Why Millennials Are Buying More Cars Than Ever

Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become prevalent among riders in all age groups, but specifically among millennials. Instead of only using them to pick them up from a night out on the town, many are using these companies to get them to and from work, doctor appointments, and other daily activities. Read more

How Well Do You Know Your Car?

How well do you know your car? No one likes to think about the worst-case scenario of either an accident or a vehicle break-down on the road. Taking simple precautions now can go a long way in helping to avoid accidents and costly repairs in the long run.

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Everything You Need To Know About Car Lease Agreements

While many people are currently choosing to lease a vehicle over owning one, quite a few people still don’t fully understand what they’re agreeing to when they sign the dotted line. It is very important for a customer to understand what a car lease is, and discuss the details of their specific agreement with the dealership prior to agreeing to a term and specifics.

Leasing a car is the act of renting a vehicle for a set period of time at a fixed or agreed price, after which the car is returned to the dealer upon expiration of the lease period. It is considered the alternative to physically buying a car.  Below we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions that each person considering car leasing versus buying should know.

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Driving Scams Everyone Should Be Aware Of

Today’s technology has provided seemingly countless advantages for individuals looking to enhance their own lives and increase their work efficiency. On the flip side, however, some of those same technological advances have opened doors for scammers , hackers, and the like.

When it comes to the world of driving, road travel, and car sales, many would hope that the auto industry would be safe from scams. Unfortunately, from getting cheated on taxi rides to uncovering Mastercard data, driving scams exists all over the world. 

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Is Car Ownership Actually Decreasing In The U.S.?

The first half of the twentieth century witnessed the domination of Americans in the automobile industry, with three big auto companies (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler) emerging by the 1920s. History has shown us that automobiles had their greatest economic and social impact in the U.S. in 1980, when about 87.2 percent of American residents owned one or more vehicles, 51.5 percent owned more than one, and 95 percent of domestic car sales were for a replacement.

Recent studies and trends, however, indicate that Americans won’t be needing or purchasing as many automobiles in the future. But why is that?

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Ways to Liven Up Your Long Commute

It’s no surprise that in many cities, traffic is getting worse— much worse. You get out of the house on time and start your commute to work only to be held up in a traffic snarl long enough to count to a ten thousand, recite all the nursery rhymes you know, write a four page essay, and memorize your to do list for the coming months. And still have time to kill.

Being stuck in traffic during your commute can be incredibly and mind-numbingly boring. It can seem as though your wasting your life away spending hours sitting in the car, and trying to configure a different route to work to hopefully avoid some traffic, while praying you get a work-from-home job as soon as possible.

According to a 2017 Traffic Index study by TomTom, a navigation company, Los Angeles is the worst gridlocked city in the U.S., followed by other congested cities such as San Francisco, New York, Seattle, San Jose, Miami, Portland, Honolulu, Washington DC, and Boston, among others.

While you may not be able to avoid the traffic, you can avoid putting yourself through a torturous commute by adding a little spice to your drive.

Try an Audiobook

While audiobooks are convenient to listen to during your commute since you don’t need your hands or eyes to listen to them, audiobooks also make for great companions when you are stuck in traffic. You can grab one that interests you from companies such as Audible, or even rent one from your local public library, and transport yourself to a more enjoyable time period, helping you escape from the tensions and frustration building up inside of you.

Listen to a Cool Podcast

There number of available, FREE podcasts on a wide range of eclectic topics that are informative, educative, interesting, and entertaining is almost too many to count. Take time during your commute to laugh, educate yourself on a topic that interests you, or get caught up in a mystery. Some podcasts that have garnered attention publicly that may be worth checking out are: Serial, Tim Ferriss Show, The Splendid Table, and TED Radio Hour.

Make Use of Technology

Use innovative sites such as iTunes to listen to new music and change up your playlist, especially if you find that you have stuck to the same playlist or radio station for a while. Use this commute as an opportunity to discover new artists! And make sure you pick music that’s upbeat and positive, rather than cathartic, to avoid any road rage incidents.

While moving away from a busy city is always an option, most people would choose to stay put, even if that means a longer commute! So take time to find an outlet that works for you. Happy cruising!

After 24 years, Tent City is Officially Closing

Maricopa County’s newly elected sheriff, Paul Penzone, is making major moves in Arizona. After opening in 1993 by then-sheriff Joe Arpaio, Penzone has decided to officially close the doors on Tent City.

The open-air enclosure was originally used to house overflow from local jails. However, it quickly became a sideshow, with different antics popping up each year. Housing as many as 1,700 inmates at a time on this seven-acre plot of tents, inmates were required to wear stereotypical black-and-white striped prison uniforms and pink underwear, and were served two meatless meals daily.

Beyond the circus antics, those who opposed Tent City believed the prison had inhumane conditions. Located in the Arizona desert, temperatures could reach 110 degrees daily, with temperatures inside of the tent reaching close to 125 degrees. Additionally, many prisoners complained of expired food and water too unclean to drink.

“The image of the tents as a deterrent to recidivism, and as a symbol of being tough on crime may have been true in the past, “ Penzone stated. “Today it is only a myth. Tent City is no longer an effective, efficient facility. It has been effective only as a distraction. The circus is over; the tents are coming down.”

Supporters of Tent City, however, see it a different way. Penzone himself even stated that many prisoners chose to go to Tent City voluntarily because they preferred the outdoors. They also state that very few complained of inhumane conditions listed above.

Regardless of differing opinions, it became clear to the new sheriff that the outdoor prison must close when he realized closing it would save the county about $4.5 million per year. It currently costs the county $8.7 million annually to run the facility regardless of the number of occupants.

According to Penzone’s plan, half of Tent City’s current inmates will be moved elsewhere in the next 45 to 60 days, and he expects to shut down the facility completely in the next six months.

The facility only houses sentenced inmates rather than those who are awaiting trial. An overwhelming majority of those inmates, as well, are DUI offenders.

With Arizona having some of the harshest DUI laws in the nation, many wonder if Tent City was a helpful deterrent for those thinking of drinking and driving, and if there will be any increase in those instances now that the jail will be closed.

Penzone, however, doesn’t think so. He explained, “We’re going to give the criminals what they don’t want, which is detention inside jails in isolated areas, that are more safe for our detention officers. And we’re going to give our taxpayers what they do want, which is an organization that runs efficiently.”

As shifts in power continue on the local and national level, only time will tell as to how these major changes will impact Arizona and its residents.

What are Your Irrational Driving Fears?

When it comes to getting behind the wheel of a car, many drivers are buckling up with an intense amount of anxiety building inside. There’s a name for it, actually. Vehophobia is truly the fear of, or the phobia of, driving.

While this is something that likely plagued all of us as first-time drivers, it is unfortunately something that sticks with some drivers for life, ultimately steering them toward not driving at all.

Just like vehophobia can range from the phobia of driving on highways or specific routes to the fear of driving altogether, there are a variety of other fears many drivers claim to have when they’re in control of a vehicle. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common ones below.

Dystychiphobia: Fear of Accidents

Kicking off the list is one that most drivers can likely relate to. Dystychiphobia is the scientific name for an excessive fear of accidents. While everyone on the road should have a healthy respect for auto accidents, those suffering from this phobia become obsessed with the idea that their actions will cause an accident, thus forcing them to alter life decisions and actions.

Ophidiophobia: Fear of Snakes

If you’re thinking the fear of snakes isn’t related to the driving world, think again. According to a survey completed by Jalopnik, some drivers have such an intense snake phobia, they refuse to drive over a snake in the roadway, dead or alive, for fear of it biting them. While driving over any wildlife isn’t recommended, it’s also not a great idea to swerve out of a lane and potentially cause an accident to avoid a snake. This is what many with a snake phobia are doing.

Semiochophobia: Fear of Semi-Trucks

Another common phobia found among drivers is the fear of 18-wheelers and other semi-trucks on the road. Speeding up to pass them, staying in a slower lane to avoid driving behind them, and holding your breath when around one are all signs you might have this fear, too. Even if you can remain calm, cool, and collected around one semi, doesn’t everyone feel nervous when they’re trapped by semis on all sides?

Vehicle Ekrixiphobia: Fear of Car Explosions

Have you ever been driving somewhere and began to smell something questionable coming out of the air vents? Or maybe you even begin hearing something that you haven’t heard before? If you suffer from ekrixiphobia, then you’ll immediately assume that your car is going to explode. Pulling off to the side of the road and jumping out may be your next step. While the chances of your car blowing up are pretty slim, your better course of action is to look up a GarageFly shop near you on your mobile device and head straight there.

Gephyrophobia: Fear of Bridges

While drivers living in Arizona don’t have to worry about this fear as much, many drivers have a fear of driving over bridges, especially when they’re being used to cross over a body of water. Those struggling with this phobia will search endlessly for a different route to avoid crossing the bridge, or may become frozen behind the wheel when faced with driving over one.

Can you relate to any of the phobia listed above? Or do you have your own irrational driving fear that you could add to the list? Regardless of what you may be stressed about, it’s always best to remain as calm as possible before hitting the open road.

The Harsh Reality of Teen Drivers

When it comes to teen drivers, it’s no secret that they have a bad reputation. All one has to do is type “teen driver” into a Google search and find dozens of articles related to texting while driving, accident statistics among younger drivers, and the list goes on.

Car manufacturers and independent companies alike are creating software to be installed in new vehicle models to help combat the dangers that come with a teen behind the wheel of a car. For example, General Motors recently released their active safety technology called Teen Driver. This software allows parents to view their teen’s driving habits and use the information to continue to coach their new drivers, even when they can’t be in the car.

Producing a report card at the end of each ride, Teen Driver reports the maximum speed reached, stability control events, forward collision alerts, and more. These categories touch on the biggest issue teen drivers face: inexperience.

While distracted driving does play a role in many of the teen-related accidents, inexperience is the underlying cause. According to a study done by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, lack of scanning the roadway, driving too fast for conditions, and distraction by something inside or outside the vehicle were the most common errors leading to a crash involving a teen driver.

With motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, this is something that parents, fellow drivers, and industry leaders alike must be looking into. And while campaigns like “Don’t Text and Drive” and innovative technology such as tXtBlocker have begun to chip away at the problem, in 2014 alone, 2,270 teens in the U.S. ages 16-19 were killed and 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.

So what can parents do to help change the harsh realities of teen drivers on the road? First, they must take time to actually teach their child to drive. Studies show that the more the parent is involved when a teen is learning, the lower their chances are for a crash. While many states only require 50 hours or drive time before obtaining a license, parents should be striving to log more hours of time spent with them in the passenger seat, and their teen in the driver seat.

Secondly, both parents and non-parents alike can support local legislation to help achieve better road safety for everyone. AAA Arizona is advocating for Senate Bill 1080, which would prohibit teen drivers from the use of all wireless communication devices.

Arizona and Montana are the only two states that do not ban texting while driving for all or most motorists, so drivers can also rally for safer roads by pushing to eliminate texting while driving for all drivers, not just those in the teen age bracket.

Recent studies have found that teens who have been involved in a severe collision—defined as “police-reportable” and causing major damage, airbag deployment, injury or a rollover— experience an immediate change in their driving habits. In some cases, risky driving dropped by 34 percent.

The focus now, however, is to change the mentality of teen drivers before an accident ever occurs, and better teach and prepare them for the responsibility of operating a vehicle. Only then will we see a decrease in vehicle-related deaths for drivers of all ages.

When It Comes to Ride Sharing Apps, You Have More Options

When Uber hit the scene in 2009, they had truly created an innovative, one-of-a-kind product. With over 40 million riders in 528 cities around the world using the app monthly, it wouldn’t be long before competitors entered the picture.

Lyft made their grand debut in 2012, and quickly became Uber’s biggest competitor. Valued at $5.5 billion, they not only transport riders from point A to B, but have also joined Uber in services such as delivering food, and ordering puppies to your office to give employees a needed break.

While the two companies easily dominate the game, others have begun to pop up to make a name for themselves. So if you’re someone who doesn’t like the mainstream option, read on to find other ride sharing options in your neighborhood:

1. Flywheel

If you think taxis are dead, think again. Flywheel has created the disruptive technology that allows the taxi industry to compete. By replacing the outdated hardware in a cab, Flywheel allows riders to hail a cab using an app on their iPhone, and track where the cab is.

Flywheel has also replaced the outdated pricing approach most taxis use, and even avoids surge pricing often found with Uber and Lyft. With Flywheel, passengers get the same low rate every hour, every day.

2. Ruby Ride

Founded in Phoenix, AZ by architect Jeff Ericson, Ruby Ride allows you to schedule rides in advance—even recurring trips! Going beyond the typical personal travel plans, Ruby Ride targets individuals who need assistance with medical transportation, such as going to and from doctor’s appointments.

They also focus on business plans, which allow business owners to arrange rides for out-of-town guests, and even reduce crowding in company parking lots by organizing carpools. Ruby Ride solely serves the Phoenix metropolitan area, and meets the requirements of Maricopa County’s Travel Reduction Program, adding a green flare to your transportation needs.

3. Blacklane

Looking for a more luxurious way to get around? Then Blacklane is for you. Unlike other ride sharing companies, all of Blacklane’s employees are professional drivers who are licensed, insured, and regulated by the company. Drivers do not provide their own vehicles, but drive cars provided by local partners.

Offering Business Class, Business Van, and First Class service options, Blacklane includes 60 minutes of free wait time when picking up from the airport, and 15 minutes of free wait time for all other rides, adding another layer of relaxation to your trip.

While Uber and Lyft continue to dominate in the ride sharing space, it’s important for riders to know that other options are available. Find the company that fits best with your transportation needs, and sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!