In Memoriam Of Those We’ve Lost


One of the best things about the holidays is continuing the traditions that I shared with my family while being raised. My dad experienced a huge heart and taught me the importance of giving back. This Thanksgiving, I took my son Zachary to a local church to help you feed those who are in our community. While I didn’t realize it at the time, I linked to my son in a way I never could have had it not been for my father’s life lesson. It warmed my heart in order to honor my dad in such a meaningful way and bond with my son while teaching him the importance of giving back. I look forward to continuing this new tradition for many years.

HEARTS member Alexia Kjos has a special way of honoring her sister. Alexia puts a Christmas tree at Kelsey’s crash site after Thanksgiving and leaves it there through the New Year. It’s Alexia’s strategy for drawing attention to the roadside sign while demonstrating her continued adoration for her sister. Other ways to honor your beloved include burning a candle during dinner, sharing your chosen memories, getting the family to find out Christmas lights or attending a favorite spot in the city.

Regardless of how you opt to honor your love one in the holiday, you want you to you realize that our thoughts are with those who are will no longer with us as well as the families they left behind. We have been especially remembering the families of the following people, who are taken from us during the holidays.

Note: HEARTS members that have shared their stories around are denoted here with the asterisk. To discuss your story, please contact


Garison Steele*

Caleb Sorahan*

Nicky Gazzara

Kyleigh D’Alessio*

Bradley McComb

Johnny Rice*


Eric Travioli

Kyle Goodwin

Patience Alderman

Max Keevill*

Brian Assa*

Kelsey Raffaele*

Mike Ucci

Three Amazing Preowned Cars

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle and haven’t already considered buying used, think again. There are other incentives to purchasing a pre-owned vehicle too, though a used car is obviously a financially savvy option. The cars being built by automobile manufacturers today are much higher in quality than others that were built even just a couple of decades ago. This surge in quality craftsmanship has yielded a generation of durable pre-owned cars that will retain their value even through multiple owners. We’ve compiled a list of great used cars that were built within the last ten years that you’ll would like to test drive today, and take home tomorrow.

2007 Ford Escape


Ford has a long-standing reputation for building tough, rugged vehicles that really last. But when test-driving used cars for our best of list, we were particularly impressed with the 2007 Escape’s performance. The car’s interior cabin has a luxurious, high-end finish that makes it think that a much more expensive ride than it really is. This compact SUV has considerably more storage space than other comparable models within its class, with lots of room for bikes and outdoor gear. We think that this Ford Escape is a great fit for a small family in the market for a durable, versatile vehicle that can take them on a variety of adventures.

2010 Toyota Prius


One of the most versatile vehicles we’ve seen in years, this hatchback has the spaciousness of a midsize sedan as well as the economic appeal of a hybrid car. Its smart design showcases a large, roomy interior and big cargo area with a lot of storage space. The Prius boasts exceptional gas mileage, with 48 miles per gallon within the city and 45 on the road. Add to this its superior reliability rating and high resale value, and you’ve got a used car that is incredibly practical yet highly appealing.

2008 Nissan Altima


Nissan’s eternally popular Altima has become on the market for almost two decades, and you can actually understand why. They have evolved in both style and size through the original midsized sedan designed by the company to the current iteration as a full sized family sedan. Every one of the model’s five generations has sold incredibly well, and continually maintain their high resale value. In addition to their spacious size and marked durability, the Altima has gained a track record of being particularly fun to operate a vehicle. We recently test drove a 2008 model at and left feeling confident that this reputation is well-earned. The vehicle has two engine options to choose from. The 4-cylinder engine has both strong fuel economy and shockingly swift acceleration. But we really enjoyed the pick-up of the V6 engine model we tried at We’re sure that whichever model you select, you will not be disappointed. Newer generations from the Altima include a major update to the interior styling, plus a more polished, upscale turn to the exterior. Now that’s one slick ride.

How To Effectively Drive In Strong Winds


Expect sudden gusts at any time

Wind rarely blows steadily, and sudden gusts can catch you out regardless how experienced a driver you happen to be.

Expect sudden gusts at any time but particularly on open stretches of road, when passing bridges or gaps in hedges or when overtaking high-sided vehicles.

If extreme weather conditions are forecast it usually is best to avoid travelling unless your journey is completely necessary, whether it’s strongwinds and snow, floods or fog.

There are actually three potential issues to be aware of if you’re driving in high winds

You could be blown off course

Keep both hands about the wheel, particularly when you’re being buffeted from the wind or the slipstreams of other vehicles and anticipate stronger winds and gusts on exposed stretches of road or when passing high-sided vehicles.

It’s important to keep your speed down too. Just before getting the vehicle back under control, the faster you’re travelling the further off-course you’re more likely to drift inside a sudden gust.

Other vehicles can be blown into your path

High-sided vehicles and caravans are most impacted by high winds but sudden gusts can blow any vehicle off course. Keep your distance from all other vehicles and take particular care around motorcyclists, cyclists and horse-riders.

Should you break down in the motorway or on any busy road in gusty weather it’s important to remember that lorries and other high-sided vehicles might be blown off course suddenly and may veer onto the hard shoulder. It’s safer to relocate to a safe location away from the vehicle rather than wait in the car to be rescued.

There may be trees or other debris in the road

Inevitably, some trees or branches will come down when winds are high. If you see twigs or small branches inside the road there could be a tree or large branch in the road round the next bend. Hitting debris like this at speed could be fatal so it’s important to keep your speed down and drive with great care particularly on country roads early each morning.

Trees can partially fall too and hang above the road, sometimes above the sweep of the headlights making them very difficult to spot.

If you absolutely have to drive

In case there is an emergency, always carry a fully-charged mobile phone and warm, weatherproof clothing.

Plan journeys carefully and check both traffic and weather bulletins regularly – low speed limits or even temporary closures could be imposed on exposed road and bridges closures due to falling debris or accidents will be more frequent.

Tips In Buying A Car


AA Cars

Know what you’re stepping into

At a time when nearly two-thirds (60%) of motorists say they are in the market for an automobile, 17% of them within a year, drivers can now look for their next car through – a website that de-risks the shopping process by offering great transparency and advice in putting consumers in contact with recognised dealers.

Every buyer is provided having an AA Cars History Check (worth approximately £20) at the start so that they can have peace of mind concerning the car’s history and authenticity. The cost is paid by AA Cars and the check is provided free to the individual.

Shopping Online First


If you’ve never tried it, online car shopping might seem intimidating. There are plenty of options around. From dealerships’ websites to internet auction sites, it’s hard to know where to start. Each of these options has benefits depending on exactly what you’re searching for. That’s the truth. But for the standard car buyer, a large dealership’s website, like, is usually the safest option.


Online shopping is a great way to start your automobile search as it allows you become familiar with what’s available without having to deal with what can sometimes appear to be pressure from salespeople. You are able to browse all on your own time, with no hurry, and look at all the specifications of a car. You’ll get an idea of what you do and don’t as with a vehicle before you even set foot on a car lot by doing this.

You can narrow down the make of cars you like and judge if you prefer sedans, SUVs, sports cars or something entirely different. Maybe you’d like a station wagon. Also you can get an idea of what factors are most essential to you in a vehicle. Do you want automatic locks? A sun roof? You never know what’s available up until you start looking. Once you’ve browsed online, you can go to a car dealership with a good thought of what you might really want in a vehicle and you will clearly explain to a sales person what you like. They’ll have the capacity to show you what’s available which fits your criteria and it will make the entire sales experience a significantly smoother one. So visit today to start ruling out items you don’t like and picking out things you do. It never hurts to do your research, even though a salesperson might still help you.

What You Should Not Do In Texas


The most likely way for a child to die with this country is actually by car accident. This matters to each and every driver, even those not carrying kids. There are serious dangers to children caused from unsafe driving, and it’s something you ought to take seriously – especially now that another school year is upon us.

For kids, some of the most dangerous times through the day are when they enter and exit the school bus. It’s a critical traffic moment that lots of drivers undervalue. Much it slows your commute, it’s simply not okay to slice around a school bus while it’s stopped, however. Children can’t be expected to pay full attention as they cross the street – but drivers can.

The Law of the Land

Beginning September 1st, penalties for drivers who illegally pass school buses will probably be sharply increased. A first time offense will surely cost the driver $1250. A second offense will mean license suspension. And unlike other moving violations, you can’t get rid of the points from your driving record if you take a defensive driving course.

“As the newest school year opens, I urge drivers to do their part in order to keep youngsters safe by obeying school zone speed limits and stopping for school buses,” said the DPS director in announcing the change. “DPS will not tolerate individuals who forget the law and illegally pass stopped school buses.”

Over twenty crashes happen every year in the danger zone around a school bus – prompting the DPS campaign around National School Bus Safety Week that encourages drivers to “Know the Zone.” As one official place it, “even one injury is simply too many.”

The Spirit of the Law

Using caution in a school zone isn’t just a way to get out of a ticket. It’s not even merely a way of keeping everyone safe – although that is the most important thing. School buses needs to be a signal to all motorists to drive with children in mind.

It means acknowledging that children aren’t in charge of anything which happens to them on the streets; grown-ups are. Taking the wheel means taking responsibility for anyone who aren’t able to take responsibility on their own. Kids will be kids, after all, and one of them running for a ball or crossing blindly in front of their school bus ought to be protected by every driver on the road.

The Danger Zone

Places where children visit school or play regularly are marked as dangerous traffic zones, and they will be observed as a result by drivers making their way through them. Decrease and consider what might happen if a child moves unexpectedly.

Around a school bus, there’s an established danger zone where accidents generally occur. Bring it seriously. Stop when the bus is stopped, and allow the bus driver to set the tone for traffic. When youngsters are involved, it’s always advisable to play it safe and do the right thing., though it may be slower than you’d like

2014 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws Made Available By The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety


Ever wonder if there are certain states that have safer driving laws and practices as opposed to others? The correct answer is yes.

Yesterday, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released the 2014 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws. The annual report assigns a grade to all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to 15 basic traffic safety laws. Additionally, it focuses on the progress made since the Advocates organization was formed twenty five years ago, along with the deadly gaps that put children and drivers in each and every state in danger.

“We release this report at a critical time as being the nation’s motor vehicle fatalities climbed for the first time in 2012 after six consecutive years of decline,” said Jackie Gillan, Advocates’ president. “The Roadmap Report provides practical and proven methods to reduce the highway death and injury toll.”

The Report evaluates 15 optimal laws and gives states rating of: Green (Good); Yellow (Caution); and Red (Danger). New in this year’s report is the inclusion of a primary enforcement seat belt law covering passengers in the rear seating positions. A state without a primary enforcement law covering all passengers is ineligible for a green rating.

New state laws enacted in 2013 are:

• Primary Enforcement of Seat Belts: WV (front) and HI (rear); (17 states still need front seat; 33 states need rear seat);

• All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law: None adopted or repealed; (31 states still need);

• Booster Seats (ages 4 through 7): None adopted; (19 states still need);

• Graduated Driver Licensiding (GDL) for Teen Drivers: Hawaii, Md., Utah (cell phone restriction) and Texas (supervised driving requirement); (No state meets all the criteria/174 laws still needed);

• Impaired Driving: Maine, Tenn. (ignition interlock devices for many offenders); (39 DC and states are missing laws/46 laws still needed);

• All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction: Hawaii, Va.; (13 states still need).

Vehicles That Will Be Great For Your National Park Adventure

When it’s time to take the family – or the gang – on the National Parks, you need to plan a few things like getting a camp site and figuring out the logistics of when you’re going to leave and return. But sometimes it’s not really a given HOW you’re going to get there. You possibly will not have the right vehicle. A Prius will not be a great car to take in the woods because it doesn’t have enough power to traverse the terrain you’ll encounter for example. No – you need to make sure you will have a car that’ll be comfortable for your long road trip as well as can bring everything you need. Here are several great choices to get yourself safely and comfortably to Yosemite or Sequoia.

Subaru Outback


There’s really no better tried and true vehicle for the very best of both worlds as the Subaru Outback. It can be a great car for city driving since it’s comfortable and roomy, and then when it’s time to head into the forest, you can’t have a better car that this Subaru. Its All Wheel Drive system is going to help you get into and up the camping spot easily and safely as well as be able to power you through the river bed. Since it’s a hatchback wagon, you’ll be able to haul all the fun toys and foods you need for a great weekend in the woods as an acoustic guitar and a bunch of beer. You can’t go wrong with the Subaru Outback.

2. Dodge Durango


You can’t go wrong using the Durango if you’re for the great car to kick some major national park butt this year. Dodge gets a bad rap sometimes mainly because it was a struggling company for so long however the Dodges are getting a huge upgrade in quality. Plus, with the huge capacity for bringing things like the Durango has, you’ll truly be riding in design with the entire family. You’ll have the ability to bring a cooler full of meats for grilling (as well as to store in so the bears don’t get it at night) plus all your tents and other gear. Plus, having a Durango, you’ll the coolness factor of a big old SUV throughout the year. There are a lot of cool colors you can get the Durango in, just have a look at If you don’t think the Durango is for you, think again, and browse the inventory at

3. Ford Escape


2012 was the final year they made the package style, but now they are more round, and either way, they are a great car for heading to the national parks. But they are, the brand new ones don’t even appear like the same car as before. Either way, new or old, these things are excellent because they are cheap, as they are Fords, but in addition have a lot of capacity for bringing the gear you need into the woods. They are cool, they are reliable, and they will allow for all the fun you need.

Aging Could Be Detrimental To Driving


As people get older, their driving patterns change. Retirement, different schedules, and new activities affect when and where they drive. Most older adults drive safely because there is a lot of experience behind the wheel. But when they are involved with crashes, they usually are hurt more seriously than younger drivers. Age-related declines inhearing and vision, as well as other abilities, in addition to certain medical conditions and medications, can impact driving skills.

Changes in Driving Habits

When people retire, they not any longer drive to be effective. With more free time, they may start new activities, visit family and friends more often, or take more vacations. Like drivers of any age, they normally use their vehicles to go shopping, do errands, and check out the doctor. Driving is an important part of staying independent.

Most people 70 and older have drivers’ licenses. They have a tendency to drive fewer miles than younger drivers. But, also, they are keeping their licenses longer and driving more miles than in the past, often favoring local roads over highways. There will be more older drivers on the road, as the overall population ages.

An Intricate Task

Older driver. – Click to enlarge in new window.

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Driving is actually a complicated task. It requires men and women to hear and see clearly; seriously consider other cars, traffic signs and signals, and pedestrians; and react quickly to events. Drivers must have the capacity to accurately judge distances and speeds and monitor movement on sides too in front of them.

It’s common for people to obtain declines in visual, thinking, or physical abilities as they get older. Older drivers are more likely than younger ones to have trouble in certain situations, including making left turns, changing lanes, and navigating through intersections, consequently.

Common Mistakes

Common mistakes of older drivers include

failing to yield the right of way

failing to stay in lane

misjudging the time or distance needed to turn in front of traffic

failing to stop completely at a stop sign

speeding or driving too slowly.

Older Drivers and Crashes

Driving errors can result in trafficaccidents and injuries, and death. The risk of crashes rises with age, especially after age 75. Research shows that older drivers are definitely more, and less, likely to be involved in certain types of crashes than other drivers. Older drivers are less likely to be linked to crashes relevant to alcohol use, speeding, and driving during the night. But they will probably get into crashes

A car crash. – Click to enlarge in new window.

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at intersections (usually in the vehicle that is struck)

in which the front of one vehicle hits one side of another vehicle

where the older driver is merging along with the other vehicle is traveling faster or is in the older driver’s blind spot

Crashes Down Among Older Drivers

Fortunately, the pace of crashes among adults 65 and also over has decreased in recent years. Research suggests that this decline is due to a variety of factors, including older adults’ better health, safer cars, and safer roads. Additionally, older drivers’ ability to “police” themselves – like not driving at nighttime – and stricter state laws for renewal of driver’s licenses may help.

Most traffic deaths of older drivers occur during the daytime, on weekdays, and involve other vehicles. If they are physically frail, but the good news is that older people will probably survive crashes than in the past., older adults will be more susceptible to death or serious injury within a crash

Check Out This Video of the Mid-Drift 360-Degree Spin


Here’s something you don’t see everyday. Much like most adventure sports those participating with the higher echelons tend to become bored with the usual tricks and therefore are constantly pushing the boundaries of what you can do. Watch as drifter Matt Powers performs a 360-degree spin in the center of his drift session.