Back to School Road Safety & Preparation Tips


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Can you believe that we’re heading into the final weeks of summer and kids will be heading back to school soon? With so many online articles and blogs sharing their tips for back to school road safety, we were inspired to share a collaboration of two articles written by the National Safety Council and Organized Home.

With everyone home from summer road-trips and heading to school drop-off zones, it’s more important than ever to pay attention in school zones and share the road with other drivers. Did you know that more children are hit by cars in school zones than at any other location?* The National Safety Council shares the following tips:

  • Avoid double parking; it blocks visibility for children & vehicles
  • Load and unload children in front of the school, not across the street
  • Carpool to reduce number of vehicles in school zones

Did you know that walking children between the ages of 4-7 are mostly likely to lose back-view-backpack-bag-207697.jpgtheir lives in bus-related incidents?* Not only is it important to take extra care in school zones, but also in neighborhoods surrounding local schools. With nice weather in Baltimore extending into November, it’s likely that many students will be walking to school versus taking the bus. The National Safety Council says:

  • Stop and yield to pedestrians walking across the street
  • Take extra care to look out for students and children in school zones, near playgrounds and in all residential areas
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
  • No matter who has the right of way, use extreme caution when driving around pedestrians and children

According to The National Safety Council, it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to pick up and drop off students. It is important to stay alert when following a school bus and to leave a safe amount of space between your car and any school bus.


Heading back to school can be a tough adjustment for not only kids, but the entire family. Gone are the days of sleeping in and making plans on the fly; the school year means meshing everyone’s schedules together and staying organized! Organized Home suggests making a calendar (on paper or online) that both parents and/or all members of the family can refer to throughout the week.

“Color-coding entries by family member helps keep busy lives straight.”

– Organized Home



The weekends seem to fly by when the school year starts, often making Monday morning a chaotic scene for every family. Organized Home suggests making a game-plan the night before of what needs to be done the next day, laying out your children(s) clothes before bedtime (adding independence to their routine!) and scanning all backpacks for homework, projects or library books.

“Each evening, think ahead to the following morning; where can you lighten the load?”

– Organized Home


Whether you’re heading into a new grade or off to college, our entire team at J.B.A. Chevrolet wishes you a fantastic school year ahead!

*National Safe Route to School Program

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD

Sources: Organized Home | National Safety Council 


Charities That Could Use Your Help This Memorial Day

Memorial Day is just around the corner and, for many, that means it’s time to relax, eat some good food and enjoy long weekend. The truth is, however, we can often get caught up in the relaxation and forget the true meaning behind the holiday.

At JBA Chevrolet, we believe it’s important to take a step back and show our respect to those who put their lives on the line every day for the beautiful country we will be enjoying this Memorial Day. In honor of this upcoming holiday weekend, we’ve chosen to highlight three charities that work to benefit the lives of our brave soldiers and their families.

1. The Memorial Day Foundation

The Memorial Day Foundation completely dedicated to bringing awareness to the meaning of Memorial Day. This organization shows their appreciation to soldiers and their families by creating floral arrangements that will be placed in honor of Memorial Day. Getting involved with The Memorial Day Foundation is a great way to show your appreciation this weekend! Why? Well, the donated funds go directly towards these beautiful floral arrangements, Thank You cards and honor the memory of American soldiers to have lost their lives.



2. Homes For Our Troops

Homes For Our Troops is a non-profit organization that dedicates 100% of their funds to helping those who were affected by the attacks on 9/11. Both Veterans and their families are eligible for help from Home For Our Troops. This fantastic organization offers several ways for individuals to get involved over Memorial Day weekend, including donating funds online or helping to build a home for a family near you.

Want to know more about how you can help? Homes For Our Troops website includes a map that will help you locate the closest project in need of volunteers.


3. Fisher House Foundation

Fisher House Foundation provides members of our military a free stay at their “comfort homes,” specifically designed for family members of veterans receiving medical treatment. The folks behind the Fisher House Foundation believe that there is no better way to help those who are hurting than having their family by their side. When families need a safe and comforting place to stay, the Fisher House Foundation is there to help.

How can you make a donation? The Fisher House Foundation has partnered up with many other organizations that also donate portions of their profits to this charity. As a donor, the Fisher House Foundation gives you the choice have directing your funds providing housing for Military families or towards flying in Military family members to be closer to their loved ones during treatment.



Even if you choose to relax this Memorial Day weekend, it’s important that we don’t forget the the true meaning behind this patriotic holiday. We are happy to highlight just some of the many admirable not-for-profit organizations that could certainly use a helping hand this Memorial Day weekend.

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD

2018 Chevrolet Equinox: The Car Seat Honor Roll

“Families will find a lot to like about Chevrolet’s redesigned-for-2018 compact SUV . . .  there’s still plenty of room for two car seats in its ample backseat, and exposed Latch anchors mean installation is a breeze.” –


Image provided by

What is Car Seat Check? 

Editors from the website are certified child safety seat installation technicians. For the Car Seat Check, editors used a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat, and Graco TurboBooster seat.

How did the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox do? 


Image provided by

Why the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox?

The all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox has been designed to meet your needs and your expectations; this versatile crossover is the complete package. The Equinox comes available with ten advanced safety technologies to help you detect and prevent potential hazards on the road.

Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Rear Vision Camera, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist, Side Blind Zone Alert, and Lane Change Alert are just some of the fantastic safety features you can look forward who when you’re in the drivers seat of the 2018 Equinox.

Partnered with the latest in on-the-road safety tech, the Chevrolet Equinox comes equipped with Intellibeam Headlamps, Safety Alert Seat, and Surround Vision to ensure that you and your precious cargo are always safe.

Click here to learn more about the great features found in the all-new Chevrolet Equinox.

Sources: Chevrolet | 

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD


Military Appreciation & the Silverado 1500 Special Ops Edition

During Military Appreciation Month this past May, Chevrolet joined forces with the National Navy SEAL Museum in Florida to honor the men and women who have served in the United States military – more specifically, the special forces.

The debut of the Silverado 1500 Special Ops Edition marks the latest addition to the Chevrolet Special Edition family. Designed to reflect the commitment of the special-forces, this multi-purpose truck is ready to take on anything, anywhere.


Based on the Silverado 1500 ZL1, the Special Ops edition features a new front-end design, high-strength body structure, and new technologies that draw upon navel design aesthetics. For every Special Ops edition sold, Chevrolet will make a donation to the Navy SEAL Museum.

Silverado Special Ops Features:

20″ Black Aluminium Wheels, Deep-tinted windows, Black Chevrolet emblems, Navel Inspired Graphics, Bed-mounted Sport Bar with Special Ops signature, All-terrain tires, Available on Silverado 1500 Double Cab model

Chevrolet has made a deep commitment to honor the men and women of our Military each and every day. You can learn more about the programs that Chevrolet has partnered with, in support of the men and women who protect our country, through their website.

If you are currently serving or have served in the Military, and live in or around the Glen Burnie area, please contact our Sales Team by phone (866.578.9089) or through our website. All of our JBA Team Members would be happy and honored to assist you in purchasing a new or used Chevrolet vehicle.

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD

Sources: National Military Appreciation Month | Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Special Ops Edition | Chevrolet Military Discount & Partnerships | JBA Chevrolet 

Hundreds celebrate 10th anniversary of Aiello Breast Center

cgnews-bwmc-aiello-breast-center-10th-annivers-002One in eight women in the U.S. will have invasive breast cancer in their lives,” said Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh. “In 2015, twelve million women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Yet, with every battle we fight here, we get one step closer to beating breast cancer once and for all.”

Schuh was one of a crowd of several hundred people who gathered in 94-degree heat to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Aiello Breast Center at University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (BWMC). The party was held beneath a large white tent erected in the center’s parking lot.

Many held paper fans with which they vainly tried to beat away the heat.

Including 200 present or former breast cancer patients of the center, the crowd clustered beneath the tent to laud Joseph “Joe” Aiello, owner of JBA Chevrolet in Glen Burnie, and his wife of 56 years, Doris Aiello.

Many wore pink, a symbol of breast cancer awareness, sat at one of the festival-like booths to have pink extensions woven into their hair, or nibbled on pink cotton candy.11988571_943097519070272_3505835840127444951_n

The Aiello couple had been impressed when a friend in the car business, Creston Tate of Tate Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, donated one million dollars for an emergency room at BWMC. Tate and his wife Betty Jane Tate later donated more money for the Tate Cancer Center at the hospital. Inspired, the Aiellos donated $250,000 to a care center at BWMC, followed in 2004 with a one million dollar gift to establish the Aiello Breast Center.

That’s not the end of the Aiello family’s largess. Near the end of the party, Joe Aiello handed BWMC president and CEO Karen Olscamp a check for $25,000, earmarked for the Aiello Breast Center.

Delegate Pamela G. Beidle, of District 32, is not a stranger to the Aiello Breast Center.

“I visit this place one a year for a mammogram,” she said. “I had a scare in 2005. I had something that had to be biopsied. So, I come back every year for a check up.”
She is among the more than 8,000 patients treated at the center since it opened.

Beidel and Schuh were joined by several local politicians and officials including State’s Attorney Wes Adams, Sheriff Ron Bateman, County Council vice chairman Pete Smith, and Maryland’s First Lady Yumi Hogan.

11986958_943097482403609_9156449193955008271_nThe First Lady paused to admire a Chevrolet Camaro decorated with bright pink swirls parked at the entrance to the tent.

Motioning towards the attendees, Mrs. Hogan said, “Their story is my story, because of my husband’s cancer.”

She stated Gov. Hogan’s health is improving. “He is doing very well. He’s staying strong.

“He says ‘Hello!'”

The center’s staff of eight, including physicians Drs. Cynthia Drogula and Barbara Urban, circulated through the festive audience.

“Because of women who’ve openly discussed their breast cancer or risks of getting breast cancer, like actress Angelina Jolie, more people are coming into the center more interested in their health,” said
Dr. Urban.

State Senator Ed Degrange, at the tail end of politicians presenting certificates, looked downcast when he saw Schuh’s professionally framed citation.11988682_943097472403610_1886850801277306662_n

Degrange’s was in a plastic folder. “Our budget’s been cut,” he joked. Offering it to Dr. Drogula, he said, “I’m sure you can frame this.”

Dr. Drogula offered the audience a message of hope. A decade ago, she said, Anne Arundel County had higher rates of breast cancer than the rest of the state and higher mortality rates. “While breast cancer rates continue to rise, rates in Anne Arundel County have dropped for the first ti
me in recorded history,” she announced.

“Awareness is getting out there. Women used to come in with advanced stages of the disease. Now, more are coming here in the early stages of breast cancer.”

Shared from Capital Gazette

How to remove a sticker from your car

While removing stickers isn’t as easy as putting them on, here’s some advice that should make the job a little less sticky.

removing a sticker - 002

What you need:

  • Hair dryer with hot air settings
  • Razor blade or a box cutter (if removing from glass)
  • Sturdy plastic card — could be a library card, credit card, frequent shopper card or ID
  • Two clean rags or detailing towels
  • Glass cleaning solution (if removing from glass)
  • Tree sap remover solution
  • Quick detailing spray

What to do:

1. Ensure that the sticker and the surrounding area are free of dirt. Doing this removal process works best after a car wash.

2. Plug in the hair dryer, turn the heat setting to hot and hold the hair dryer just a few inches above the sticker. Do not place the hair dryer directly on top of the sticker and the car’s paint.

removing a sticker - 004

3. Keep the hair dryer over the center area for a few seconds, making sure the air coming out is hot and then slowly begin to move it around the rest of the sticker. You want to heat the edges of the sticker last so you can prep for the next step.

removing a sticker - 005

4. After you’ve let the sticker heat up, use the plastic card at an angle to gently scrape up under the sticker. You can also try using your fingertips. If the surface area is hot enough, you will be able to slide the card under the sticker’s edge and begin to peel it away.

Repeating steps 2-3 a few more times may make a cumbersome presidential campaign sticker that’s been on your bumper since the last time your party won easier to remove. You can also try moving the plastic card or razor blade back and forth while you slide it under the sticker’s surface.

removing a sticker - 006

If you’re removing a sticker from your car’s glass, use the box cutter or razor blade at a slight angle. Do not use a box cutter or razor blade on your car’s paint; it will cause damage. On glass you will be able to apply a bit heavier pressure, if needed, to remove the sticker.

removing a sticker - 007

5. Continue to push the plastic card — or razor blade — underneath the sticker until it completely breaks away from the car’s surface. It is completely normal for the sticker to break apart during this removal process.

removing a sticker - 008

6. Once the sticker is removed, you can repeat steps 1-4 to remove any sticky residue or remnants. Tree sap remover also works great. Just apply a few drops onto a clean rag or detailing cloth and scrub away. If there’s sticky residue on your car’s glass, use the razor blade to gently scrape it away.

removing a sticker - 009

7. When that part of the car is completely clear of any sticker and its residue, polish it off with some glass cleaner or quick detailing spray

(source – Kicking Tires

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD

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Night Driving

night-drivingSome people enjoy driving at night, while some hate the idea… with good reason.  Fatalities on the road occur at a rate three times greater at night than during the day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While only a quarter of all driving is done at night, more than half of all driving deaths occur then.

Three different factors usually combine to make these deadly figures what they are: fatigue, alcohol and poor visibility.

fatigue-limo-driverFatigue is a killer on the road, you should take your drowsiness very seriously. That split-second you have to react could be the difference between life and death. If you are feeling sleepy, take as few risks as possible.  Driving for 12 hours or more without sleeping is about as bad as driving drunk, so it’s better to make stops, stretch, drink a cup of coffee. The NHSTA estimates falling asleep at the wheel is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 40,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities every year. If you really must complete your journey, pull up to a rest area and take a 20 minute nap.

Alcohol. Police have been aggressively targeting drunk-drivers everywhere, but unless they install scanners in every car, alcohol will continue to be a big problem. More deadly car crashes take place on weekend nights when people have been to the pubs than at any other time of the week. You might not have been drinking, but that other guy…

Visibility is the biggest problem when driving at night. Car headlights only allow us to see a small portion of the road ahead. We’ve found that headlights even in brand-new cars are sometimes uneven or pointed lower than necessary. So it’s worth the effort to aim them correctly. If you do it yourself, use the instructions in your owner’s manual. And be patient. It may take a few tries before you have them pointed perfectly. Just make sure those newly aimed lights are not blinding oncoming traffic.

Even lights that are aimed correctly can cast a dim glow if something is blocking the light, so be sure to clean the road grime from your headlights often. If you have an older car with plastic lens covers, those covers might have yellowed or faded over the years. The best fix is to buy a headlight polish kit to remove the haze so your lights shine through brightly. In clear weather, your headlights should allow you to see for about 100 meter or about 350 feet.

These artificial lights also dull our vision and decrease the sharpness of peripheral sight. Some people may also experience a warped perception of distance or shape. If you do, you might want to consult an eye doctor.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Dim Your Instrument Panel and Dash Lights.  Cars come with dashboard dimmer switches for a reason. If you’re driving around with the dash light on max, you could be compromising your forward vision. Racers take the nighttime driving very seriously—in fact, endurance racers and rally drivers cover their dashboards with black felt to avoid stray reflections. While you shouldn’t do that in a road car, we like to turn down the dash brightness quite a bit.
  • night-driving-animalsBecome a Retina Spotter. On dark country roads, animals are everywhere. An encounter between wildlife and your car can be devastating—to you, the beastie, and certainly your vehicle. But here’s a trick: You can often see the reflections of your headlights in an animal’s eyes long before you can see the animal itself. Pairs of tiny bright spots in the distance are a clear warning that an animal is in front of you down the road. The best strategy when encountering large animals like deer: Slow down as quickly as you can. If you try to steer around a deer, they often will follow your lights and move in front of you.
  • Limit your speed and have good lane discipline. Just because you haven’t seen a car for a couple of minutes doesn’t mean you should clip corners, skip lanes or cut across on mountain roads.
  • If there is another driver coming towards you, keep your headlights on low beams so you don’t blind them. If he fails to do the same, the best thing you can do is look at the right side of the road and use that to steer the car.
  • If you’re attempting a long trip at night, make plenty of strops along the way at gas stations. The light will trick your body into waking up a bit, while coffee can keep you awake for a couple of hours. Light exercise is always a must to get blood going and reduce fatigue in joints.

Lastly, if something happens to your car or if you do have an accident, try to pull off the road completely. Turn the warning flashers on and the dome light. Place the reflectors or flares on the right side of the road and if possible get everybody out of the car and well away from the road. You wouldn’t believe how many trucks end up ramming cars that are stopped on the side of the road.

Safe driving!

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD

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New Year’s Resolutions for Every Car Owner

2013 resolutions

While we all know we should constantly strive to improve ourselves, the start of a New Year is a good catalyst to change bad habits and adopt good ones. If you own a car, there are probably several things you know you should be doing but tend to let slide. This year, resolve to make these simple changes in your behavior and get a little more life–and money–out of your vehicle.

“I will change my oil every 7000 miles.”

We all know we’re supposed to get regular oil changes, but it’s easy to ignore that little sticker on the corner of your windshield. Changing your oil at proper intervals–typically every 7000 miles–will extend the life of your engine and save you money in the long-run. Check your owner’s manual for the correct intervals for your vehicle.

“I will keep my tires properly inflated and rotated.”

Most of us don’t consider our tire pressure very often (or ever), but making sure your tires’ PSI is correct will help improve gas mileage, traction and the life of your rubber. Most gas stations have free air (with a built-in pressure gauge) that you can use, and they’ll almost always make sure your tires are in good shape when you get your oil changed. Don’t forget to get your tires rotated every five to ten thousand miles to ensure even wear on the tread, thus prolonging their longevity.

“I will not eat, or smoke in my car.”

Due to long commutes, short lunch hours, or busy schedules, many of us find ourselves stuck on the road for a meal at one time or another. While eating on the go may seem inevitable, resolve to stop using your steering wheel as a dining table come 2013. Not only will your car stay cleaner and smell better (especially if you make your car a “no smoking zone”), eating while driving is a form of distracted driving that increases your odds of an accident by 80%!

“I will not text while driving.”

Speaking of distracted driving, though many states have passed laws to prevent it, at least a third of us admit to sending or receiving text messages while behind the wheel. Texting while driving makes an accident 23 times more likely than if you’re focused on the road, and approximately 15 deaths per day could be prevented if we all waited ’til we arrived at our destination to send that “LOL”.

“I will keep my ride clean.”

In addition to increasing the aesthetic value of your ride, keeping your car clean will prolong the life of your paint and interior. Particles of dirt and other compounds (like bird poop) will damage your paint if left unattended for too long. A good rule is to clean the interior of your car once per week, by simply throwing away trash, and get a wash and vacuum once a month.

“I will put together a roadside survival kit.’

You can never predict a roadside emergency, and they can happen to even the newest cars. A dead battery or flat tire can ruin your day if you aren’t prepared for whatever car trouble might pop up. We’ve previously recommended you carry a roadside emergency kit, and there’s no better time than now to gather everything together and store it in your trunk.

“I will schedule two checkups for my car in 2013”

Regardless of how well you think you know your vehicle, a well-trained (and certified) technician can always spot things ahead of time that you might miss. Taking the time to schedule a checkup twice a year may seem obsessive, but preventative maintenance at the hands of a qualified professional is cheap insurance. Stay ahead of the game when it comes to know what kind of shape your car is in.

“I will address my car’s minor problems early”

This is perhaps the easiest responsibility to overlook, but the potential consequences of doing so can be catastrophic. It’s easy to hear a strange noise in your vehicle and hope that it will go away. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Don’t put off minor maintenance or easy repair work. Doing so can lead to larger problems and larger repair bills in the end. Bite the bullet, fix what’s wrong, and your car will last a lot longer.

Let the new year begin!

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD

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Safe Winter Driving Practices

Winter-DrivingWhile looking around on the Maryland MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) website, their ‘Safe Winter Driving’ page caught my eye. Winter driving always seems to catch us off guard, it comes every year, but we forget how to drive in winter conditions at the start.  So, here’s a friendly reminder, and some tips on how to stay on the road without breaking down or crunching your car.

Service your vehicle now. No one wants to break down in any season, but especially not in cold or snowy winter weather. Start the season off right by ensuring your vehicle is in optimal condition. (Schedule your Service Appointment at JBA Chevrolet online)

Check your battery. When the temperature drops, so does battery power. Plus, it takes more power to start your vehicle in cold weather than in warm. Find out if your battery is up to the challenges of winter.

Check your cooling system.  When coolant freezes, it expands. Such expansion can potentially damage your vehicle’s engine block beyond repair. Don’t let this happen to your vehicle this winter!

Fill the washer reservoir.  You can go through a lot of windshield wiper fluid fairly quickly in a single snowstorm, so be prepared for whatever Mother Nature might send your way. Keep an extra bottle in the trunk.

Keep windows and mirrors clean.  Safe winter driving depends on achieving and maintaining the best visibility possible. Good visibility is always important, but even more so during the winter months when road conditions can make driving extremely hazardous.

Check your windshield wipers and defrosters.  The summer has a tendency to dry-out wiper blades, making them brittle enough to crack and come apart. Now is the time to change your windshield wipers before you get caught in the rain or in a snowstorm.

Inspect your tires.  Regardless of the season, you should inspect your tires at least once a month and always before embarking on a long road trip. It only takes about five minutes. If you find yourself driving under less-than-optimal road conditions this winter, you’ll be glad you took the time!

Know your vehicle.  Every vehicle handles somewhat differently; this is particularly true when driving on wet, icy, or snowy roads. Take time now to learn how to best handle your vehicle under winter weather driving conditions.

  • Practice cold weather driving when your area gets snow — but not on a main road! Until you’ve sharpened your winter weather driving skills and know how your vehicle handles in snowy conditions, it’s best to practice in an empty lot in full daylight.
  • Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface. On the road, sufficiently increase your following distance to provide a safety cushion between your vehicle and others on the road. Braking time is slower in these conditions, and you must allow yourself more room.
  • A word of caution about braking: Know what kind of brakes your vehicle has and how to use them properly. In general, if you have anti-lock brakes, apply firm pressure, if you have non anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes gently.
  • If you find yourself in a skid, stay calm and ease your foot off the gas while carefully steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go. This procedure, known as “steering into the skid,” will bring the back end of your car in line with the front.

Stock your vehicle.  Carry items in your vehicle to handle common winter driving tasks — such as cleaning off your windshield — as well as any supplies you might need in an emergency. Keep the following on hand:

  • Snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper.
  • Abrasive material, such as sand or kitty litter, in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow.
  • Jumper cables, flashlight and warning devices, such as flares and markers.
  • Blankets for protection from the cold.
  • A cell phone, water, food, and any necessary medicine (for longer trips or when driving in lightly populated areas).

Plan ahead, know your travel route and allow extra travel time.  Keep yourself and others safe by planning ahead before you venture out into bad weather. Driving in bad weather usually takes longer and is more stressful. Check the weather, road conditions, and traffic; plan to leave early if necessary.

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD

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Why Learn to Drive Stick

I used to be very intimidated by the stick shift. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. When I was 18, some friends and I went on a road trip across the country. The car was a manual transmission and I didn’t take my turn at the wheel until the third day… it wasn’t pretty.

Then, one winter, I got a job in the mountains, where all we had to drive were trucks… all of them manual. I had no choice… either get mocked for not being able to drive, or suck it up, get over the intimidation of it and learn to drive stick. I learned and I love it!

Why would people choose a manual transmission over an automatic?

Control – Many drivers prefer the enhanced sense of control that comes with the additional attention required to drive a manual transmission They also get better performance when passing, and better road feel when rounding curves and driving on steep hills, especially when they’re slippery. Many also believe that the more interactive style of driving helps them to remain more alert.

Save Money – Driven to full efficiency manual shift vehicles offer the best economy. The acquisition cost alone can save you $1,000 or more, plus the additional taxes and finance charges. Your fuel savings can vary from 10% – 15%, which could easily add up to several hundred dollars per year. Brake replacements tend to be less frequent and transmission repairs do not require a specialist.

Vehicle Choice – Some vehicles come available only in manual shift. This may be especially true of new sports cars during the early stage of their launch into the market. There are also those who derive tremendous pleasure out of driving a manual transmission correctly. For these people sheer joy of driving is unimaginable without a manual transmission. Once they drive one they will probably choose it for life.

There are other reasons, such as:

Travel – Traveling to Europe? Renting a vehicle is certainly a convenient way to wander off the beaten path and discover less well-known attractions. Renting a manual transmission can save you thousands of dollars and you have a wider range of vehicle selection. The fact is, most European rent-a-car agencies rent only stick shifts. Automatics are rare and very pricey. What’s more, even when you book ahead, you can’t be guaranteed of getting one.

Job Opportunities – Whether it’s landing a role in a film or being a hotel valet or a car jockey, knowing how to drive a shift opens up countless jobs.

Emergencies –You’re better able to respond to any emergency, especially if immediate medical attention is required. Possessing the skill to drive a manual vehicle can make all the difference. And save lives. Though less urgent, but equally as important, you can be the designated driver when a friend has had “one too many.”

There are many websites that will walk you through the process of driving stick shift, or you can contact a driving school… either way, I know driving a manual transmission has made me a better driver, and gotten me out of a few slippery situations. I suppose the general rule “Be Prepared” is a good one to take from my driving experience.

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD

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