Car Insurance Premiums on the Rise in 2017

If you’ve purchased car insurance in the last few years, then you’ve likely noticed increasing rates that don’t match inflation. Unfortunately, this is likely to remain the same in 2017.

As has always been the case, drivers can expect their costs to rise due to how old they are, what kind of car they drive, where they live, and their driving record. However, there are now factors completely out of a driver’s control that will skyrocket premiums, as well.

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, the number of fatal traffic accidents rose by nearly 10 percent, the greatest year over year increase in the last 50 years. While that proves to be a devastating statistic, it is also a costly one for car insurance companies.

As medical costs in the U.S. are continuing to rise, car insurance companies find themselves footing much heftier hospital bills than ever before. Additionally, technology found in newer vehicles has proven to be more costly to repair and replace, further hiking the costs paid by the insurance companies.

In fact, the largest U.S. auto insurers have suffered from years of higher-than-expected claims. Industry wide, companies are paying $1.05 in costs for every $1 in premium revenue. Compare that to a decade ago when insurance companies were paying just 95 centers for every dollar in premium revenue.

“Where a normal repair 10 or 15 years ago from an accident cost $1,500, now that same bumper with all the technology is $3,500,” President of Kulchin Ross Insurance Services Derek Ross said.

Ironically, the technology often most expensive to replace is the technology meant to minimize accidents, such as driver-assistance technology and cameras.

Another reason for rising costs has to do with distracted driving, specifically as it relates to drivers and smartphones. According to Allstate’s chief executive officer Tom Wilson, there is a “striking correlation” between the rise in smartphone use and crashes.

The pace of premium increases has hit a 13-year high, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s consumer price index. While insurance companies feel the hikes are necessary, many drivers are seeking out insurance options in other areas, especially when they feel they are being penalized for issues out of their control—which they are.

New research released by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) found that safe drivers who are in accidents caused by others often see auto insurance rate hikes.

“Penalizing safe drivers hit by another car is not only very unfair; it also discourages them from filing legitimate claims. Lawmakers and regulators need to protect consumers from being punished when they’ve done nothing more than use the policy they have already paid for,” CFA’s Director of Insurance Robert Hunter said.

While CFA is urging lawmakers around the country to prohibit such penalties for innocent drivers, drivers can use third-party sites such as Zebra and CoverHound to compare quotes from different insurance companies.

Drivers may also look into Metromile, a company backed by billionaire Mark Cuban that has raised over $192 million to take on car insurance companies. Metromile allows motorists to pay for coverage based on how much they drive. Typically charging a flat fee of $35 a month and then five cents per mile, Metromile is setting out to be a cheaper option than traditional car insurance companies.

Regardless of the type of driver you are, it’s important to be aware of the rising car insurance premiums and ensure that you are receiving fair pricing to accurately reflect your level of safety on the road.

ADOT: Taking Highway Traffic Signs to the Next Level

It may be biased to say, but when it comes to Arizona, we seem to do everything better than the rest. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is no exception, and their handiwork on freeway signs throughout the Valley is proof of that.

One of the most important things to know about the Arizona traffic safety sign rules is that they are more permissive than most. And there is a reason behind that; regular traffic signs just don’t catch the driver’s attention. Without a little creativity, and in most cases, a whole lot of humor, most signs go unnoticed by those driving by.

It is because of this reason that ADOT started an exciting campaign designed to boost traffic safety. Rather than the boring “Stay safe and buckle up” phrases, they are utilizing references to many items in pop culture that are trending at the time.

If you’ve been on an Arizona freeway recently, you’ve likely seen references to Adele, Star Wars, Pokémon Go!, and even guacamole. With creativity like that, it’s safe to say that the entire experience is designed to catch the driver’s attention, as well as stress the importance of staying safe on the road, which is the goal ADOT has set out to reach. They stress that the signs are meant to be both serious and fun.

According to ADOT, the signs help reinforce the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which aims to cut down on DUIs, speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving, failure to use seatbelts, and other bad driving behaviors.

With a few jokes and simple messages, each Arizona traffic sign will be able to save lives more efficiently. As safe as we may try to be on the road, and on the freeway specifically, it’s all too easy to get distracted. With an eye-catching sign, drivers are reminded to focus on the road, all while enjoying their commute a little more.

While ADOT has done an excellent job with the content they’ve come up with so far, they’re looking for a little help from Arizona locals. Drivers in the area can share their submissions with ADOT until February 19, and the best 15 messages will advance to the next round. In March, the public can then vote on which signs should be showcased on the road starting in April. To submit your own idea, just visit: http://azdot.gov/about/transportation-safety/safety-message-contest

Regardless of the messages picked, one thing is for certain; Arizona drivers can admire the commitment shown by ADOT for road safety, and we can all look forward to the creative signs in April!

Big Changes Expected on Interstate 10

The cities of Phoenix, Casa Grande, and Tucson make up what’s known as the ‘growing southwest megaregion’ in Arizona. Cities within a megaregion are tied together by strong links and can influence one another, even if they’re hundreds of miles apart.

For this megaregion in Arizona, Interstate 10 serves as a conduit between the cities, and is heavily trafficked by freight vehicles. Carrying everything from avocados to medical supplies, the freight traffic is both necessary and taxing on I-10.

From wear and tear of the road itself to placement of rest stops and fuel stations, all of this has begun to affect driver safety. Thanks to students at Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University, a new study is being done to plan for the future of freight traffic on the I-10 with a focus on efficiency, safety, and sustainability.

“Hopefully, in the long run, this research will help shorten commutes, save lives, create more breathable air and find a way to pay for all of it,” Michael Kuby, a professor in ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, said.

This study will focus on topics such as reaping more benefits from pass-through traffic, emerging technology called connected and automated vehicles (CAVs), and identifying threats posed to transportation infrastructure by natural and man-made hazards, to name a few.

Students at the three major in-state universities aren’t the only ones taking a look at the I-10 and devising strategies to improve it. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) launched their own study back in 2014.

Their study focuses on the 31-mile freeway corridor beginning at the I-17/Loop 101 North Stack interchange in the north Valley and travels south and east to the Interchange I-10/Loop 202 Pecos Stack. This area has been dubbed the “Spine” because it is the transportation backbone of Maricopa County. In fact, more than 40 percent of all freeway traffic in the area travels over the Spine.

Drivers in that area have been pressing for solutions due to a high volume of accidents, closures, and gridlocks. According to Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, “the goal is to make our most heavily traveled freeway safer and more efficient for commuters, residents, and pedestrians.”

With MAG, ADOT, and FHA completing their study, they now have recommendations including upgrading 24 of 31 traffic interchanges to widen roads and improve cross-freeway traffic, provide better technology to help communicate travel information to drivers, and improving availability and reliability for transit and carpooling, among other things.

Arizona locals are urged to give their feedback on these proposed changes, and have until February 17th to do so. Simply click here for a chance to give your feedback and have it included in the study record.

Beyond the major improvements happening on the I-10, the local universities are excited about the opportunity to be working alongside one another.

“This is the first time we have a project between all of us, and you can see relationships and partnerships develop as we work through this. It’s going to be very exciting and very fruitful as we move into the future,” Edward Smaglik, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Management and Environmental Engineering at NAU said.

So whether you’re a Sun Devil, Wildcat, or Lumberjack fan, this I-10 project is something we can all be rooting for.

Buick, GMC Feeling Good About 2017

Whether you were aware of it or not, few auto brands had a better 2016 than Buick did. In fact, according to Robert Morris III, chairman of the Buick-GMC National Dealer Council, the accolades that GMC is racking up, in addition to the new customers they are attracting, has completely changed the company from just a few years ago.

A few highlights from the previous year include Buick becoming the first Detroit 3 brand to rank in the top three on Consumer Reports‘ vehicle-reliability survey. Buick also ranked number one among mass-market brands on J.D. Power’s 2016 sales-satisfaction study.

Additionally, as the auto industry has experienced a push toward crossovers, SUVs, and pickups, Buick and GMC are taking full advantage of the shift. In fact, Buick alone has added three crossovers to their vehicle lineup, and GMC has overhauled the Acadia to be smaller, lighter, and more agile.

The Acadia isn’t the only vehicle model getting a makeover in 2017, though. Dealers can also expect momentum when it comes to the redesigns of the Buick Enclave and GMC Terrain.

When it comes to safety, GM has hit the ground running in 2017. Announcing their new rear seat reminder technology at the beginning of the year, GMC is determined to put an end to children accidentally being left in the backseat of vehicles, often resulting in their deaths.

By winning awards not easily won, and putting safety and new marketing programs into place, Morris believes that GMC has become the crown jewel of General Motors.

“GMC is almost the crown jewel, so to speak, of General Motors. It certainly has one of the highest brand values within General Motors. The brand equity in GMC just dominates the [hot crossover and SUV market] segment,” he said.

One of those marketing programs Morris is referring to is the Essential Brand Elements program. You may have noticed your local dealers undergoing massive renovations over the last few years to fall in line with the latest protocols from the company.

In fact, the Essential Brand Elements program has funneled more than $5 billion to dealers nationwide since 2009. In 2017, GM has no intention of getting rid of this program. This program has become essential to many dealers to help finance renovations and improve business techniques, all adding to customer satisfaction inside the dealership.

A few new elements for individuals to look out for at their local dealership include a business development center, as well as new signs for service lanes and reception areas.

If you aren’t already on the GMC train, it looks like 2017 will be the year they make believers out of everyone.

SB 1054: Arizona Collision Law Moving to Senate

On June 17, 2016, recent Horizon High School graduate Joe Smith and three of his high school friends were driving back from a post-graduation trip to California. Upon nearing Quartzsite, Arizona on Interstate 10, the boys slowed down due to an accident, when an 18-wheeler barreled into them and another vehicle.

As a result of the impact, 18-year-old Joe was killed and the three other boys in his vehicle were seriously injured. In the other vehicle, 74-year-old Sun City resident Joseph Garcia was killed, and his wife Mary Lou was left paralyzed from the waist down.

Seven months later, and the truck driver has not been charged with any crime. As it stands currently, Arizona law does not require that drivers in deadly accidents be given a drug or alcohol test. Steve and Tana Smith, Joe’s parents, are on a mission to change that.

The Smith’s are lobbying a new bill in the Senate that would change the law in his name. SB 1054, known as “Joe’s Law” would require drug or alcohol testing for driver’s involved in crashes that cause serious injury or death.

According to records obtained from a Department of Public Safety trooper, the 42-year-old semi-truck driver seemed lethargic and tired after the accident, and when asked if he was tired, he responded “yes.” However, he was not tested for drugs or alcohol.

“If this bill passes, ‘Joe’s Law’ would help ensure that families who endure a tragedy like ours won’t have the added stress of forever wondering and never knowing if there were more factors that caused the crash, “ Tana Smith wrote in a post on Facebook.

The bill’s primary sponsor is Senator Judy Burges, and the co-sponsors are Senator Sylvia Allen, Senator David Farnsworth, Senator Steve Montenegro, and Senator Frank Pratt.

While not an official bill sponsor, Senator Lupe Contreras spoke emotionally in support of Joe’s Law. He lost his sister in a car accident when she was just 18 years old, as well.

“I know what that pain is cause here I am today and I’m able to sit up there and hopefully pass this law that will hopefully prevent another family from having to endure what we have endured for so many years,” Contreras said.

On January 26th, a Senate Panel approved SB 1054 on a 7 to 0 vote. The law will now move to the full Senate for action.

According to Joe’s dad, Steve, simply knowing whether the driver had been impaired would make the death of their son easier to manage.

“Had we known whether or not this driver was impaired, it would make this unbearable situation easier to cope with. The not knowing, because no test was done in our case, is agonizing,” Steve said.

A petition on Change.org has garnered more than 2,000 signatures in support of having the law passed, and will be delivered to Senator John McCain.

Tana believes that many individuals are unaware that the Arizona law does not require drug and alcohol testing after a deadly accident, and hopes that Joe’s Law will bring the flawed law to light, and ultimately change it.

“I’ll do whatever I can do to change this because this is something that can affect anybody at any time,” Tana said.

This will be an interesting story for the Arizona collision industry, as well as all Arizona residents, to follow in the coming months.

New Year, New Car | Updating the Old with the New

When it comes to cars, there’s nothing like the super old or the super new. Driving away from the dealership in a new car is enough to make anyone excited. On the other hand, finding that perfect vintage vehicle on Craigslist can send adrenalin pumping through your veins.

What about everyone else in the middle, though? What about the cars that aren’t nearly old enough to be considered classic, but haven’t seen the parking lot of a dealership in upwards of a decade.

Worry not. We’ve scoured the Internet and compiled a list of new technology you can add to your old ride to give it an updated look and feel.

  1. Heads-up Displays
    If you’ve been paying any attention to newer Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Land Rover models, to name a few, then heads-up displays (HUDs) should be familiar to you. HUDs show navigation for drivers as a transparent image projected on the windshield. Notifying drivers of an upcoming turn, it can also monitor elements such as speed, mileage, engine warnings, and more. Ranging from $100 to $300, HUDs are a surefire way to make your vehicle feel new.
  2. Parking sensors
    Is there anything more frustrating than dinging the car next to you when you’re pulling in to a parking spot? You’re sure you know your car and its turn radius well, and then Nearly every new vehicle model comes with, or has the upgrade option of parking assist. For those with older models, however, you’re now in luck. Parking sensor kits can be purchased online for as low as $20. Equipped with four weatherproof sensors and a colored LED digital display, these sensors can be easily installed at home.
  3. Remote Start Systems
    For individuals living in hot, desert climates, remote start systems can be a lifesaver. Gone are the days of running out to your car to start the engine ten minutes before leaving the house to get the AC pumping. With remote start systems, individuals can now download a smartphone app that allows them to start and control their vehicle right from their phone. Leading the charge on this is SmartStart by Viper, an all-encompassing tool that includes a parking meter reminder, a vehicle locator, and a programmed schedule minder that starts the car based on commuting habits.

    This app is also great for any parent looking to keep tabs on their teen. SmartStart allows you to track your vehicle’s location and speed via GPS tracking, alerts you if your car has left a certain “safe zone,” and can even put a “lockdown” on the car when your child is grounded.

  4. Rear view camera
    Backup cameras are all the rage right now. While car manufacturers insist that drivers don’t rely solely on the technology, many drivers find that the camera allows them a smooth backup without ever turning around. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require rearview cameras in all new vehicles after May 1, 2018. For those with older vehicles, however, you can get all the same benefits. A quality backup camera can be purchased online for less than $150 and be easily installed, with the live stream appearing directly on your rearview mirror.

  5. Smart Driving Assist
    Thanks to Automatic, drivers will now have access to vehicle information on their smartphone. With the use of their device, which runs for $100, drivers can monitor the car’s fuel efficiency, engine diagnostics, and provide advice on how to improve in those areas. Automatic is also equipped with a scanner capable of translating engine codes into something that is understandable to the average driver, and clearing codes once the problem is resolved.

While these driving gadgets may not be the same as the keys to a new vehicle, they will surely hold you over until you have enough in your bank account for the next make and model!

Barrett-Jackson 2017 | 5 Things You Need to Know

Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions, is happening at Westworld in Scottsdale now until January 22nd. With this being the 46th year the auction has taken place, spectators and purchasers alike can expect big things from this year’s auction.

As the anchor of Arizona Car Week, there are still many who don’t know much about Barrett-Jackson beyond the purchasing and selling of luxury and classic cars. So before you turn on the TV to watch the bidding begin, here are five top-level points to know about the auction.

  1. It’s about more than cars. This year, Barrett-Jackson will help raise funds for different charities supporting veterans, children and medical research. This charitable element is nothing new, either. According to Craig Jackson, the chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, “to date, Barrett-Jackson has helped raise in excess of $91 million for charity.” Specific vehicles at the auction are deemed ‘charity vehicles’ and all proceeds go toward helping these charities.
  2. Noteworthy charity vehicles. Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, will take the stage on January 20th to sell his 2012 Hennessy Venom GT Spyder. One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to Janie’s Fund, a philanthropic initiative created by Tyler to bring hope and healing to girls who have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect.On January 21st, Dale Earnhardt Jr., world-champion pro stock car driver, will help sell a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle, and a Hendrick Motosports No.88 Chevrolet SS that he raced in six NASCAR Cup Series races. Proceeds from both vehicles will be donated to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
  3. It’s great for Arizona’s economy. According to Elliott D. Pollack & Company, a Scottsdale-based economic and real estate consulting firm, Barrett-Jackson annually generates an economic impact on Arizona of nearly $168 million, including more than $6 million in tax revenue for the state and nearly $2 million for the city of Scottsdale.Furthermore, the study revealed that Barrett-Jackson has created 1,437 jobs in fields including construction, tourism, and operations. Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said, “Scottsdale is blessed to have the ‘Super Bowl’ of car auctions every year with Barrett-Jackson.”
  4. It’s a parade of celebrities. Apart from the celebrities who will be helping with the charitable side of things, other celebrities will be in attendance, and some will be auctioning off cars from their personal collection, too. Singer Justin Bieber will be auctioning off his 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia. A 1956 Austin Princess, formerly owned by John Lennon and featured in a documentary film called “Imagine” is also on the docket. Other notable celebrity cars include Eddie Van Halen’s 1934 Ford Custom Sedan, and the original “Miami Vice” 1986 Ferrari.
  5. It’s fun for the whole family. Even if cars aren’t your thing, Barrett-Jackson offers a variety of activities that are fun for the whole family. New to Barrett-Jackson this year is arena polo, including a match for the Townsend Cup between USA and England. Other events include a Monster Energy BMX Exhibition, and thrill rides where guests can take Ford and Dodge models out onto the track for a test drive, and then switch to the passenger seat for a lap around with a professional stunt driver!

Barrett-Jackson is located at WestWorld of Scottsdale- 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale 85260. Admission prices vary by day, but range from $8 to $30 for children, and $17 to $75 for adults. Door open at 8 AM daily!

Rear Seat Reminder Newest Technology in GM Vehicles

Recent events in the news have taught GM that a change needs to be made. Over the summer, it seemed like a weekly occurrence to hear about another child being left in the backseat of a car, oftentimes dying of heat stroke. In fact, in 2016 alone, 39 children died as a result of being left in vehicles or gaining access to an unattended vehicle, a 60 percent increase over 2015’s figure.

With technology in the automotive industry improving in new models each year, GM sought to make a change that could save lives, and their new 2017 models appear to be doing just that.

This industry-first system feature, called the Rear Seat Reminder, monitors rear door usage and is designed to remind drivers to check the back seat of their vehicle before they exit or walk away from their vehicle.

“We want to help everyone to take one simple, extra step. That’s why Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac will offer the Rear Seat Reminder on a broad range of vehicles, from small cars to full-size SUVs and everything in between,” Vice President of GM Global Vehicle Safety Jeff Boyer said.

How does the technology work? The Rear Seat Reminder system will activate when either rear door is opened and closed up to 10 minutes before the vehicle is started or while the vehicle is running. Once activated, the system sounds five chimes and displays a message on the drivers electronic dashboard display that reads “Rear Seat Reminder/Look in Rear Seat” the next time the vehicle is turned off.

Since the system itself cannot detect items in the backseat, it’s crucial that the driver check before exiting.

The Rear Seat Reminder debuted earlier this year on the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia. Models to offer this feature are:

  • 2017 Buick Lacrosse
  • 2017 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV
  • 2017 Cadillac CT6
  • 2017 Chevrolet Cruze and Cruze Hatchback
  • 2017 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2017 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2017 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2017 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2017 GMC Yukon
  • 2017 GMC Yukon XL
  • 2017 GMC Sierra
  • 2017 GMC Canyon
  • 2018 Cadillac XT5
  • 2018 Cadillac CTS and CTS-V
  • 2018 Cadillac ATS
  • 2018 Chevrolet Equinox

The monitoring system will be available in additional 2018 vehicle models, to be announced at a later date.

According to Kate Carr, the president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, “This new technology developed by General Motors will give busy parents and caregivers the important reminder to always check the back seat. The safest way to protect a child from heatstroke is to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, and features like Rear Seat Reminder, coupled with continued public education, can help combat this preventable tragedy.”

GM continues to lead the way in advanced technology for its vehicles, and many look forward to seeing how the Rear Seat Reminder will make an impact in communities.

Pushbutton Ignitions Not as Secure as They Seem

These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a new vehicle that doesn’t come with a pushbutton ignition. Gone are the days of digging through purses and briefcases to find car keys. With pushbutton ignitions, one simply needs to have their key fob on them to gain access to the vehicle, and start the engine.

As technology in the automotive industry continues to advance, cyber security has become a topic of significant concern. In late December, the pushbutton ignitions became the latest issue of security in our vehicles.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), a “mystery device” (pictured above) has been discovered that is allowing criminals to steal vehicles with pushbutton ignitions.

The device works in two stages. First, it detects the signal from the vehicle’s key fob from a distance up to 10 feet. Then, the information is transferred to a “relay box” which allows the thief to open the doors and start the vehicle’s engine.

Having acquired the device from a third-party security expert overseas, NICB teamed up with CarMax and used the device on 35 makes and models of vehicles, successfully gaining entry into 19 of them. Of those 19, they were able to start the engine and drive away in 18 vehicles, and 12 of the vehicles were even able to be restarted once the ignition was turned off. For understandable reasons, NICB is not saying what vehicle makes and models are susceptible to the device.

This “mystery device” can get around engine immobilizers, alarms, and other security devices that may be on a vehicle, meaning a criminal can climb into your car and drive it like they own it.

Without the trace of broken glass, sound of the car alarm being triggered, or evidence of an ignition key being stolen, there is no way for the vehicle owner to know that their car has been taken. This also means that NICB does not know how many vehicles have been stolen using the mystery device.

NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle said, “The scary part is that there’s no warning or explanation for the owner. Unless someone catches the crime on a security camera, there’s no way for the owner or the police to really know what happened. Many times, they think the vehicle has been towed.”

While this mystery device seems to only work on new generation pushbutton ignition cars, the NICB say there are numerous devices that operate similarly that are being marketed to thieves. They believe that different devices work on different ignition systems and likely use different technology, putting all pushbutton vehicles at risk.

So where does this leave us? NICB spokesman Roger Morris explained that auto manufacturers must be diligent in making sure they adapt their pushbutton technology to counter these devices. However, he also noted that thieves will do the same with their technology in response.

As for vehicle owners, Morris suggests they keep valuable items out of their vehicles, keep their key fob on them at all times, and park in secure or crowded areas as often as possible.

NICB COO Jim Schweitzer was quoted saying, “The manufacturers have made tremendous strides with their technology, but now they have to adapt and develop countermeasures as threats like this surface.” Let’s hope all manufacturers hear that message loud and clear.

New Year Resolutions 2017: Driving Edition

It wouldn’t be the start of a new year without making resolutions. Even if we know deep down in our heart that we have no intention of keeping said resolutions, we still make them. Consider them a rite of passage at this point.

From cussing less to going to the gym more, we’re normally pretty good until late January, and then the wheels come off. Unless, that is, you’re one of those annoying individuals who actually manages to keep their resolutions. In which case, this article isn’t for you, and we all resent you.

So keeping in the spirit of the new year, the GarageFly team has come up with resolutions for driving and our vehicles that we sure hope we abide by, but aren’t going to beat ourselves up over come February:

  1. We will no longer be backseat drivers.
    I know, I know, we’re starting off with a biggie. How is it that even though we all complain when someone else is being a backseat driver, we ourselves are backseat drivers? There is no use in denying it; we all do it. And in some ways, it makes sense. When someone isn’t driving the way you think everyone should drive, you have to speak up…right? Not in 2017. No, in 2017 we are going to sit in the backseat (or front seat, for that matter) and keep our mouths shut. Unless an accident is imminent. Then definitely speak up.
  1. We will no longer see how long we can drive on empty.
    The gaslight turns on. You are dangerously close to empty. What does the 2016 version of you do? Wait until you actually hit E and then estimate how far you can go on fumes. But that’s the old you. The new version of you sees the gaslight turn on, and immediately finds a gas station on your route. Sure, it might be freezing out and close to midnight, but you’re committed to your 2017 driving resolutions.
  2. We will actually start using our turn signals.
    This resolution is hard to make because it means we have to admit to doing it, or not doing it in this case. It’s not like the 2016 version of us never used our turn signals. There’s just room for improvement. So in 2017, we’re going to be perfect. We’re going to use our turn signal when changing lanes, when we’re in turn lanes, heck, we’ll even use it when pulling into a parking space. This is the year of the turn signal.
  3. We’ll get our car washed more than twice a year.
    We can’t be the only ones who only got our car washed when a weird funk took over the interior, or when we had guests coming in from out of town to visit. It’s not like we don’t love a clean car. Honestly, is there anything better? It’s just one of those things that the 2016 version of ourselves felt like we could put off until six months had passed. The 2017 version of us will only wait three months, though. We won’t go too crazy, but once a quarter wouldn’t kill us, right?
  4. We will merge when it says to merge, not wait until we’re forced to.
    It’s a sick game we play. We wait to see just how many cars we can pass before we’re forced into a merging situation. Even though we know this is one of the leading causes of traffic (the inability to merge when told, that is), we still wait and see just how long we can make it in the current lane we’re in. In 2017, we’re going to be proactive. No more cruising by until the last minute. Nope, not us. When we see that yellow sign to start merging, we are turning our blinker on (you didn’t forget about resolution #3, did you?) and heading into the appropriate lane.

So, who’s with us? We may not be able to keep all of these resolutions, or even any of them past February 1st, but it’s worth a shot.

From GarageFly to you, Happy New Year! Let’s make it a great one.