Pros and Cons of a Smart Car

When people are thinking about making an expensive buying decision, especially with something as new and unusual as the smart car, they often want to know the pros and cons of the various options they are considering. This article will examine the pros and cons of a smart car.

There is no doubt that the smart fortwo car has its passionate supporters. Before it arrived in the United States in 2007, it had already enjoyed wild success in Europe over several years. But with its small size, there are also a number of concerns.

Pros of a Smart Car

There are many benefits to be considered; don’t let its small size fool you!

  • Environmentally-friendly. Not only is this small car fuel-efficient, averaging around 40 mpg, but it has several other environmentally-friendly features as well. The smart fortwo car uses innovative energy-efficient and recyclable materials in its construction. In fact, 95% of the vehicle is recyclable and the dash material is made from recycled synthetics.
  • Easy to park and drive. The smart car has a very small footprint. At less than 9 feet long, it’s nearly 3 feet shorter than the already diminutive Mini Cooper. Of course, a big reason for that is that it’s only a 2-seater. But the short size means this car is super easy to park, especially in tight spots or short spots where other cars wouldn’t fit. It’s also got a great turning radius that makes it very maneuverable.
  • Appearance. No one can argue that the smart fortwo car is not unique in its design and appearance. See one, and you will never forget it, whether you like it or not! Many people’s first impression is that it is just so darn cute. When Mercedes Benz brought the smart fortwo car to the United States, they updated its image to be more cutting edge, with more chrome, a bit longer hood section and updated headlights and dashboard area. You can also change out the plastic body panels to give it a whole new color, or purchase a car wrap with some kind of unique print or design on it.
  • Safety design. Most people’s first reaction when they see this tiny car is something along the lines of, “How could such a small car be safe on the road” However, what make the smart car so unique is Mercedes Benz attention to safety. From the innovative tridion safety cell, a sort of safety cage, to its 4 airbags and advanced braking system, the smart car is built for safety. Crash tests have consistently proved Mercedes’ safety claims. Anecdotal evidence, as published on the website, also supports those claims.
  • Surprisingly roomy inside. Another surprising benefit of the smart car is its interior roominess. There is plenty of leg room for both driver and passenger. Head room is great too, with men as tall as 6’6″ fitting in the driver’s seat comfortably. The cargo area is also quite roomy for a small car. We fit a 50-pound black lab and 2 other dogs in our hatch when we go hiking. And we’ve toted home as many as 8 grocery bags and a case of soda when we go food shopping.
  • Perfect commuter car. The smart fortwo car was originally designed as a “city car” for crowded European city-dwellers, and that is its greatest value in the United States, as well. It makes a great commuter car, with its roominess, solid gas mileage and zippy performance on the roads, not to mention ease of parking.

Cons of a Smart Car

Of course, no car is perfect for everyone, and this one is no exception. It does have a few features that could be improved, as well as some aspects that just make it the wrong choice for certain people.

  • Size vs. other cars on the highway. Despite its considerable safety features, there is no question that the smart car is much smaller than just about every other vehicle on the highway. So, there is a good chance that if you are involved in an accident with a big SUV or truck, you might come out the loser. However, there are accounts of smart cars faring better than other larger vehicles in an accident. One advantage of its small footprint is that it might be able to avoid collisions that a larger vehicle could not.
  • No cruise control. As mentioned above, the smart car was designed as a commuter, in-town type of car. Perhaps that’s why, despite a number of other high-end features, it lacks a cruise control option. If you do plan to travel in it or your commute involves highway driving, chances are you are going to miss having cruise control.
  • Unusual transmission. Smart cars have what is termed an “automated manual transmission.” What that means is that you have an option between going completely automatic or using a modified manual transmission. Most people find that keeping it in automatic means slightly sluggish gear shifting. That is easily remedied, however, by switching to the automated manual mode. This is a clutch-less manual transmission, meaning you are in charge of using the stick shift or paddle shifters on the steering wheel to switch gears, but you don’t have to coordinate with a clutch. The manual mode is super easy to use, even if you’ve never driven a stick shift before, and provides for a much zippier gear-shifting experience.
  • Limited passenger seating and cargo space. Smart cars only have 2 seats – the driver’s seat and one passenger seat. So they’re not meant to be family cars. And while the cargo hatch area is surprisingly roomy, it is still less than 8 cubic feet. So you won’t be hauling any lumber or large pieces of furniture in it.
  • Gas mileage could be higher. For such a small car, you might expect the gas mileage to be much higher. However, the smart car was rated the most fuel-efficient gas-powered car in the United States by the EPA in 2010. And even at 40 MPG, it is considerably more fuel-efficient than most light trucks and SUVs on the road today.
  • Requires premium fuel. The smart car requires premium fuel, which can be pricey, because of its small engine size. Smaller engines tend to perform better with a higher grade of fuel. You might consider its gas mileage to be the trade-off for the pricier gas.

In weighing the pros of a smart car against the cons, I find the pros win. For what it’s designed to be — a commuter vehicle for 1 or 2 people — the smart car is a great value with many added benefits. Could it be better? Sure, as with most products, there is definitely room for improvement. But, if you want a forward-thinking, unique and fuel-efficient small car, then I would definitely encourage you to consider the smart fortwo car.

10 Reasons Why People Travel

When people decide to leave the comforts of their home and venture to other locations there is usually a reason behind it. Whether the cause to travel was a last minute whimsy or had an actual purpose, it makes one think about all of the reasons why people travel. Reflect on the last time you left your location and ventured to another one. Did it have a purpose behind it? Let’s look and see if your motive to travel matched any of the one’s listed below. These are not listed in any particular order.

1. Romance- There are thousands of people who are involved in long distance relationships. At some point though, they need to see each other. For the sake of love, people will travel for hours to spend as much time as they can with the love of their life.

2. Relaxation- All work and no play is not a good thing. People need to get away from the stress of everyday life, and a nice sunny location with a beach might just be what the doctor ordered.

3. Family/ Friends -Many people have family/friends that are located in different parts of the world. They need to visit with them even if it’s for a short period of time.

4. Religion- There are places in the world that hold religious importance for many people. Religious travel is often related to a purpose such as seeing where the last pope was buried, or traveling to the town where Jesus was born.

5. Death- A relative, friend or acquaintance has passed away and travel is required to attend the funeral which is located out of town.

6. Honeymoon- You’re getting married and are going somewhere special to celebrate. This usually occurs right after the wedding, but there are many occasions where people celebrate a honeymoon years later.

7. Education-You’re getting your education somewhere other than where you live or you are going away on an educational school trip.

8. Celebration- Wedding, Anniversary, Birthday, Birth- There’s always something to celebrate and it doesn’t always happen where you live.

9. Medical/Health- Sometimes the treatment you need isn’t available in the city/town where you live. Often the best medical care is costly and requires travel to receive it.

10. Work- Job requirements might mean a fair bit of travel is involved. Even if the travel is within your own country it still has a purpose attached to it.

Overall, traveling can be a wonderful experience or it can be draining, expensive and just plain torture. Nonetheless if you need to go then embrace it for what it is, and try to make the best of it even if it wasn’t planned.

Pets – Safety Tips at Holiday Time

The holiday season has arrived. Thanksgiving has just passed and before you know it … or usually we are ready for it … you'll be waking up to Christmas morning. Boy, does not the year fly by? Along with all the joy the holidays bring, they can also present some particular hazards to the health of your pet – and consequently, to your peace of mind. Here are some ideas that can help prevent problems so that your holiday is a happy one for all.

First, it's a good idea of ​​know your vet's holiday hours. Keep emergency phone numbers and any special holiday requirements where they will be easily accessible.

Give some thought about how you'll use plants to decorate. Birds, cats and dogs will all nibble on household plants – and many of them are toxic or poisonous, including mistletoe and poinsettias. They can make your pet very ill so be sure to keep them out of your pet's reach.

If your celebration includes having a Christmas tree you should use some caution in placing the decorations on it. Only use unbreakable decorations at the bottom of your tree so there is not any danger of your cat batting a glass ball and breaking it, or the pup chewing your grandmother's antique bubble lights. As for birds – they should not have any access to the tree, decorations, plants and such. For those of us who live with pet birds, we know what mischief they can get into very quickly … not to mention how destructive they can be. So keep your birds confined, or watch them like a hawk (so to speak) when they are out of their cage. Better to be safe than sorry.

As far as the less exotic pets go … that is, cats and dogs … how about putting some kitty baubles or doggie toys on the lower branches of the tree instead of your fragile and valuable decorations. That way, if those pets are attracted to the tree they'll find something appropriate for them. Or, here is another suggestion that has proved successful for protecting both pets and little ones. Put the Christmas tree and gifts into a playpen. That may not stop kitty, but at least the tree can not fall down as easily as she decides to climb it. Granted, it might be a little strange to see the holiday tree and gifts in a playpen, but it might just be the ticket for your situation.

Since we are on the subject of the Christmas tree, here is another safety hint. If you have a live tree placed in water wrap the base so your pets can not drink the water. Many modern live trees have been sprayed with chemicals that may be toxic to your little friends.

Be very, very careful with candles. Your bird or cat may be enticed by the flicker of the flame. Singed whiskers or feathers would certainly put a damper on holiday cheer, not to mention the horror your pet would suffer from a serious burn. Place glass "hurricane lanterns" or other attractive covers over candles to protect your home and your pets.

Give some thought to New Years Eve. Pets are typically fried by the traditional firecrackers and other noisy merriment and it's best to have a plan to keep them from becoming afraid by the noise. Some dogs may be severely traumatized by fireworks so be sure to leave them inside if you go out to celebrate.

Pets, especially birds and cats, may be stressed by the changes in household routine during the holidays, especially if you are stressed yourself. Some cats and dogs respond to stress by becoming hyper or hysterical, and some simply retreat. Plan to spend some special time with your pets to calm yourself and reassure them during this period. If your pet is especially upset with strangers visiting, prepare a refugee where he can go to escape the "maddening crowd."

And last of all, we wish you and your family a wonderful and safe holiday.

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Dress Code for a Limo Chauffeur

A Chauffeur dress code is a set of rules controlling what garments may be worn by a limousine driver. These rules are determined by the limousine company that employs the driver. They may set preference colors for suits, provide some uniforms or specific clothes for the driver to wear. However, chauffeur dress code has some universal rules that must be followed if your employee does not say otherwise.

Let’s look at the chauffeur dress code and what items should be worn by a male chauffeur.

Neck: For corporate runs and night outs tie is optional. However, a tie is required for weddings, graduations and other formal occasions. Bow ties are acceptable but are unusual. The top button of the collar of the shirt must be done up.

Overcoat can be worn if weather requires. Do not put overcoat over a single shirt. Wear a suit or a dark jacket.

Suit Jacket: Plain black suits are the preferred option for most limo operators, but any good quality dark suit is suitable too. Your limo company may have a color preference for a suit.

Shirt: Collared dress shirt is a necessity. It must be clean and well pressed. White is the universally preferred color for weddings and graduations, and other special occasions. For night outs your chauffeur could be dressed in black elegant shirt too. Any good quality white / black shirt will look good and elegant. Avoid button down collars.

Pants: Suit Pants that must match the jacket. Of course, preference for black if not specified otherwise.

Socks: Black or the same color as your suit. If not, at least same darkness as the suit. No logos, images of prints should be visible.

Footwear: Dress Leather Pumps. Preferably black, laced up. Note: people sometimes judge you by your shoes. It is a good idea to invest in good leather shoes and clean them every day.

Rings: A wedding or engagement ring is always allowed. Other rings should be kept away.

Belt: Leather belt that match your suit. No big belt buckles with logos or symbols.

The purpose of chauffeur dress is to represent the company and to make your customers feel in good hands. By following this dress code you will look professional and trustworthy from the second you step out of the limousine. However, the chauffeur needs much more than only to follow the dress code to impress the customers. On the other hand, a good first impression always helps.