By Chuck Mai, AAA
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) undertook testing to answer a common motorist question: Is it more fuel efficient to drive with the windows up and the air-conditioning on or with the windows down and the AC off?
The answer is … well, it depends. Variable factors include vehicle speed, ambient temperature, and AC duty cycle (what setting is used). In general:
• The power requirement of AC is relatively constant representing roughly a six to seven percent reduction in fuel economy at 60 mph.
• Driving with the windows down results in more aerodynamic drag than with the windows up. Drag increases exponentially with speed -– it takes approximately five times the power to propel a vehicle at 80 mph as it does as 40 mph.
This means that every vehicle design has a “crossover” speed at which using AC with the windows up is more efficient than driving with the windows down and AC off.
To answer the question, ORNL performed on-road and dynamometer testing of a 2009 Ford Explorer and Toyota Corolla. The ambient lab temperature was set to 95 degrees, the air conditioning set to medium (50 percent duty cycle), and the vehicles were tested between speeds of 40 mph and 80 mph.
In general, there is no fuel economy penalty from using the AC at highway speeds compared with having the windows rolled down and the AC off.
At a medium AC setting, the crossover point for each vehicle was nominally around 60 mph. If the AC is set to run more than the tested 50 percent duty cycle, the crossover speed would also be higher.
Overall, fuel consumption at highway speeds with medium AC is about six to seven percent more than driving with the windows up and AC off. However, in hot weather that certainly is not a comfortable alternative.
The consequences of leaving kids or pets in hot cars, even for a minute, can be deadly. Each year, AAA along with Safe Kids works to prevent children and pets being left in hot cars by educating the public of the dangers.
According to data collected by Dr. Jan Null of San Francisco State University, 32 children died last year after being left in a car. 52 percent of those who died were left not on purpose, but by mistake.
“Many times we think we can run into a store and be out in 10 minutes with no problem, but in 10 minutes in the heat of the summer, your car’s interior temperature can rise 19 degrees above that of the outside air,” said Danial Karnes, AAA Oklahoma spokesman.
AAA urges parents and caregivers to put these simple tips to use to make sure no child is left in a vehicle this summer.
- Never leave a child unattended in a car, even for a minute, even if the windows are tinted or down. The same recommendation applies to pets and the elderly.
- Don’t allow children to play in an unlocked, parked vehicle and never leave car keys where children have access to them.
- Keep doors locked and windows closed at all times, even when the vehicle is in the garage or on a driveway.
- Make sure all children leave the vehicle when you reach your destination. Be certain no one is inadvertently left behind.
- When you first place a child in a car seat in the back seat of the car, also open the glove compartment door, flip down the passenger side visor or put a purse in the back seat. These actions can serve as visual reminders that a child is in the back seat. Even better, place your cell phone on the back seat, too.
- If you see a child alone in a locked, parked car, immediately call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance.
A not-for-profit organization, AAA Oklahoma serves its 365,000 members across Oklahoma with emergency help on the road, auto travel assistance and a wide range of personal insurance, travel, financial and automotive services through its 45 retail branches, regional operations center and the Internet at www.AAA.com.
By Chuck Mai, AAA
Leaving on vacation? Good for you – have fun! But if you’re like me, the doubts start creeping in just after leaving home, just after I have passed that imaginary point of no return, when going back to the house is no longer a viable option.
Did I lock the front door? Did we turn off the coffee-maker? Is the dog inside or outside?
You think somebody will break in while we’re gone? Well, I can’t help you with the first three questions but here are a few tips to help you on number four.
Close and lock all house and garage windows and doors. Use slide locks on sliding glass doors.
Leave blinds and curtains in their normal position so that your house doesn’t have a closed-down, unlived-in look.
Resist the urge to discuss your trip with acquaintances or on social media sites.
Have a friend pick-up your mail or have the post office stop it. Same with newspapers.
Have a trusted friend or neighbor check on your house occasionally and tell them who to contact in case of emergency and what your contact info will be while you’re gone.
Set lights and radios on automatic on/off timers.
If you’ll be away for an extended period, arrange to have your lawn mowed.
Never leave keys under doormats, in flowerpots or in any of the usual “hiding places.”
Make sure your homeowner insurance policy is up-to-date.
Here’s a new one: burglars lately have been discovered locating potential targets at the airport by reading address information on luggage tags. If possible, use your business address or purchase tag covers to protect personal information.
Now, turn off the oven and the iron and get out there. Your vacation’s waiting.
So, a while back I did an article on the health in Oklahoma (you can view the blog on my website, www.timekatylerpr.com). A lot of people loved it. I am a health nut, I like to eat healthy, partake in activities that cater to my health, and I am always looking for effective ways to enhance and maintain not only my health but the health of my children and even loved ones. I say all that to show a little gratitude towards myself for this week’s blog on…….. HEALTH
The Oklahoma County Health Department obviously is dedicated to the health in Oklahoma. They provide resources and information surrounding a variety of different health issues and topics. This will be the fourth year that the Oklahoma County Health Department hosts the Health at Work Conference. This conference is dedicated to promoting and enhancing worksite wellness efforts in Oklahoma.
So let’s get straight into it. The unemployment rate in Oklahoma is at 5.0% (http://www.ok.gov/oesc_web/Services/Find_Labor_Market_Statistics/) which means that there are a lot of people employed in this state. The majority of the employed spend a significant amount of time at their jobs. Talk about successful marketing, it makes total sense to implement health and wellness programs within the work place in an effort to improve our state’s health. I spoke to Jodi Smith with Health at Work about the goals and the impact thus far that worksite wellness programs have made in Oklahoma. The main goal of the Health at Work Conference is to educate businesses across the state about the importance of worksite wellness. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn the basics of starting a program all the way to enhancing programs to encourage and support long term behavior change. With this being the 4th annual conference, I had to ask about the feedback and participation from local businesses and I was pleased to hear that this works. Jodi let me know that in just three years they have seen an increase in companies embracing worksite wellness, she went on to say that after the conference each year, the Oklahoma City- County Health Departments ‘s Health at Work program sees a surge of participation in its coalition and businesses looking to start wellness programs.
AMAZING!!!! So there you have it, health is extremely important and promoting health and wellness in the workplace is SUPER SMART. I urge businesses and/or individuals to check out the Health at Work Conference. This year’s conference will take place on 5/22/13. For more information you can visit the Oklahoma City County Health Department Website (https://www.occhd.org/community/healthatwork).
By Chuck Mai, AAA
In the past, I have written about drivers such as Left-Lane Louie, who for whatever reason like to camp out in the left lane of a divided highway, seemingly unaware of the congestion forming behind him.
Now meet three more types of drivers to keep an eye out for.
Frank the Follower – These “follow the leaders” are a phenomenon most closely associated with drunk and/or texting drivers who due to their distracted state, find it easier to pay no attention to traffic and simply follow the vehicle in front of them. The downside is that tailgating is often the inadvertent result, leaving the offending motorist precious little time to react to a change in the driving scenario if, for example, the car they’re following suddenly slams on its brakes.
Flow-Choking Christy – This driver fails to fully appreciate how she fits into the efficient movement of traffic. They’re the ones who inexplicably stop well behind the vehicle in front of them – maybe up to a car’s length – when halted at a stop light. This poses no problem if there are blocks and blocks of lane space behind the traffic signal but what about on an overpass where there are traffic lights at both ends and room for only a handful of cars on the bridge itself. More cars than the span can accommodate often attempt to cram themselves onto the bridge, sometimes blocking cross traffic at the near end in the process.
The Undecideds – You’re approaching the beginnings of a right turn-or left turn-only lane and the driver of the car in front of you decides to go straight. Or at least you think he does. He may really be oblivious or distracted or from out of state and hasn’t quite realized the “turn only” lane option is there. I give these folks a wide berth just in case they make a last-minute decision to jump over to the turn lane, especially if I am already in that lane.
Safe drivers realize that more and more of their fellow motorists are driving with any number of distractions vying for their attention: eating, drinking, smoking, texting, GPS-fiddling, iPods, cell phones, navigational systems – the list grows daily. Bottom line – drive defensively, stay alert, don’t assume anything and expect the unexpected.
How interesting is it that years ago conversations between mothers and children consisted of the mom not understanding what it is about this “social media technology STUFF”, to now the children begging their parents to get off of this same “social media technology STUFF.
I do a lot of work with teens and young adults and there seems to be a bit of a trend that everyone’s parents are on fb, twitter, and even instagram. I find this to be so hilarious and it hits me personally because my mother has fb, and instagram. LOL, and it’s not like these moms are getting accounts so that they can spy on their children, they are actually engaging and enjoying social media.
Although it can be a bit embarrassing at times and looking on the bright side of things, I think it is slightly neat that our superiors are keeping up with technology. The more you know the more you grow……. Right?
BUT in the meantime, share your personal experience if you have one with your Social Media Mom. Here are some traits to better help you distinguish if you have a Social Media Mom or not.
- Likes ALL of your pictures leaving you with 71 notifications ALL FROM HER
- Is friends with ALL of your friends
- Comments on your wall and pictures, and your friend’s wall and pictures
- Has mobile apps and text notifications coming directly to their phone
- Knows all of the latest social media gossip BEFORE YOU
- Logs on at crazy hours of the night and morning
It took for me to stop and think one day about the increase in moms that I have seen create accounts on different social media sites. It’s amazing how different trends are so big that they began to overtime grow on EVERYONE. SHOUT OUT TO ALL SOCIAL MEDIA MOMS WE LOVE YOU
By Chuck Mai, AAA
We count on our cars to get us where we need to go, but can our cars count on us to return the favor? Here’s a list of five common maintenance mistakes we make, compiled by AAA’s Auto Repair experts.
When you’re sick, you don’t ask a stranger to diagnose you or recommend treatment options, and the same is true for your car. Yet, we often hear of people who use online self-help forums in an effort to avoid paying a diagnostic fee and save money. However, these forums frequently lead to motorists buying parts based on the recommendations of strangers, resulting in unnecessary repairs that exceed the cost of the diagnostic fee they were trying to avoid in the first place.
Not establishing a repair shop relationship
Get to know an auto repair facility and service advisor who knows you and your vehicle. By establishing this relationship, you’ll have someone to turn to for routine maintenance or emergency repairs and you’ll know they have your best interests in mind. AAA visits, evaluates and approves auto repair shops in Oklahoma. This information is available to members and non-members alike, free, at AAA.com.
When you hear an unusual noise coming from under your hood, don’t turn up your radio to drown it out. Instead, give your trusted technician a call and schedule a service appointment as soon as possible. Squeaking, grinding or thumping could indicate a serious brake, engine or suspension malfunction. Ignore an abnormal noise for too long and you could end up seeing an abnormal repair bill.
Not addressing leaks
From brake fluid to coolant, consumers often overlook liquids leaking from their rides. Motorists may dismiss an oil leak by topping off low fluid, for example. However, leaking oil can drip onto suspension components and melt rubber on contact, which ultimately can lead to costly suspension repairs. If there’s a puddle in your parking spot, take the time to figure out what’s leaking.
Spending money without knowing why
Have you ever paid for a vehicle “repair,” but didn’t know why? Consumers sometimes spend money on maintenance or repairs without understanding what they paid for and why they needed it, especially if they don’t feel a difference in the way their vehicle performs after the work has been completed. Don’t be shy – take time to ask questions about the services being performed and the money you’re investing in your vehicle.
By Chuck Mai, AAA
Thinking about taking a family vacation this summer? Choosing and planning can be half the fun.
There are many short, fun, exciting, family-oriented and inexpensive vacation destinations within Oklahoma – and AAA Oklahoma is the first to point them out in AAA’s Oklahoma TourBook travel guide – but sometimes families want options. Planning a trip the whole family will enjoy is easier when you let AAA’s travel professionals help point the way with expert recommendations.
To select their top picks for key family travel destinations, AAA editors became kids again. With an eye toward finding options for kids from tots to teens, they visited and played at countless attractions touted as kid-friendly — many designated as AAA GEMs, offering a Great Experience for Members — along with notable restaurants and events. This family-friendly content is available in AAA’s popular digital and printed travel guides for select destinations.
The key to a successful family vacation is planning activities that are fun and exciting for every member of your group, recognizing that what’s exciting to a 6-year-old can differ from what appeals to teens. Recommendations from AAA’s travel editors help make these distinctions, ensuring easier travel planning and memorable vacation experiences.
AAA’s Top Picks for Kids are currently available for 19 U.S. cities coast to coast, including New York, Orlando, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Selections are separated into categories that include options for kids under 13, teens, and kids of all ages.
AAA editors’ Top Picks for Kids can be found in the AAA.com Travel Guides, the downloadable AAA eTourBook guides available at AAA.com/ebooks and the printed AAA TourBook guides available to members free at full-service AAA Oklahoma offices.
FOR EXAMPLE: AAA Editors’ Top Picks for Kids – MIAMI
Miami Seaquarium: At this AAA GEM attraction, kids enjoy the antics of Salty the sea lion, Flipper the dolphin and Lolita the killer whale. Between-show activities include saltwater exhibits with sea turtles and reef fish. There’s even a pirate ship playground with water guns and a spiral slide.
Monkey Jungle: What could be more fun than a whole park filled with monkeys? A fenced-in path through this subtropical forest keeps humans and monkeys safely separate while allowing visitors to get really close to these wonderful animals.
Duck Tours South Beach: If you want to tour South Beach and get a taste of its rich Art Deco legacy without hearing choruses of “I’m bored,” hop on an amphibious vehicle. The entertaining and educational 90-minute excursion concludes with a big splash into Biscayne Bay.
La Carreta Restaurant: Enjoy a delicious introduction to home-style Cuban cuisine, a big part of the Miami experience, at this local institution on Little Havana’s Calle Ocho (8th Street). Sample charbroiled meats and chicken-and-rice dishes, and snap a family photo with the giant metal chicken outside.
Beaches: You’re in Florida after all. Miami Beach is the obvious choice, particularly if you are staying there. There is also nearby Key Biscayne with its two public beaches: Crandon Park – a 2-mile stretch of sand noted for its calm waters and rental cabanas – and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, with its postcard-worthy historic lighthouse.
Everglades National Park: Drive down to South Florida’s wilderness jewel, a AAA GEM attraction. This endangered “River of Grass” is a haven for birds as well as alligators, snakes, turtles and manatees. Drive the 38 miles from the entrance to the Flamingo Visitor Center and enjoy the views from your car. Trailheads radiate out from the road at several spots, inviting short hikes. A thrilling high-speed way to explore the park is by airboat ride, offered at Everglades Alligator Farm and Everglades Safari Park.
When you think of development what comes to mind?
Development is a specified state of growth or advancement. Understanding that there is human development, as humans we HAVE to stop and THINK. Human Development involves the biological, physical, cognitive, and social aspects of growth throughout one’s life.
Now, I can confidently say that I am sure you all are aware of all of that. So let’s move on. We are informed, we have the knowledge, but are we applying it correctly?
Did you know that when you take that knowledge and apply it, it could make a HUGE difference in someone’s life? See, not everyone has the capability to think past the current experiences that they face in today’s society. When you have that capability, you are in a good position. Good position because more than likely you are pretty successful, and good position because you have the chance to make a difference in someone’s life which than makes you successful and significant. WOW!!
Learning about development increases your understanding of other situations outside of the ones that you experience personally. When you understand something, you are well informed on that topic. As the leader that you are, take that information and share it with someone who is not as fortunate as you.
As humans, people go through changes, they develop. They are developing as humans in a society that does not really cater to their development. THAT’S CRAZY; but it’s true.
So just ponder on that. Today’s youth is developing FAST and we have to understand that so that we are able to reach them and teach them.
Having so much knowledge is hard sometimes, understood, but don’t be stingy with what you know, lend a hand where a hand is needed. You never know how big of an impact you could have on someone by just sharing beneficial information that could shape their future.
With St. Patrick’s Day and all of the talk about alcohol, it reminded of some valuable information that I could share.
I have been hearing a lot about alcohol abuse causing dementia through the years, but I am beginning to hear more about it nowadays. So let’s start here, what is alcohol abuse? Moderate drinking is one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Anything above that is abuse, we will just say that.
Excessive alcohol consumption has a horrible effect on the central nervous system. Your central nervous system is vital and is responsible for some of the main functions of your body. Alcohol also affects the brain, your brain sends signals to different functions of your body, and these signals tell them what to do. When you consume large amounts of alcohol, your blood absorbs it and messes with the regular functions of it.
There is no guarantee that alcohol consumption causes dementia, but it is guaranteed that it could potentially have a perpetual effect on your health. It is now being said that even moderate drinking can lead to different forms of dementia. The need for more studies on this is high, so that there can be more accuracy in the findings. Of course if you drink heavy amounts of alcohol consistently for a long period of time, then your chances are higher. They previously conducted a lot of studies on the elderly and Alzheimer patients screening them for alcohol abuse. Recent studies on this have been controversial and have had different findings, either way the facts remain the same. Alcohol abuse is dangerous and can lead to long term health concerns, so during the holidays and summer months, take it easy and be careful.