Archive for April, 2014

We Didn’t Always Have Cars

Monday, April 28th, 2014

When we think of the first car, many of us think of The Flintstones – we have to remember that was a cartoon though.  The car wasn’t invented until 1886.  So how did cavemen get around?  The good-ole fashioned way… on their feet.  The next generation was lucky enough to ride horses, then the bicycle came along, then the steam-powered locomotive, and finally the car.  But it wasn’t the car as we know it today.

a-quick-history-of-the-automobile-4.28.14Karl Benz is considered to have built and patented the first proper automobile, in 1886–the aptly named, three-wheeled Patent-Motorwagen. Through the end of the century, inventors would experiment with vehicles powered by other means: diesel, electric, even steam.  By the beginning of the 20th century, the automobile was changing the landscape of cities and cultures around the world. With their Oldsmobile and Model T machines, Ransom Olds and Henry Ford made the car a ubiquitous part of American life.

World War II reconfigured the auto industry, shaking out minor players and turning the major companies into manufacturers for the military for a time. The symbol of the era was the Jeep, the go-anywhere machine that came home from war with its rugged image intact, making it a grandfather of today’s SUVs.  As the world pulled out of the post-war era, cars flourished with fantastic Jet Age designs that gave way to a new generation of compact cars heavily influenced by the VW Beetle, Germany’s “people’s car.” The Beetle made small cars relevant in America–and without it, there would be no Corolla, no Civic, no Focus.

The SUV really was invented in the 1930s with the first four-wheel-drive Chevy Suburban wagon, but it came into its own in the 1990s with the launch of the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, two top sellers that forever changed the idea of what a family car could be.  As the SUV replaced the wagon, the pickup truck also became an alternative to the car. Trucks dominated the sales charts in the first decade of this century. Already the best-selling vehicle in America for decades, the Ford F-150 posted its best-ever year in 2004 with nearly a million sales–and Chevy, Dodge, and GMC weren’t far behind.  At the same time, greener vehicles were gaining fans, thanks to rising gas prices. The Toyota Prius became the first mass-production hybrid car in 1998.

What is in store for the future of the vehicle?  We’ll leave that up to the manufacturers and their imaginations.

Visit http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1091185_a-quick-history-of-the-automobile#src=10065 for more about The History Of The Automobile.

At Car Direct, our goal is to help you in finding the right vehicle for you.  Check out or inventory page to see what we currently have in stock.  Don’t see what you’re looking for?  Give us a call – that vehicle may be on its way in.  If not, we’ll find it for you!

 

Distracted Drivers Texting, And Caught In The Act!!

Friday, April 4th, 2014

distracted-driving-texters-caught-in-the-act-2-4.4.14

Is this an effective method to broaden awareness of a dangerous issue, or is it a voyeuristic sort of public shaming?  Imagine going out on the town, and seeing… yourself, caught in the act, texting while driving.  That’s what’s happening in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a graphic designer has received a lot of media attention for purchasing space on Billboards to share pictures, snapped in public, of people texting while driving.

At first you may laugh, as that would be quite embarrassing to the person that was caught… but what if it were you?  Social pressure appears to be the goal of the project.  Of course, the billboards don’t name names, but there’s a possibility that your friends, coworkers, or even boss will recognize you, caught in the act.

Is it possible that the next step will be digital billboards with cameras looking into traffic.  Perhaps if the camera spots you texting, your image will appear, in real time, on the billboard?  You, and everyone in traffic around you, would catch you in the act.  And when do we determine if it’s gone too far?  There are cameras at traffic lights to take a picture if you run a red light, and then you get a ticket in the mail.  Will these billboard cameras capture the image of you texting in your driver’s seat, and send you a ticket in this case as well?

In Virginia, it is against the law to text and drive, punishable by a fine of $125 for first-time offenders, and up to $250 for repeat offenders.  The law states and defines this act as:
“46.2-1078.1.  Use of handheld personal communications devicesin certain motor vehicles; penalty.
A.  It is unlawful for any person to operate a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth while using any handheld personal communications device to:
1 – Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person; or
2 – Read any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored within the device nor to any caller identification information.

Our advice – Make a habit of not texting and driving.  You, and all of those around you, are much safer this way.  And there is no chance of being pulled over and fined for texting and driving.

Sources:
http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1091157_public-shaming-with-billboards-any-less-likely-to-text-and-drive#src=10065
http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-1078.1

At Car Direct, our goal is to help you in finding the right vehicle for you at a rate that you can afford.  Check out our inventory page to see what we currently have in stock.  Don’t see what you’re looking for?  Give us a call – that vehicle may be on its way in.  If not, we’ll find it for you!  And remember – Don’t text and drive, be safe!!

distracted-driving-texters-caught-in-the-act_4.4.14