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One of the most useful vehicles owned by fire departments nationwide doesn’t pump a gallon of water. Instead, the truck provides clean, breathable air to firefighters, an important commodity to someone charging into a searing building billowing with smoke.
“Firefighting is inherently dangerous and having a reliable supply of clean air allows us to perform in extremely hostile conditions,” said Capt. Ken Kuykendall of the Folsom Fire Department in California’s Central Valley.
Those summer day trips, vacations and weekend events take a toll on your vehicle, and maintenance issues may go unnoticed until the first cool days of autumn.
“The biggest problems come from people putting off routine maintenance,” said Tony Molla of ASE, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, a nonprofit certification agency for auto technicians. “Just like you routinely go to the dentist, your vehicle needs preventative care, too.”
A towel and elbow grease aren't always the best choices for shining your vehicle.
Sometimes a brush is the right answer.
“Brushes are great when you need to gently agitate while letting particulates get washed away,” said Jim Dvorak of Mothers, a polish company based in Southern California.
School zones present special challenges for drivers of all ages, especially during the first few weeks of September. “We want parents to make safety a top priority for their teens as they head back to school this fall,” said Ashley Sharaky, spokesperson for California’s Office of Traffic Safety. “Of course, these reminders apply not only to back-to-school season, but throughout the school year.” The same rules that help adults get to work on time should be learned by younger drivers, Sharaky said.
Child passenger safety takes center stage in September with National Child Safety Week, an annual reminder for parents on ways to help prevent injuries.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency sponsoring the event, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.
Cameras similar to those worn by thrillseekers are finding their way to the dashboards of safety-conscious drivers.
“Dash cameras are helpful in hit-and-run collisions – or other situations where you’d want to get someone’s license plate,” said Johan-Till Broer of Garman, a Kansas-based electronics company that started making dash cameras this year.