Connect with us

Cars

Tire Rack Street Survival Celebrated Its 1,000th School, And I Was There For It

Published

on

Tire Rack Street Survival

I don’t know about you, but my high school driver’s education class was pretty disappointing, teaching me just enough to pass my test and get my driver’s license, but not much else. Sure, I could parallel park and do a K-turn, but was I really prepared for the challenges of the road? Not by a long shot.

Sadly, most young drivers are let out onto the open roads without proper training, and it’s a contributing factor for the nearly 4,000 youths ages 15-20 that are involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes each year in the U.S.

Many of these fatalities could have been avoided if these young drivers were just better prepared, and that is exactly why the Tire Rack Street Survival School was started, to teach critical behind-the-wheel survival skills that can potentially help save lives. As they say, “safe driving is learned by doing.”

Tire Rack Street Survival

“Since our very first class in 2002, we have educated more than 21,000 young drivers about the maintenance needs of their vehicles and the maneuvers that will keep them safe in emergency situations,” said Bill Wade, national program manager for Tire Rack Street Survival. “This is our 15th year; we’re moving forward with new classes faster than ever.”

That’s right, this national, nonprofit advanced teen driving program has been instrumental in teaching smarter and safer driving habits to teens, and they reached a significant milestone this year, celebrating their 1000th Street Survival school a few weeks ago, which was held at Tire Rack’s headquarters in South Bend, Indiana.

I was on hand for this momentous occasion, where I got to experience the day-long program firsthand, riding along with a newly-minted driver (Quincy) as she received instruction from seasoned SCCA member Linda. The day started off with some classroom instruction, before heading out to the test course, where these newly-learned principals would be put into place.. in their own vehicles.

Tire Rack Street Survival

Over the course of the day, the young drivers learned about car control on a slalom course, how to handle a loss of traction on a skidpad, how to threshold brake in case of emergency, and how to do emergency lane changes. These exercises were designed to mimic real-world experiences, so that they would know what to do if something like this were to actually happen to them.

In addition, Street Survival gave an eye-opening ABS demonstration that showed how the system works (or doesn’t work if your car doesn’t have it), and what to do if/when you feel your brake pedal pulsate. They also had students get into the cab of a semi-truck so they could see firsthand the hundred-foot blind spot behind the trailer, and how they need to be mindful when following trucks like this. They also exploded an airbag to demonstrate the sheer amount of power that’s hidden just inches from your body.

Tire Rack Street Survival

Overall, I found the class to be very comprehensive, covering the same core driving fundamentals taught at professional driving schools costing thousands of dollars. The school is run by volunteers from the BMW Car Club of America, the SCCA, and other auto enthusiast clubs, allowing them to keep the cost down to a very reasonable $75 per student. Trust me, it’s worth every penny, and then some!

It was exciting to see Quincy’s progress throughout the day as she became more confident behind the wheel and her instruction sunk in. There’s no doubt that she’s a safer driver for having taken this class, and at the end of the day, that’s what this program is all about.

For more information, school calendar/locations, rules and example course visit www.streetsurvival.org.

Sujeet Patel is the founder of Guys Gab, and one of the biggest automotive enthusiast you'll ever meet. He's been fortunate enough to turn his passion for cars into a full-time job. Like they say, "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

Cars

How To Know When It’s Time To Get A New Family Car

Published

on

Whether you have a sensible sedan, a standard minivan, or a versatile SUV, you place a lot of trust in your family car. However, no matter how reliable your vehicle is, you’ll have to replace it with a new model eventually. How do know when it’s the right time to upgrade? Here are some of the top signs it’s a good time to buy a new family car.

1. You’re Paying Expensive Repair Costs

No matter how well you look after your vehicle, time, wear and tear, and age eventually take their toll. When you find yourself having to make minor repairs often or taking your car into the shop several times a year for substantial and expensive fixes, it may be time to consider moving on.

Keeping a car past its prime can cost a lot of money in terms of repair costs. Older cars are generally less efficient as well, so you could be overspending on gas. Mileage is another important factor to consider. Some makes and models can be reliable past 200,000 miles, whereas others become unstable before this milestone. Do some research on your car to determine how likely it is that you’ll run into constant problems if you continue driving it.

2. Your Family Is Growing

Your compact car may have worked fine when you had your first child, but squeezing multiple car seats in the back can be a challenge. If your family is growing in number, or simply growing up, chances are you have more car seats, luggage, backpacks, and sports gear you need to fit in your vehicle. If you’re constantly trying to maneuver things around to make riding in your car comfortable, it may be time to consider an upgrade.

If you choose to upgrade your family car, you can look forward to several benefits beyond just having more space. Newer cars generally have more features, and models designed for families (such as minivans) may have numerous helpful additions. You may find that having a new car with more cupholders, configurable seats, automatic doors, and entertainment systems makes your time driving with the family exponentially more comfortable.

3. You’re Moving to a Different Location

If you are moving to a place with a drastically different climate, it could be wise to buy a new family car. For example, if you’re moving to a sunny coastal climate, you may want to trade in your four-wheel-drive for something smaller and more efficient. Alternately, if you’re moving to a mountain state, it’s probably a good idea to consider switching your convertible out for a reliable and maneuverable SUV.

4. You’re Financially Ready

One of the most challenging parts of upgrading your family car is the financial burden. Whether you buy new or used, chances are taking home a new vehicle will require paying a hefty chunk of cash or signing a big loan. Either way, your personal financial status plays a large part in deciding when it’s time to buy a new car.

However, you can look at it the other way as well. If you are in a good financial spot with excellent credit and a comfortable safety net in the bank, you may want to think about investing in a new car. Buying at a time when you can afford a large down payment and qualify for a favorable loan can make more financial sense than waiting until repairs force you to buy a new car quickly. If you wait, you may not be in such sound financial waters as you are now.

Being able to afford a new car or qualify for a good loan also gives you the flexibility to choose the best option for your family. Maybe you want to move to an electric car to save money on gas and help the environment. Perhaps you want to get an SUV to make it easier and safer to spend weekends camping in the mountains. When you have the time and resources to do all the research and choose the best model for your family, it can take a lot of stress out of the whole process.

Deciding when to upgrade your family car can require a lot of thought. However, there are some standard signs that can indicate it’s time to start considering a new vehicle. Mounting repair costs can make it financially more affordable to get a new car. You may also want to consider upgrading when you’re in a good financial spot with the assets to either pay cash or secure a favorable loan.

Continue Reading

Cars

The 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe Will Set You Back $111,900

Published

on

2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe

Last month, BMW unveiled the long-awaited 8 Series Coupe to the delight of enthusiasts from around the world, who have been waiting nearly two decades for the Bavarian car company to bring back the iconic luxury sports coupe.

BMW gave us a full run-down on the the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe, which is powered by a new twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 that puts out 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, launching the car from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph.

The BMW M850i is equipped with xDrive rear-biased intelligent all-wheel drive, mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission that has been updated with wider ratios and sportier gear shifts. Standard performance features include M Sport brakes and Adaptive M suspension with Active-Roll Stabilization.

Standard equipment on the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe includes Full LED headlights with BMW LaserLight technology, BMW Individual Merino leather seats, BMW Live Cockpit Professional, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and more.

That all sounds great, but how much will it cost?

The 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe starts will start at $111,900 plus a $995 Destination and Handling fee, with cars arriving in dealerships nationwide on December 8th.

Naturally, BMW has a plethora of options to push that sticker price much higher, including an optional Driving Assistant Professional, a 1,400 watt Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system, a carbon fiber exterior trim package, just to name a few.

Continue Reading

Cars

The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Is The Demon’s Spawn

Published

on

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

As you’ve probably heard, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has already reached the end of its limited-production run, with 3,300 of them produced in less than a year.

Missed out on your chance to purchase one? Well today is your lucky day, because Dodge/SRT just unveiled the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye today, a slightly less powerful Demon spawn, with “only” 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque, with an eight-speed automatic transmission as the only option.

The Hellcat Redeye will rocket from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, run the quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds at 131 mph, with a top speed of 203 mph, earning it the bragging rights as the “most powerful production V8” and “quickest production muscle car” currently in production.

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Needless to say, the Mustang Shelby GT500 is going to struggle keeping up with this bad boy. Same with the Corvette ZR1, which comes up short with 755 horsepower.

Like its Demon brethren, the Hellcat Redeye has 25 major component upgrades, including a larger supercharger, strengthened connecting rods and pistons, high-speed valve train, fuel injection system and improved lubrication system.

It also has the Torque Reserve system that delivers up to 3.9 psi of boost at launch and up to 55% more engine torque, along with the SRT Power Chiller and After-Run Chiller (which use the air conditioning system to cool the intercooler and reduce engine temps).

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

And new for 2019, the Redeye offers two final drive ratios, a standard 2.62:1 or an available 3.09:1 for enhanced launch capabilities. Helping put all that power to the ground is a high-strength steel prop shafts and 41-spline half shafts, both of which increase torque capacity.

Furthermore, the SRT Hellcat Redeye is available with the Demon’s Widebody package, which allows for some meatier tires (275mm on the standard body cars, 305mm on the widebody cars). That extra rubber helps shave off 0.3 seconds in the 1/4 mile (10.8s vs 11.1s), so to us it seems like a no-brainer. It also looks pretty bad-ass.

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

No word on pricing just yet, but expect it to fall somewhere between the Hellcat and Demon. And if that ends up being too rich for your blood, you can always go with a “normal” Hellcat, which gets a modest power bump to 717 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque.

The 2019 Challenger lineup will roar into dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2018, so you’d better start saving your money now.

Continue Reading
Advertisement