The summer weather is fabulous, but it also means it’s the only time on the frozen tundra that road crews can work on various projects. From resurfacing and pot hole filling, to bridge replacement projects, the landscape in Minnesota is dotted with orange cones and barrels. In order to make your commutes tolerable and your weekend road trips less stressful, it’s good to check out current projects so you can anticipate detours and delays.
We all know that 169 North, 494 East and West and I-35 are all a bit challenging. To learn more about the work being done, re-routes, and anticipated completion dates, check out MN DOT; they keep the information up-to-date. You can also access 511.org on your mobile phone for real-time updates.
If it’s been a while since you took your Minnesota driver’s test, you may not be aware of the requirements for today’s teens. While the feelings of anxiety, mixed with excitement may not be too hard to conjure up, parents may be surprised to find out that a few things have changed.
According to the MN DMV website, students must be at least 15 years old and have completed 30 hours of driver education classroom instruction in order to qualify for an instruction permit. Once they have their learners permit, some additional rules now apply. Cell phone use while driving is not allowed, although I think we can all agree this isn’t a good scenario anyway. There are also restrictions about nighttime driving, passengers, and more.
In addition to teaching laws and regulations, we want to encourage you to teach your teen about proper vehicle maintenance and how to pay attention when something isn’t quite right. Keeping the oil changed, how to check oil level, checking tire pressure and tread, rotating tires, and regular tune-ups are all important.
If you have babies and toddlers to entertain in the car, things like iPods and travel games won’t work. While you can pack toys and books to keep them entertained, chances are they will want something more interactive at some point.
One idea is to pack puppets. The parent or guest in the front passenger seat can easily entertain young children with puppets, actions, songs, games, or just make them dance to the music on the radio. Older kids might be willing to give adults a break and entertain with the puppets that always seem to hold attention of young passengers.
~An added bonus to those along side you on the interstate glancing over to your vehicle. Be sure to make the cow or horse give them a little wave!
Before heading out on any road trip, but sure to check your tire pressure and tread. If you aren’t sure about your tire safety, stop in to either our Bloomington or Anoka, MN locations and we’ll help you out!
If you commute, drive carpool, or simply spend a lot of time in the car, then having plenty of simple travel snack ideas in your repertoire can be helpful.
If you’re a visual person, then taking a look at some food ideas and packing/storage solutions can help you plan. Take a look at some of these ideas, as well as this creative use of a bead box for organizing a variety of children’s snacks.
And while most business men and women aren’t likely to eat their snack on a string, this idea is likely to be a huge hit with kids; make a necklace out of pretzels, cereal and other items that are simple to string and bite off.
It never hurts to keep a small garbage bag or container, some wet wipes, and plenty of extra napkins in the vehicle too.
What snacks do you pack that travel well?
April is a whole month devoted to taking care of your car! There isn’t any excuse then, not to make sure your vehicle gets a much needed tune-up. In addition to your owner’s manual, you may want to double check these items:
National Car Care Month Checklist
- Check your purse, wallet, and glove compartment for your most recent insurance card. Shred the old one.
- Check the expiration date and information on your driver’s license.
- Double check you have current tabs on your plates.
- Refill window wiper fluid
- Check that your windshield wiper blades work as they should
- Check the inflation of your tires and the tread
- Get any warning lights/censors checked and reset.
- Test your blinker and brake lights
- Wash the salt and grime from your vehicle, taking care to wash underneath and between the door frames, etc.
- And of course, regular maintenance items like oil change, filters, and tire rotations.
The TireZoo can help you with all your tire needs. Stop by and let us help you complete your National Car Care Month “to do” list.