrible – to tie a dog to the roof of a car (Alaska)
  • Even if you work as a chauffeur, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle with a gorilla in the back seat (Massachusetts)

 

Turn down the volume!

  • It’s illegal to honk the horn of another person’s car (University City, Missouri)
  • Don’t screech your tires – it’s a misdemeanor, and you’ll spend 30 days in jail! (Derby, Kansas)
  • You must honk before passing another vehicle on the road (New Jersey)
  • It is illegal to blare a car horn where sandwiches or cold drinks are served after 9 p.m. (Arkansas)

 

Feeling Hungry?

  • If you’re craving breakfast pastries, you’d better drive-thru — You’ll get a ticket if you park in front of this Dunkin Donuts. (South Berwick, Maine)
  • It is perfectly LEGAL to scavenge road kill. (West Virginia)
  • Careful with that drink! It’s illegal to spill your margarita on the street. (Hermosa Beach, California)
  • You’ll have to walk to the liquor store if you want to drink beer at home – it’s illegal to drive with beer in your car, even if it’s unopened. (Scituate, Rhode Island)

 

Keep it Clean…

  • You can get a ticket for having a dirty car! If your vehicle leaves mud, dirt, or other substances on the road, you’ll be fined (Minnetonka, Minnesota)
  • Don’t store trash in your vehicle, it’s illegal – due to a rodent issue… (Hilton Head, South Carolina)
  • Keep your clothes on! It’s illegal to disrobe while in your vehicle (Sag Harbor, New York)
  • Cursing from your vehicle is a misdemeanor. You’ll get a fine if you’re heard swearing in earshot of another driver, pedestrian, or vehicle (Rockville, Maryland)

 

This infographic from Visually shows some of the weirdest traffic laws from all 50 states.

50 Weird Driving Laws of the United States

 

What strange traffic laws have you encountered? Let us know! To keep your vehicle safely on the road, schedule an inspection with our auto care experts: 404.445.0575.

 

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EXTREME Road Conditions

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Could your car handle these roads?

Winter across the country brings unpredictable weather and potentially hazardous road conditions. To prepare your car for any road condition in Atlanta, GA, call our team of ASE-Certified auto technicians at 404.445.0575.

While we prepare for the roads in our own town, we’re also taking a moment to consider these extreme road conditions. Could your car handle these roads?

road conditions - rainRain
Though rain seems harmless enough, heavy storms can create frightening road conditions. Rain and fog reduce visibility, and wet roads affect traction – in fact, 30% of ran-off-the-road accidents are caused by wet roads. The risk of hydroplaning combined with reckless drivers can make rain one of the most dangerous conditions for driving.

Prepare: Check your headlights so other drivers can see you through rain, mist, or fog. Test your air conditioning, defroster, windshield wipers and washer fluid to improve your own visibility during rain storms.

road conditions - iceIce
Ice, especially black ice, increases your chances of an accident. Be especially careful driving over areas where ice accumulates, including bridges, overpasses, and tunnels.

Prepare: Check your brakes and tires – make sure you have enough traction to handle slick roads, and that your brakes will stop your vehicle safely.

road conditions - mudMud
One negative side effect of weather is dirty, muddy roads. Thick mud on slick roads impairs your vehicle’s ability to stop and even makes it difficult to steer. Non-paved country roads can be especially treacherous for vehicles after a heavy rain or melted snow.

Prepare: Check your steering and brakes. If you often drive on dirt roads, have your alignment checked periodically to avoid damage to your wheels and tires. Take it slow, and avoid especially muddy back roads when possible.

road conditions - trafficTraffic
Unpredictable winter road conditions can compound traffic on already busy roads. The combination of stressful weather with road rage and impatient drivers means that winter traffic contributes to many car wrecks during this season.

Prepare: Regular inspections will keep your vehicle safely on the road, avoiding large and costly repairs and hassle after an accident on a busy road. Try these tips for avoiding traffic.

To prepare your vehicle for any road conditions in Atlanta, call us at 404.445.0575 or schedule an appointment online.

New Year, New Cars at the Detroit Auto Show!

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It’s a new year, which means new cars! This month, Detroit hosts the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Starting with press, industry, and charity previews January 12-16, the public auto show runs nine days from Saturday, January 17 through Sunday, January 25, 2015.

Detroit Auto Show Chevy Corvette StingrayThis auto show is a popular venue for automakers to unveil new product launches for the year ahead. For 2015, there are about 40-50 potential launches anticipated during the two days of Press Preview (January 12 and 13).

Not only is the Detroit Auto Show an opportunity to announce new vehicles, it’s also a venue to showcase the most impressive vehicles found across the world. An estimated $6 million worth of exotic vehicles will be on display at the auto show at the COBO Center in Detroit, Michigan.

Detroit Auto Show Corvette KalahariThis year marks the 27th anniversary of this NAIAS international event. According to their press release, “NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most, up close and in one place.”

The event also attracts big names in the auto industry, with more CEOs and VIPs attending than any other auto show in North America. Large automakers regularly choose this venue to make special announcements.

In its 27th year, the 2015 Detroit Auto Show is the first to include a “Technology Showcase” which will feature new products, the integration of technology in vehicles, and new high-tech advancements for automobiles in the year ahead.

Stay up-to-date on the latest developments from the NAIAS Detroit auto show – follow us on Facebook to join the conversation about this exciting auto event!

Tips to avoid Holiday Traffic

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This season is one of the busiest for holiday travel. And with unpredictable weather and road conditions in Atlanta, Georgia, and across the country, long road trips can be stressful.

Before you head out for your holiday road trip this year, bring your vehicle in for a pre-trip inspection. Our ASE Certified technicians will thoroughly inspect your vehicle, fix any issues before they lead to costly repairs, and give you the peace of mind to embark safely on the road.

Here are a few more tips to stay safe and avoid holiday traffic this season:

Holiday traffic can be avoided with a little planning!Plan ahead – If you have the flexibility, avoid traveling on the busiest days. When possible, avoid major highways during rush hour (7:00–10:00 am and 4:00–7:00 pm). Plan your route ahead of time, or use a GPS or smart phone to identify alternative routes.

Stay alert – When driving in heavy traffic or slick winter road conditions, the best thing you can do is pay attention. Avoid distractions like the radio, cell phones, makeup, etc. and focus on the road ahead of you. Staying alert will help you react to changing road conditions faster, stay safe, and avoid unnecessary congestion from distracted drivers.

Know your route – Familiarize yourself with the street names, exit numbers, and alternative routes before heading out. If you’re traveling on a congested highway and know your exit is coming up, think ahead and don’t wait until last opportunity to merge. Merging at the last minute creates bottlenecks, the cause of around 40% of traffic congestion.

Prevent breakdowns –Breakdowns and accidents cause nearly 25% of traffic jams. The best thing you can do for your vehicle before a road trip is to stop by for an inspection, and tend to any threatening issues. If you find yourself in an emergency on a high-traffic road, pull over quickly and completely to avoid further delaying traffic. And if you see an incident on the side of the road, avoid the impulse to slow and watch the commotion – this only further contributes to slow traffic.

Traffic apps – Before you head out, check your favorite source for traffic updates. Google maps now can show real-time traffic conditions, and there are a variety of apps and websites (as well as local radio stations) that provide current traffic reports. Tune-in before you head out, and plan alternative routes as needed.

Check the weather – Rain and snow can contribute to traffic delays. Consider the forecast (you can check at local and national conditions at weather.com) and plan accordingly. If it looks like rain or snow, plan extra time for your commute and check your tire condition before longer trips. Poor traction increases your risk of an accident on slick road).

Be prepared – Prior to long trips, make sure your emergency kit is stocked and packed in your vehicle. Check the tire pressure in your spare tire (you can’t replace a flat tire with a flat spare!) and make sure your jack, lug nut wrench, and tools are in place. A quick check will confirm that you are prepared to handle a flat tire or other auto emergency on the road.

Relax and be courteous – On roads with heavy traffic, a little patience goes a long way. While you may not be able to control the speed of traffic or attentiveness of other drivers, your attitude is in your control. Avoid road rage and be courteous to other drivers. If someone in the next lane is signaling to merge, slow to let them in. These small acts help you to avoid stress and unnecessary bottlenecks.

With a little planning and patience, you can make the best out of holiday traffic. Traffic is uncontrollable, but you can adjust your attention and attitude to avoid contributing to the problem.

For your pre-trip inspection, give us a call at 404.445.0575 or schedule an appointment. Wishing you a happy holiday season, and safe travels this winter!

Building your Auto Emergency Kit

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No matter how carefully you drive, emergencies happen. Whether it’s an inconvenient flat tire, a bad car accident, or unpredictable weather, the last thing you want is to be stuck unprepared, stranded on the side of the road. And while emergencies may be inevitable, you can be ready to handle common situations with an auto emergency kit!

Auto emergency kits can be purchased in most auto parts stores, online, and even at stores like Walmart, but it’s easy to create your own. Below are ten things you should include in your auto emergency kit:

  1. Cell phone charger – Most people own and carry their cell phone nearly constantly. Using your cell phone while driving is always a bad idea, but it can be nice to have one with you in cases of emergency. It is best have your phone fully charged before you set out – Add a cell phone charger that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter or other power source to your kit.
  2. emergency kit - reflective hazard trianglesReflective hazard triangles – These you may not have on hand, but you can find them at most auto supply stores or online. Reflective, pop-up hazard triangles can be placed in the road to warn other cars of your presence. Battery operated lights or flares can serve the same purpose.
  3. Jack and lug wrench – Most vehicles come equipped with these tools for changing a flat tire. You should also have a spare tire, and check the air pressure in it periodically (toss a tire gauge in the kit for good measure). Find the jack and wrench in your car, and know how to use them.
  4. First-aid kit – Keep a supply of bandages, antibiotic ointment, and pain reliever in your car. It’s best to find build or buy a first-aid kit with supplies for treating a range of issues, including cuts and burns.
  5. Jumper cables – Lights left on all night, cold weather, and old batteries may leave you needing a jump start. Keep a pair of jumper cables in your car (don’t rely on a Good Samaritan to have one) and review how to jump start your car.
  6. Small bills and change – Whether you need to place a call on a pay phone or purchase snacks, keep a supply of cash for varied use in emergencies.
  7. Water and nonperishable food – Being stuck on the side of the road is bad enough, you don’t want to add hunger and thirst in the mix. A supply of snacks and water will keep you hydrated and satisfied until help comes. Don’t store perishables, like fruit, in your car for extended times.
  8. Spare fuses – Many electrical problems can be as simple as a burned out fuse. Keeping a spare fuse or two can help you get back on the road quicker! But not all fuses are created equal – be sure to have the appropriate type for your vehicle, and know how to change them properly before attempting on your vehicle. Refer to your owner’s manual or give us a call for advice.
  9. Gloves – Dealing with greasy parts and tools can wreak havoc on your hands. Keep a pair of work gloves for emergency repairs. They also help keep you warm in cold weather emergencies.
  10. Flashlight – Emergencies happen at inconvenient times. A flashlight can be invaluable at night to help changing a tire, exchanging insurance information, or walking outside the car. Even in the daylight, a flashlight can help illuminate issues under the hood. (It’s a good idea to keep extra batteries in your kit, too!)

You probably have most of these items already… gathering them up and keeping a set in your vehicle will help you in emergencies. Keep the phone number for our roadside assistance in Atlanta, GA and our shop in your glove box – 404.445.0575 – give us a call anytime, we are here for you!

Preparing for Fall and Winter Road Conditions

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fall-car-care-winter-road-prepIs your car ready for the changing weather? As summer comes to an end, we know that means cooling temperatures, rain, and falling leaves in Atlanta. It also means winter will be here before we know it!

As National Fall Car Care Month, this month is the perfect time to ask, “Is my car ready for winter?” Here are eight things you should check to make sure your car can handle the coming weather and road conditions:

  1. Tire pressure – Cooling temperatures can affect the pressure in your tires, as external pressure changes with the weather. Take a few moments to check your tires with a pressure gauge and make sure it’s filled to the recommended level. Proper tire pressure not only reduces the chance of a flat, but also improves fuel efficiency.
  2. Tire tread – Check your tire tread too! While 2/32” is the minimum acceptable tread on your tire, rain and snow conditions require more tread for safe driving. Your tires should have at least 4/32” of tread, without bulges, wear, or bald spots, so you don’t risk losing control of your car on slick roads.
  3. Windshield wipers – If you wait for the next rain storm to check your windshield wipers, you’re risking your safety. Get in the habit of running your washer fluid periodically – you’ll be able to monitor if your wipers need replaced, and you’ll have a cleaner windshield!
  4. Defroster/Heater – Also test your defroster before the cold weather hits. On the next cold morning, turn on your heater to make sure it’s working. Make sure air flow reaches your windshield and isn’t blocked in any spots. If it takes too long to warm the interior, bring your car in for a heating system inspection.
  5. Battery condition – As temperatures drop, your battery may begin to show signs of failure. Test your battery’s condition using a multimeter (or have it tested) to ensure it is operating in the acceptable range. If your battery is getting old or can’t hold the proper charge, your vehicle may not be able to start on cold mornings.
  6. Brakes – When roads are slick with rain and snow, your brakes are put to the test! Brakes are subject to wear and tear with normal use of a vehicle, which means you’ll need to have them serviced and replaced periodically. Have them inspected before the first storm so you know that they are up to the task.
  7. Cooling system – If you’ve been putting off your coolant flush, have it done before winter arrives. Coolant (aka antifreeze) is critical to keep your engine running at the proper temperature even when the weather gets cold.
  8. Winter tools – Chances are you took that pesky ice scraper out of your car to make room for summer gear. Now is the time to put it back in your trunk or glove box so you are prepared for early frosts of the year. It’s also a great time to start prepping your auto survival kit.

 

Pay attention to your vehicle as the weather changes – some systems that work fine during the summer may start to reveal warning signs this season. Make sure your vehicle is up-to-date on manufacturer recommended maintenance, and address any concerns before they lead to bigger problems and costly repairs.

Stop by our shop for an inspection or schedule an appointment online to make sure your car is ready for this fall!