Summer Heat

Heatstroke: Get Involved

Know the Facts

In ten minutes a car can heat up 20 degrees. What if you keep a window open? Unfortunately, rolling down a window does very little to keep your vehicle cool.

Higher Risk

A child is at a much higher risk than an adult of dying from heatstroke in a hot vehicle – especially when the child is too young to communicate.

Always Remember

Never leave a child alone in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down, or air conditioning on.

More Safety Tips for Parents:



Crackdown on Messaging

NTHSA Information Logo

Nationwide Campaign

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is launching a nationwide campaign against distracted driving.

States where text messaging is both prohibited and a primary offense may get $8 million in grant funding to support this and other efforts designed to fight distracted driving.

Several states have already started crackdowns by law enforcement agencies. In New Jersey, as an example, the crackdown started on April 1 and will continue until April 21.

Deadly Epidemic

Drivers talking and messaging on their phones while driving are in focus for this campaign.

Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on America’s roads, and teens are especially vulnerable because of their inexperience behind the wheel“, says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

What is the leading cause of death among teenagers in U.S.?

Is it:

 A. Drug overdose.

 B. Intentional self-harm (suicide).

 C. Traffic crashes.

 D. Cancer.

You guessed correctly. It is traffic crashes. American teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. 16 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted while driving.

The Laws in Your State

Make sure you know the laws in your state. When you apply for your first permit, you are very likely to be asked about cell phone and messaging restrictions.

Currently 43 states and District of Columbia ban text messaging for all drivers, regardless of age.

12 states and District of Columbia prohibit all drivers, regardless of age, from using a handheld cell phone while driving.

Even if the use of a handheld phone is allowed in your state, the safest thing you can do is not to use your phone while driving. Pull of the road if you must use your phone. Using your phone with a hands-free device is also an option, but limit all use as much as possible.

More Information

For more info visit:

Getting Your First Car with the Student Loan?

Student - Copyright: Elliot Burlingham

Borrowing Money

If you are heading for college, it is more than likely that you will borrow money to help pay for your education. You will exhaust all scholarship and grant options. You will look for federal student loans and maybe loans sponsored by your school or other private institutions.

Imagine you are suddenly flush with cash. More money than you ever had. You want new clothes. You want a cool car. You want your own place to stay.

Can You Pay Back?

Make sure you understand that all money must be repaid. It doesn’t matter if you get your degree or not, or if you get a job or not. The lender wants his money back.

The point here is that missed payments on your student loans can hurt your credit rating and cause lots of other financial problems. Once you start digging that hole, it may stay with you for a long time! Make sure you know your limits.

How Much Should You Borrow?

A common rule is to borrow no more than your expected starting salary. Unfortunately, starting salaries have been slipping the last couple of years. Don’t overestimate your future earnings. You may be confronted with a harsh reality.

It is true that the federal repayment plan comes with a better safety net, but you should still borrow wisely.

Keeping a good credit rating is a large part of your dream to get your driver’s license and your own car. Don’t mess it up!

Some Good Sources

Credit Karma gives you access to free credit scores, free monitoring, and free advice on how to improve your credit.

FinAid can help you figure out how much school will cost. They have tools for calculating college costs, loan payments, savings, and more.

The US Department of Education has tons of information about choosing and applying to schools, and taking required tests. You will learn if you are eligible for financial aid or not. They will help you with repayment plans and how to get help with problems.


Snowplow Cameras Show Road Conditions

Cars in winter storm - Copyright: Visions of America LLC

Dash Cameras in Snowplows

Do you wake up in the morning and wonder what the roads will look like today? Is it safe to drive to work? When they say that roads are partially covered, what does that actually mean?

In Iowa you will soon be able to get current photos of your route to work.

Iowa DOT has mounted iPhone 4 to the windshield of a snowplow. The camera is programmed to take photos of the road every few minutes. The images are geo-tagged and automatically sent back to a website.

Snowplow Map on Iowa DOT

The snowplow map site has been up and running for the past year and you can see snowplow location, material use, and other data. The new road snapshots from the iPhones will be another layer of data added to the site when this new feature is launched.

The feature is still in a testing phase and a remaining 800 or so snowplows still need to have a camera installed. There is no date set for this to be completed.

Stationary Cameras

In the meantime, stationary cameras give you photos available on, and the snowplow map.


All New Ford F-150

Ford F-150

Complete Redesign

The new, fully redesigned, 2015 Ford F-150 debuted at the Detroit auto show this week. The new F-150 offers new technology that we haven’t seen in pickup trucks before.

A four-camera system lets you to see all four sides of the truck. On a center stack screen you can get a bird’s-eye view of the truck and surrounding area. The rear view camera adds a line on the screen to help drivers line up the trailer.


With the use of high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys this new F-150 will weigh as much as 700 lbs. less than its predecessor. Lighter weight and smaller engines result in better acceleration, braking, corrosion resistance, and fuel economy.


New Curve Control provides better four-wheel braking when you take a curve too fast. Adaptive cruise control helps you keep a safe distance to any vehicle ahead. Features also include lane departure warning and blind spot detection.

America’s Best-selling Car

F-150 has been North America’s best-selling vehicle for 32 years. In its class, it competes against Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Dodge Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra. The Tundra, Silverado, and Sierra were redesigned in model year 2014. Dodge Ram got a makeover 2013.

Detroit Auto Show

The annual auto show is held in Detroit, Mich. and is open to the public from January 18.

Sources: and