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Fun, Silly Car Decor for the Season

When you see that minivan cruising down the freeway with its seasonal, silly car decor, whether it’s just reindeer antlers or a total make-over as Santa’s sleigh, you might laugh, but deep down you know you wish you’d thought to do something goofy this year. Luckily, there’s still time for Christmas 2015!

silly car decor

 

Even luckier still, there’s a very simple way to make your season’s greetings stand out wherever you go with our Vehicular Christmas Lights how-to guide:

 

Stringing lights on your car is easier than you might think, and you don’t need to shell out a bunch of dough for those expensive LED rope lights. All you need to do is pick up a 400-watt inverter and unravel those outdoor string lights from the box in your attic. Then, just string the lights securely to your vehicle and connect them to the inverter, and voila, it’s a Christmas miracle!

 

Having this silly car decor does come with a warning: Remember, this is electricity you’re dealing with, and we all know what happens when you mix an electric current with moisture. Car lights are best used in dry weather. Be safe and remove them if the forecast calls for rain, snow, or anything in between.

 

 

 

 

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Hands at 9 and 3: The New Standard for Driving Grips

Depending on when you took driver’s education classes, you may have been taught that holding your hands at “10 and 2” is ideal for driving. While this was generally assumed to be true for many years, experts now say that hands at 9 and 3 is the new standard for hand positioning.

Hands at 9 and 3

Back in 2013, experts changed their suggested hand positioning; the issue is, many people don’t actually know this. For the record, “10 and 2” and “9 and 3” refer to positions on a clock-face, which should be replicated by your hands. According to Popular Mechanics, airbags are the major reason you should shift your grip. Though “10 and 2” gives you a good handle on the steering wheel, this hand positioning can be dangerous if an airbag goes off and no one wants that.

Now, you should place your hands on “9 and 3” with the thumbs placed along the rim, rather than looping around. This will give you optimum control, while at the same time protecting you in case of an accident. These rules wouldn’t be set in place unless they were tried and true. Believe it or not, wrapping your thumbs around the wheel can actually break them if an airbag deploys.

 

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Revolutionary 2015 Mazda Miata Materials: Mazda Biotech Plastics

When you think eco-friendly cars, you might think hybrids; however, some of the new materials used in sports cars like the Mazda Miata are also aimed at reducing environmental impact. The new 2015 model will feature new no-paint bioplastics, an innovative new feature which has us fascinated here at Parks Mazda.

The 2015 Mazda Miata materials will feature plastics made from plant-derived materials, which have several unique benefits. According to Mazda, these plastics are not made from petroleum and can be colored without the use of paint. Not only that, but the composite plastics are incredibly strong and lightweight, noted for their resistance to weather, scratch, and impact.

The Mazda Biotechmaterial department has managed to develop this plastic after several years of research. Although the company had developed the world’s first biofabric for seat upholstery, the bioplastic is some of the world’s first high-strength heat-resistant bioplastic that is suitable for the automotive industry.

Because this plastic is not made from petroleum, the company will ultimately reduce its oil consumption, especially if it decides to use the plastic in all models. Not only will this reduce the carbon footprint, but the fact that the plastic doesn’t need to be painted, thanks to a unique aspect of the manufacturing process, is another great step forward.

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Driver’s Education Proved to Reduce Teen Crash Rates

Today, fewer teens participate in driver’s education programs than in years past. It’s no surprise, with these programs being incredibly expensive and, until now, very little proof existing that they actually helped. A new study conducted by AAA has found a way to measure the success of these programs, and the results are encouraging.

Common sense would lead most people to believe that driver’s education helps produce safe drivers, but until now, there hasn’t been enough information to make any real conclusions. The AAA study combined surveys, licensing tests, driving simulators, and a review of other records to determine that teen drivers who took driving education classes had increased knowledge about driving laws and safe driving practices compared to drivers who hadn’t taken any classes.

AAA’s research found that drivers’ education reduces teen crash rates by 4.3 percent and lowers the number of traffic tickets received by almost 40 percent. “One of the most common questions about drivers’ ed is, ‘Does it work,'” said Dr. William Van Tassel, manager of driver training programs at AAA. “We did find modest, but positive effects.”

Teens are statistically the most dangerous drivers, causing far more deadly accidents than any other age group. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, traffic crashes are the leading cause of unintentional death for U.S. residents between ages 15 and 24, causing nearly 7,000 deaths in 2011.

As parents, we must do everything we can to give our children the resources they need to be safe drivers. That means being involved in their driving education, being a good example, ensuring they have a safe car, and enrolling them in formal driver’s education programs.

Stop by Parks Mazda today to find a safe, reliable car for your teen.

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Uber in Raleigh: The Latest and Greatest in Modern Taxi Service

Whether you’re just visiting the Raleigh area, or you call this beautiful city home, Uber is an incredibly easy way to get from point A to B for those occasions you’d rather leave your car at home (or at the bar after you’ve had one too many).

 

Photo credit: Uber

The service began in San Francisco and has taken off, now available in more than 100 cities and 30 countries. Using an on-demand app, people request a ride, and are picked up within minutes. No reservations are ever required, and users can say goodbye to annoying taxi lines. Adding to the service’s convenience, users can see exactly how much their ride will cost them before they ever get in the car, choose the type of car, and use PayPal or a credit card on your secure account to pay. Gone are the days of making sure you have cash on hand to pay for your cab ride. The app allows you to set your pickup location on a map, even if you don’t know the exact address, and connects you to your personal driver. You can check your Uber driver’s status to see exactly where they are. Uber presents an entirely new and modern way to travel. Next time you’re headed into town for a night of fun or you find yourself carless, consider giving Uber a try. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to your lack of motor transportation, stop by Parks Mazda today. We’ll get you into the car of your dreams!

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To Celebrate 25 Years of MX-5, Mazda to Bring 15 Miata Models to New York Auto Show

2014 miata mx-5

It was at an American auto show that Mazda first introduced us to the now iconic MX-5 Miata, so it just makes sense that the automaker would also choose an American auto show for their celebration of a full quarter-century of Miatas. That’s right, Mazda will bring a veritable parade of Miatas—fifteen in all—along to the 2014 New York Auto Show next month. Mazda won’t say exactly which Miatas will be featured in that parade, so start making your wish list now. Then when the auto show rolls around, see how many boxes you get to check off.

“MX-5 Miata is the quintessential Mazda,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations. “And after 25 years, every vehicle in the lineup continues to feature some characteristic of MX-5: a fluid shifter, lightness on its feet, quickness around a corner, a fun-to-drive DNA. With all the whiz-bang technology and comfort amenities increasingly added to modern vehicles, MX-5’s direct connection between car and driver still remains the standard feature that puts smiles on drivers’ faces.”

At Parks Mazda, there’s definitely one special Miata we’d like to see unveiled at the grand Mazda display in New York this April—the brand-new fourth-generation MX-5 Mazda has already promised to give us sometime this year.