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5 tips to avoid driving-related pain

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Do you suffer from aches and pains after a long drive? If so, do your neck and back a favor by following these five tips.

1. Adjust your seat
Is your seat properly positioned? Here’s how you can tell:

• You can press down on the pedals using your entire foot, heel to toe

• Your elbows are slightly bent when you grip the steering wheel


• There’s one to two inches of space between the back of your knees and the front of your seat

• Your thighs and back are fully supported by the seat and backrest

If you find you need more lumbar support, place a cushion behind the small of your back.

2. Relax your posture
Sit comfortably against the backrest and place your hands on the steering wheel at the nine and three o’clock positions. Avoid leaning your head forward. If you’re forced to lean forward, it means your seat is excessively reclined and needs to be adjusted.

3. Take regular breaks
If you’re going on a long drive, stop every couple of hours to walk around and stretch. This will ease sore muscles and promote blood circulation. You can also move your arms, wrists, and neck when waiting at a red light.

4. Check the airflow
To promote blood circulation when driving, direct heat to your upper body rather than to your legs. Conversely, in summer, direct the air conditioning toward your legs.

5. Empty your pockets
If you have bulky items in your pant pockets, they can hinder movement in your pelvis or impede circulation in your legs. Before you get behind the wheel, remove your wallet, smartphone, and other objects from your pockets.

Adopt these good habits, and you should feel more alert at the wheel and be free of pain when you reach your destination.

 

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Automotive

How accurate is your speedometer?

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It’s a good idea to check the accuracy of your car’s speedometer every so often to ensure you’re not driving faster or slower than you think. Speedometers rely on sensors located inside your vehicle’s transmission to measure how fast the wheels spin. Therefore, improperly inflated or worn tires can cause your speedometer to malfunction.

How to test your speedometer
To test your speedometer you’ll need a stopwatch, a friend, and a stretch of road with mile markers along with it. Start the test by driving at a steady speed and ask your companion to start the stopwatch as you pass a highway marker.

Once you’ve passed 10 markers (10 miles), have your friend pause the stopwatch and take note of how long it took you to travel the distance.

To determine your speed, divide 60 (the number of minutes in an hour) by the number of minutes it took you to drive the 10 miles, and then multiply this figure by the distance you traveled. For example, your equation might be:


60 ÷ 10 minutes x 10 miles = 60 miles per hour

You can also use a smartphone app that uses GPS to calculate speed, such as Google Maps, to get a better idea of how fast you’re going.

Don’t panic if your speedometer isn’t right on. If it’s off by two or three miles per hour, just keep that discrepancy in mind when you’re driving so you don’t inadvertently speed. In fact, in the United States, it’s acceptable for your speedometer to be off by up to four percent. However, if your speedometer is off by more than five miles per hour, it’s a good idea to bring it to a mechanic to have it inspected and recalibrated.

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Automotive

4 driving mistakes to avoid in winter

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At times, driving conditions in winter can be treacherous. Consequently, it’s important to always remain vigilant when you’re behind the wheel. In addition, try to avoid making these four dangerous blunders.

1. Using cruise control
The cruise control function on your car and slippery roads don’t mix. In fact, instead of slowing down your vehicle if it loses traction, this feature will accelerate your car to ensure it maintains a constant speed. This is a recipe for disaster, as you could easily lose control.

2. Running on empty
If you park your car outdoors with a near-empty tank of gas, condensation could form in your tank and freeze. This could damage your car’s internal mechanisms. In addition, if you get stuck in a traffic jam or unexpected situation, you could easily find yourself stranded.

3. Changing lanes unnecessarily
By changing lanes, you risk skidding on a patch of black ice or sinking into a snowdrift. Overtaking another vehicle is especially dangerous on bridges and overpasses, as these freeze quickly due to their increased exposure to the elements. It’s best to simply stay in your lane when driving in severe weather conditions.


4. Relying solely on all-wheel drive
Although vehicles with four-wheel drive generally react well in bad weather conditions, they don’t automatically keep you safe. It’s important to always remain vigilant when driving on winter roads.

Avoiding these mistakes can help keep you and other road users safe. In addition, make sure you maintain a safe following distance and adjust your speed to suit the road conditions.

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Automotive

What to do if you crash into a power pole

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If you crash into a power pole, you run the risk of suffering a life-threatening electrical shock if you attempt to leave your vehicle. Even if the power line hasn’t fallen over or you don’t notice any sparking, it could still be energized. The best thing to do is remain in your vehicle, call 911 and wait for emergency crews to secure the scene.

The only time you should leave your vehicle after crashing into a power pole is if it’s on fire. This rarely happens, but if it does, carefully open the door, place both feet on the running board and jump clear of the vehicle. Make sure to keep your arms close to your body to avoid touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Once you’re out, squeeze both feet together and hop at least 35 feet away from the burning vehicle. This will prevent electricity from flowing through your body if the ground is energized.

Finally, if you’ve crashed into a power pole and someone tries to offer you help, tell them to stay away.

If you crash into a power pole, try to remain calm. In the panic and confusion of the accident, you could easily fail to notice a fallen power line.


 

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3 great reasons to wash your car in winter

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Do you regularly clean your car in winter? If not, here are three great reasons to start.

1. Increase visibility
If your headlights and taillights become caked with dirt, grime, and slush, it makes it difficult to see and be seen while on the road. Additionally, it’s important to regularly clean the outside of your vehicle to keep your rear and side windows from becoming streaky and limiting your visibility.

2. Prevent rust
Road salt is corrosive and, if not promptly washed off, can cause your car to rust. You need to be especially careful if you park your vehicle in a heated garage, as the increased humidity can mix with the road salt and quickly eat away at the metal body. Remember to clean the underside of your vehicle or look for a car wash in your area that offers a high-pressure undercarriage wash.

3. Enjoy a smooth ride
It’s important to check that there isn’t any snow or debris left in your tire tread or wheel wells before hitting the road. This can throw your tires off balance and cause your car to vibrate uncontrollably. Regularly washing your car can help prevent this from happening.


Periodically cleaning your car in winter will ensure it stays in good condition and is safe to drive. You should aim to wash your vehicle at least once a month.

To prevent your doors from freezing shut after going through the car wash, wipe down the seals around the door frames and trunk. You should also make sure that no water has pooled around the locks.

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Backup cameras 101

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As of 2018, all new cars sold in North America must be equipped with a backup camera. If your car doesn’t already have one, you may want to consider purchasing an after-market model to help make your driving experience safer and more enjoyable.

Benefits of backup cameras
Backup cameras are especially helpful when reversing, parallel parking, or backing out of a parking space. They expand your field of vision and give you an accurate view of any obstacles behind your car. Additionally, the wide-angle camera drastically minimizes blind spots. Despite these advantages, you should still conduct a shoulder check and use your side and rearview mirrors to check your surroundings.

How backup cameras work
Backup cameras use colored lines to help you gauge the distance between your car and whatever’s behind it. These lines also give you a better idea of the width of your vehicle. It’s important to know what the different colored lines on your specific backup camera indicate to ensure you’re using it properly.

If you need advice on which backup camera is right for you, visit your local electronics retailer.


To improve visibility, regularly wipe off your backup camera, especially after driving through mud or slush.

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4 driving hazards to watch out for in winter

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Winter driving poses many unique challenges. Here are four hazards to be aware of when getting behind the wheel in winter.

1. Reduced visibility
Between blowing snow and glare from the sun, your visibility can be dramatically reduced in the winter. Consequently, make sure your windshield is defrosted and clean, wipe down your headlights and sweep any accumulated snow off your car before hitting the road.

2. Poor traction
Wet, icy, and snow-covered roads can significantly reduce your traction. Therefore, it’s important to invest in a high-quality set of winter tires to help you maintain control of your vehicle. If your car starts to slip, slow down, avoid braking hard and steer smoothly.

3. Speeding
Driving slowly during the winter is crucial, as it’s much harder to control your vehicle on ice and snow-covered roads if you’re moving too fast. No matter what the posted speed limit, adjust your speed to suit the conditions.


4. Distracted driving
Winter roads leave little margin for error, and distracted driving can affect your judgment, ability to concentrate, and reaction time. Make sure you stay focused on the road at all times and watch out for other motorists who may not be paying attention.

Taking these precautions can help you stay safe and avoid getting into an accident. However, before the first snowfall, make sure to also restock your car’s emergency kit, just in case.

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Upcoming Events

Dec
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Dec
2
Thu
5:30 pm Cookies with Santa @ Strokes of Creativity
Cookies with Santa @ Strokes of Creativity
Dec 2 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Cookies with Santa @ Strokes of Creativity
Santa is coming to Strokes of Creativity. Bring your kiddos by and visit with Santa this Thursday evening, December 2nd. We will have a cookies to decorate with icing and sprinkles (while supplies last). Make[...]
Dec
4
Sat
10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Dec 4 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
Dec 4 @ 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its own student production of the seasonal ballet The Nutcracker, to be presented in Front Royal, VA, on Saturday, December 4th, 2021. 1:00 and 5:00 pm Tickets: $35[...]
4:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 4 @ 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meets in the Historic Area behind Mount Bleak. Discover our International Dark Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and[...]
Dec
5
Sun
4:00 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Dec 5 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sunday, December 5, 2021 4:00pm First Baptist Church of Winchester 205 West Piccadilly St. | Winchester, VA 22601 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church[...]
Dec
8
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 8 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Dec
10
Fri
7:30 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Dec 10 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church 1 West Main Street | Front Royal, VA 22630 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Sunday, December 12, 2021 4:00pm Trinity Episcopal Church 9108[...]
Dec
12
Sun
3:00 pm Valley Chorale’s Christmas Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Valley Chorale’s Christmas Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Dec 12 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Valley Chorale's Christmas Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
This year’s yuletide concert is titled THIS SHINING NIGHT.  Join us for a selection of seasonal songs — ranging in style from classical to spirituals to pop — sure to brighten your holiday and lift[...]
4:00 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Dec 12 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Sunday, December 12, 2021 4:00pm Trinity Episcopal Church 9108 John Mosby Hwy. | Upperville, VA 20184 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees