Here are some holiday gift ideas that can help make driving safer. Although it’s late in the holiday season, you could buy something from the following list as a literally last-minute gift, or as a gift for yourself.
John R. Quain, writing for FoxNews.com, suggests Car Connection from Audiovox, which provides many of the features that some new cars some equipped with. It is as small “as a Fig Newton,” Quain writes, and once plugged into a car’s on-board diagnostic system, it connects to the Internet via its own cellular data connection. That allows you to track your vehicle’s location via a web browser (such as if you forget where you parked it) and receive text alerts if it moves without your authorization. Parents will like the feature that emails them alerts if the vehicle travels faster than 75 miles per hour, Quain writes. Car Connection costs $170 plus a $9.95 monthly subscription and a one-time $19.95 activation fee. Quain adds that there are less expensive apps that provide similar services, but they are unable to track a vehicle and stop working once the phone is out of the car.
The Garmin HUD is another gift Quain recommends. He writes that it can help prevent distracted driving because it is a “head-up” display, the first such navigation device that you can install in any car. It is less distracting because it does not require the driver to look down at the dashboard or up at a portable navigation system that creates a blind spot above the dash, Quain writes. The Garmin HUD projects a translucent image onto the lower part of the windshield, using blue turn-arrows and large text to show your current speed, estimated arrival time and distance to the next turn. Functional for both daytime and nighttime driving, it uses spoken instructions through your smart phone, which requires the Navigon or StreetPilot navigation app (at a cost of $30 and up), Quain writes.
Adam Fusfield also suggests gifts for drivers in his article for Newsday. Everblades Heated Windshield Wiper Blades can help a driver to see the road better (especially in Colorado’s wintery weather), and thus make the roads safer for everyone. They are customized for your make and model of car, and produce heat with just a flick of a switch, Fusfield writes. They cost $120 and up, and are available from everblades.com.
The AAA 77-Piece Warrior Road Kit sells at Walmart and on amazon.com, Fusfield writes. It contains everything a driver needs in case of a breakdown on the road, from an air compressor and a booster cable to a 45-piece first aid kit. It costs around $69.00.
In addition to the gift ideas above, you can find hundreds of inexpensive items that promote driving safety at CafePress.com. For example, they have bumper stickers that politely remind tailgaters behind you to:
ALL THE GOOD STUFF
…and bumper stickers with blunt messages like the $3.99 one that says:
I’m not speeding up for you.
GO AROUND ME.
And this bumper sticker — which says “designated driver” — would make a good reminder to holiday drivers to drive sober. Happy and safe holidays to all.