Father’s day gift ideas dear to a dad’s heart

What do you do when Father’s Day is just around the corner and you’re stumped for a good, original gift idea?   Here at Pet Barrier, we have a couple suggestions that give protection to three things that are dear to a dad’s heart – his kids, his dogs, and his car.

Did you know that the AAA has calculated that the average American driver spends around seven 40-hour working weeks behind the wheel of a car in a year? This means that passengers including our children and our dogs are spending more time in our vehicles than we may realize, so giving extra thought to making vehicles as comfortable as possible is a priority.

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You may already have the best car seat for your child’s age, height, and weight, but there is one addition that you may not have thought about – a Travall® Guard. During a collision items that are unsecured in the trunk can be flung around the vehicle, putting passengers at risk of injury.  This can occur during the smallest fender bender or even when braking hard.  To shield vulnerable infants and young kids from these items, savvy parents are installing vehicle-specific barriers to keep kids protected and maximize valuable trunk space at the same time. Pet parents enjoy the ability to drive with fewer distractions while their favorite pooch is securely positioned to the rear of the vehicle.

Dogs in back of Jeep

Travall has been manufacturing the Travall® Guard for nearly thirty years.  Its use has grown rapidly by Europeans who understand and embrace the benefits of using vehicle-specific barriers in their vehicles.   Thankfully, the Travall® Guard is now available in America, so that we can provide that same level of protection for our most precious cargo.

The barrier offers a snug, precision fit, that can be installed without medication to your vehicle.  Installation takes an average of 30 minutes and unlike traditional, permanently installed cargo barriers, the Travall® Guard can be removed in minutes for use at another time. To give you further peace of mind and confidence in your purchase, the Travall® Guard comes with a limited lifetime warranty. It’s the one essential piece of gear that children and dogs won’t outgrow.

Want an additional suggestion? Consider vehicle-specific rubber car mats to give full-coverage protection against dropped sippy cups and other spills.  We hear Travall has an excellent range…

Visit https://www.travall.com to discover the Travall products available for Dad’s vehicle and make his day.

Happy Father’s Day!

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Why Mom was Right About Spring Cleaning: Part 2, Valeting

Part 2: Valeting your vehicle

Used daily and often multiple times a day in most households, your vehicle is one of the most frequently utilized items but often falls low on the list of cleaning priorities. Although car art using dirty vehicles has seen some recent popularity via social media postings, I don’t know of any driver who wouldn’t want to be able to see clearly through the windshield when they drive. The vast majority would also want to keep their vehicle’s paintwork protected from dirt and grime. If your vehicle’s interior is starting to show the wear and tear of being used as a dining room, a sports locker, and general storage unit, a bit of a deep clean treatment may be in order. An article in a British newspaperstated that a car steering wheel has 9 times more germs on it than a public toilet seat. I don’t know about you, but just that snippet of information made me desperate to get cleaning my car.

 

car-art

When frigid temperatures are starting to thaw, Spring makes the perfect time to give your car a deep clean, inside and out. Having your car detailed by a professional can be expensive, but there are many things that you can do yourself to give your vehicle a thorough refresh.

Outside

When tackling your vehicle’s exterior, clean wheels and tires first, using appropriate cleaning products.

Salt is helpful for improving driving conditions on winter roads, but wreaks havoc with paintwork so should be washed off as soon as possible. Grab a sponge, a bucket of soapy water (preferably using a car wash solution that doesn’t strip out protective coatings), and wash your vehicle by hand. When you’ve rinsed everything down, and before the car dries, use a squeegee to remove excess water to avoid unsightly spotting on the paintwork. If possible wash your car weekly but if exposed to bird droppings or sap, try to rinse this off before it dries as it can affect your paintwork.

When dry, follow up with two coats of wax to protect the paintwork from stains and minor scratches.  Wax wears off, so it is best to reapply every season

Check headlights for any rock chips, scratches or a hazy finish to the plastic.

kids-washing-car

It may be a struggle to get kids interested in doing some household chores, but many love to wash a car.  Get them involved so you can bond during the fun of the car wash.

Inside

During colder months, your vehicle’s interior can sometimes get dirtier than other times of the year with mud, rain, and snow being tracked in on people’s shoes and boots and pet’s paws.    Cleaning the interior can be a difficult and time-consuming process, but the following tips may help make it a little easier to tackle. First, clear out garbage that may have accumulated and then remove car mats and trunk liners. Get out the vacuum cleaner to tackle dust, dirt, pet hair, and debris, using a brush vacuum tool around vents. Spot clean stains on the carpet with an appropriate carpet cleaner.

Cleaning the inside of the glass in windows is really important, so use an anti-glare glass cleaner where possible and avoid ammonia-based products.

The dash, seats, handles, doors and headliner of the car all deserve your attention too.  Products are available that can kill bacteria and neutralize odors within the vehicle.  It can be worthwhile investing in these, to get a super fresh feel to your interior. An old toothbrush can be a handy cleaning tool to get into the nooks and crannies of vinyl and the seams on seats.

cleaning-the-inside-of-car

If you hate taking a long time to clean your vehicle’s interior, there are a few things that can be done to make it speedier.

  • If you regularly transport a lot of passengers including pets and kids you may want to consider installing vehicle-specific rubber car mats and trunk mat liners, which make cleaning a snap. Travall offers a good range with a pleasant vanilla fragrance. The unique lipped design helps prevent spills from reaching the carpet, saving your carpet and reducing your car cleaning time.
  • Just as you might keep a box of baking soda in your refrigerator to eliminate odors, you can take a similar approach with keeping car odors at bay.  Just make sure the baking soda is in a non-breakable container that is securely anchored in a safe position.
  • Adding a plastic garbage can to the car is helpful to keep future rides neater and tidier.plastic-trash-can-in-car

Cleaning the car can be fun and a great activity to get kids involved in. Why not take the time to give your vehicle a bit of extra attention?  Mom was right about spring cleaning – you’re sure to notice an improvement in your ride experience.

 

dog-washing-car

Do you have any tips that help keep your vehicle looking and smelling good?  We’d love to hear about them!

Reference

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1379830/How-clean-car-Steering-wheels-times-germs-public-toilet-seat.html  May 2011

 

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Why Distracted Driving is Driving me to Distraction

“You can never have too many…” have been the words to start many quotes over the decades, from a variety of people ranging from authors to actors.  Most of these quotes are completed with words such as “friends,” “shoes,” or “books.” At Pet Barrier, I say, “You can never have too many reminders about distracted driving.”  Regular blog followers may remember a couple of posts on distracted driving in 2016 and you may be asking why, with all the subjects that I could be writing about, I am covering the topic of distracted driving yet again.  The answer is simple and sobering. Distracted driving is now considered to be at epidemic levels in the US.1

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), US traffic accident fatalities rose by 7.2% in 2015, which is the largest increase in the last 50 years. Early estimates by the NHTSA for the first 9 months of 2016 indicate that fatalities have increased by a further 8%.  After having experienced many years of decline in fatality rates during the early 2000s, this trend toward an increase in fatalities is worrying.

 

distracted-driver

What exactly is distracted driving?

Many people consider themselves to be cautious, considerate, safe drivers and sometimes don’t realize that things that they do in addition to driving can be fatal. Causes of distractions on the road are numerous, ranging from events occurring outside the vehicle, restless pets or children or adult passengers within the vehicle, eating, drinking, shaving, applying makeup, smoking, adjusting controls on the stereo, downloading music, dealing with hand-held devices, and last but by no means least, using cell phones for phone calls and texting.

According to EndDD,there are three types of distraction:

  1. Manual distractions – your hands are taken away from the steering wheel to perform a task. An example is reaching for a soda
  2. Visual distractions – your eyes are taken off the road. They give the example of when you spill the soda and look down at your clothes to see the outcome
  3. Cognitive distractions – your mind wanders away from the task at hand. They finish the example with you thinking about how to get your clothes cleaned.

In Washington State alone, 30% of fatal road accidents in 2016 were caused by distracted driving. Taking your eye off the road for even 2 seconds can result in an accident. If you talk on a cell phone while driving, your risk of an accident quadruples.  If you text while driving, your risk of an accident is increased by eight times.  According to Alexis Myers of the Associated Press,14 states currently ban hand-held cell phone use while driving in a car. 46 states prohibit texting messaging for all drivers.  Research by AAAsuggests that even when drivers put down the phone or the navigation device, the driver is still not fully engaged with the task of driving as the driver’s mind still remains distracted. An article by Bart Jansen in USA Today indicated that millennials are the age group most likely to engage in risky practices behind the wheel.Although the millennial statistics were the highest, other age groups did not fare well either. This suggests that greater education and awareness across the entire population of driving age would be advantageous.  

How can you avoid driving distractions?

There will always be incidents that arise when we are driving that are totally unexpected and cannot be planned for ahead of the journey.  But for many of the distracted driving scenarios, a little bit of planning ahead by trying to manage these distractions before setting out on the road can help to avoid some of these distractions entirely.

Turn cell phones off or switch to silent, before starting your journey

No phone call, social media update, or text message is more important than a person’s life. Don’t talk, or (even worse) text, on the phone while driving.  If you absolutely need to make a call or send a text message during your journey, pull over and make the call or send the text when your vehicle is stationary. As for selfies, nobody wants to see a selfie of you driving, they’d far rather see you in person and more importantly alive.

Take care of personal hygiene before getting in the car

This may seem like an obvious thing to say, but we’ve all seen drivers shaving on their commute, or applying mascara.  It is far better to take care of your personal hygiene before setting out on a journey.  If you can’t do that then wait until you get to your destination to apply your makeup or remove your stubble.

woman-putting-on-make-up-while-driving

Secure pets correctly

Ensure that pets are securely placed to the rear of your vehicle.  Using a vehicle-specific pet barrier is an excellent choice and if you have multiple pets, having a trunk divider added to this mix can prevent them from becoming rambunctious during a journey.  Other options are to harness your pet in one of the rear seats, in a similar way to using a seat belt. There are a wide variety of products on the market to ensure your pet is positioned in the most appropriate area of the vehicle so that the driver is not suddenly surprised by a furry friend wanting a hug.  Check out what can work best for your vehicle and for your pet.

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Set your GPS system before starting the journey

This also applies if your GPS system is on your cell phone. Ensure that the device is located in an area where you can see both the device and the road easily and clearly and ensure it can be operated hands free.

Eat and drink before or after your journey, not during it

Your car will remain cleaner, your clothes will be cleaner,  and more importantly you will not be distracted from the road.

eating-while-driving

 

Take care of your kid’s needs before starting the journey

Ensure that children are comfortable and securely buckled in a car seat that is appropriate for their current age, height, and weight.  Make sure that they have their toys, pacifiers, sippy cup or whatever else they need within their easy reach, so they are able to get to items, leaving the driver free to deal with the important task of driving.  If a toy or any other item gets dropped on the floor, leave it there until you can get to a safe place to pull over. Don’t try to reach behind your seat to return it to the child while you are driving.

child-ready-for-a-journey

 

 

The following You Tube video was put together by The Try Guysas they considered the effects of distracted driving.  They were certainly surprised by the results.

The Try Guys Try Distracted Driving

 

Don’t become complacent about driving.  Every trip, take the time to plan ahead and when you are driving ensure that your mind is on the road and not on the other things going on in your life.  Multitasking behind the wheel is simply asking for trouble. Retweet, share on Facebook, reblog, or do whatever you can to get the message out to friends, family, and strangers, so that everyone, no matter what age, is educated about and fully understands the risks of distracted driving.  Let’s all work to make American roads safer for 2017 and beyond.

Do you have any tips that have helped avoid distractions when you’ve been traveling with pets, kids or other passengers?  We’d love to hear about them.

Please drive mindfully every trip – every life is worth it!

References

  1. Darrow B. http://fortune.com/2016/09/14/distracted-driving-epidemic/ September 14, 2016
  2. http://www.enddd.org/the-facts-about-distracted-driving/
  3. Myers A. Distracted driving penalties could increase statewide in Wash. Associated          Press. Feb 12, 2017 – 10:12 AM
  4. https://www.aaafoundation.org/distracted-driving
  5. Jansen B. Millennial drivers are highway hazards, survey shows. USA Today. Feb 15, 2017.
  6. The Try Guys https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2atx1Jh6YP0

 

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