Summer Pet Safety

It’s a beautiful, sunny day and you just spent part of your day tossing tennis balls to your furry friend at the park. Heading home, you realize you need to pick up a few things from the supermarket; it should only take about five minutes. Sure, the sun is shining and it is about 80 degrees, but it will only be a few minutes, so there is no harm in leaving your friend in the car, right?

WRONG. You never leave your pet in a car on a warm day.

Every year, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion as a result of being left in parked cars on warm days.  On a 75-degree day, the inside of a parked car can climb to 110 degrees in only minutes. In 20 minutes on a 90-degree day, the same car can get up to 130 degrees inside which is unsafe for humans and animals. You may think cracking the windows will help your pet, but the truth is that opened windows make very little difference to the inside temperature of your car.

Heatstroke is the main danger for pets in hot cars. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting. If they are stuck in a hot car, the cool air they receive is little to none and makes cooling down much harder.

Like most busy pet parents, you may be pressed for time and think that surely it’s okay to leave your pet for just a few minutes. The excuses: “Oh, it will just be a few minutes while I go into the store,” or “But I cracked the windows…” do not amount to much if your pet becomes seriously ill or dies from being left in a car.

If you love your furry friend as much as they love you, rethink leaving them in the car the next time you are out on a warm, sunny day.

Memorial Day & Summer Kick-Off Driving Tips

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Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service and over the course of the years has been considered the unofficial  “kick-off” of the Summer season.  The day and long weekend are often marked by family gatherings, parades, barbecues, and road trips.  As a result, highways and local roads alike, see high volume of cars on the road along with traffic and impatient drivers. According to the National Safety Council, more than 400 people will be killed during their Memorial Day weekend travels.

When driving to your destination this weekend, here are a few tips to help insure you have a fun and safe travel weekend:

 

  1. Buckle Up  Always wear your seat belt on every trip and make sure your passengers are wearing theirs. If you are traveling with children, make sure they are restrained in safety seat that is appropriate for their height, age and weight.
  2. Don’t get Distracted  Never use your cell phone while driving, even if your hands are free. Avoid listening to loud music and eating during your drive, these can be more distracting than you think.
  3. Take Breaks  Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue while on the road. If you know you have a long trip ahead of you, plan to have another driver to switch off with or plan to make a few rest stops during your travels.
  4. Plan Ahead  Don’t be in a rush to get to your destination. There will be plenty of cars on the road so it is important to keep a safe distance and go the speed limit while driving.  If you know you will be going to a party or gathering, always assign an alcohol and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation. Impairment begins with the first drink you have and its not worth getting behind the wheel afterwards.

Make sure you have fun by planning ahead so you, your family, and friends are sure to have a great time!

 

 

My Subway Experience

http://www.empiricalstyle.com/products-page/c-subway-signs/downtown-and-brooklyn-n-q-r/
http://www.empiricalstyle.com/products-page/c-subway-signs/downtown-and-brooklyn-n-q-r/

Besides being cram packed with people, New York is also known for it’s many Broadway theatres, cinemas and shops. All of which makes New York a city that never sleeps. Literally.

So far throughout my first semester of college, I have experienced A LOT being in the city. Attending school in the middle of Brooklyn is pretty much the equivalent of being in lower Manhattan. It’s packed, noisy and there’s never a dull moment. I take one step off of campus and there are crowds of people. As you can imagine, getting around the city isn’t always easy. Since I go to school in Brooklyn, we aren’t allowed to have a car on campus… that’s including all four years, leaving me with limited transportation options such as taking a taxi, a bus, the subway or walking. Although my roommate and I tend to walk everywhere we go, it doesn’t always get us where we need to be. With that being said, the subway is the next best thing. I can honestly say that the subway isn’t as bad as people make it seem. Besides it being crowed, hot and smelly, it’s really very simple to use once you get used to it.

When I go home from school I always take a train from Penn Station, it’s only 45 minutes tops. However, Penn Station isn’t walking distance from my school so I always take the subway to get me there. There are multiple subway stops near my school which gives me several train options to use. I have gotten used to the trains by now so I know what lines will be crowded during what times of the day. I also determine what subway I will use based on the weather. If the weather is bad outside I can either take the 2 express or the 3 local, each bringing me right into Penn Station. From there I just walk up a few flights of steps and I’m right smack in the middle of Penn Station. If the weather is nice and I feel like walking some, then I can take the express Q train which drops me off at 34th Street Harold Square. It only a few blocks from Penn I am able to get some fresh air and walk around the little shops in that area. If I’m ever in a rush,  the express trains can get me to Penn a little faster than the locals, but in the end they all get me to where I need to be which is the main reason why I love using the subway as my way of transportation.

The first few times taking the subway by myself I was a ball of nerves, but as time went on I learned and I now love taking the subway everywhere I go. I thought long and hard about my decision of where I would like to attend school, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change anything about it. Learning how to get around the city by walking and taking the subway has definitely benefitted me. Without learning on my own how to use the subway I would probably get lost and never be able to make it home.

Now that I will be going back to school for my second semester, I  think my next mission is to learn how to use the buses!

 

Guest post by KMM Intern 2017

Winter is Here!

Car tires on winter road covered with snow

The winter is upon us and sooner or later, New Jersey will see itself covered in a freezing blanket of billowy snow. But as New Jersians, life doesn’t just stop because of a few flakes (or feet) of the white stuff. Getting your car “winter ready” before the first snow will ensure you’re ready to face the road ahead. Ensure vehicle fluids are changed, tires are checked or replaced, and ensure all exterior lights are in proper working order. Then follow these driving tips if you need to travel in the cold and snow:

  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Most vehicles keep the tire pressure information on the driver side door panel.
  • Check and replace (if necessary) windshield wipers.
  • Top off wiper fluid.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Do not use cruise control in wet, wintery, icy weather.
  • Avoid hard breaking in wet weather as this can make your vehicle spin out of control.
  • Look and steer in the direction you want to go.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds.
  • Keep non-clumping kitty litter or wood chips in the trunk of your vehicle. This will help your tires gain traction if you become stuck in snow.
  • When traveling long distances, make sure to keep a blanket, flash light, water, and snacks in your vehicle in case you become stranded.
  • When in doubt, stay home. If driving conditions make it extremely difficult to travel, please do not attempt to go out.

For more information on winter driving visit http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/roadway-safety/winter-driving-tips/#.WG0-FxsrJPY

Riding in the Road: 8 Tips for Safe Cycling

Andrew_Peter_May07-001As a bike rider, it can be challenging to feel comfortable riding in the road with motor vehicles, but roads are often the best way to get from A to B whether for shopping, commuting or enjoying a ride. Learning to ride defensively can increase your comfort and safety, and expand the number of roads where you can ride. Here are some tips for defensive bicycling.

  • Choose your route 
    • Before your ride, select a route with the lightest or slowest traffic or the widest shoulder that gets you where you want to go. Select a route where you’re comfortable riding.
  • Ride predictably
    • Ride in a straight line, in the direction of traffic on the right side of the road. However, don’t hug the curb. Leave room to safely navigate issues such as pot holes, debris, sewer grates and other obstacles.
    • Obey traffic signs and signals, they’re for both bicyclists and motor vehicles.
    • Use extra caution around turning vehicles and at intersections. Avoid passing stopped vehicles on the right.
    • Use extra caution around large vehicle like trucks and buses, which have a larger blind spot and make wider turns.
    • When there is a short gap between parked cars, ride in a straight line rather than weaving in and out. This way, drivers see where you want to go and you can avoid merging back into the travel lane when you have to pass the next parked car.
    • Don’t swerve at the last second to avoid potholes or debris. Instead, move over early when you notice an obstacle up ahead.
  •  Be visible
    • When a travel lane is too narrow for both a bike and motor vehicle to share, move towards the center of the lane to make yourself more visible to motorists.
    • Use a front white light and red rear light in low-light conditions and at night. It’s New Jersey law.
    • Wear bright, highly visible clothing, preferably with reflective tape or patches.
  • Avoid distractions and hazards
    • Keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings.
    • Ride four feet from parked cars to stay out of the “door zone,” where you could collide with an opening car door.
    • Avoid drinking, eating, using your phone, or anything that requires your hands while bicycling.
    • At large, complicated or busy intersections, consider getting off your bike and walking across.
  • Communicate
    • Look behind you and scan for oncoming vehicles before making all turns.
    • Signal your turns, especially in mixed traffic and around other cyclists.
    • Make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians.
  • On the trail or sidewalk
    • When riding near pedestrians, let them know you’re there using a bell or your voice.
    • Reduce speed when passing pedestrians and other cyclists.
    • Slow down and use extra care at intersections and blind corners.
  • Have the right equipment
    • Wear a helmet every time you ride.
    • Ride a bike that’s the right size for you.
    • Keep your bike in good working order. Check tire pressure, brakes, and chain regularly.
  • Ride more and learn more!
    • When driving look carefully for bicyclists before turning left or right, merging into bicycle lanes and opening doors next to moving traffic. Respect the right of way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with you.
    • Consider taking a Smart Cycling class from the League of American Bicyclists.

The Best Commute in New Jersey

kmm guest post blogI boast to myself often, and sometimes to co-workers, that I have the best commute in New Jersey!   My name is Sam Gilbert, and I bicycle several days a week from Middlesex Borough to the Johnson and Johnson campus in New Brunswick.  Approximately 6 miles of my 9 mile commute is along the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath. I enter the towpath at the Queen’s Bridge in South Bound Brook, and exit it at the Landing Lane Bridge.  And, it is a truly a pleasurable ride.

I average 70 or 80 bike commutes a year, excluding the winter.   Though I carry rain gear in my back pack when the weather is “iffy,” I tend to ride on days when the weather reports are favorable.  And, in case you’re wondering, I do have access to a shower at work!!

An added treat is the wildlife I enjoy along the canal.  A casual birder, I have seen herons, osprey, a great Horned Owl, a Bald Eagle and more!  Deer are a given.  But, raccoons, foxes, squirrels, muskrats are also to be seen.  And then, there are the beavers.

KMM guest post blogIn the past few years, there has been a population explosion of Beavers in NJ. I’ve seen few of them along the canal in the past.   But this year, beavers are swimming in the canal almost every day! There is beaver hut on the bank of the canal approximately 100 yards south of the footbridge near where Demott Lane meets the canal.  A beaver is often seen in this area, and I see another near the Landing Lane Bridge.  I suspect there is a beaver hut in this area.

“The best bicycle commute in NJ?  OK, maybe I exaggerate, but only slightly.   I REALLY do enjoy my ride.  Perhaps some other NJ Bike commuters will share their experiences of cycling to work.  If there is a better bicycle commute than mine, I’d sure like to read about it.

Post written by guest blogger, S. Gilbert.  Photos by guest blogger, S. Gilbert

iCarpoolNJ ~ Do you?

icarpoolnjpage KMMCommuters who visit www.iCarpoolNJ.com are eligible for gift card incentives in two ways.  Those who take a brief online survey will be entered to win a $25 gift card. Once the survey is completed, participants can refer their friends to register with KMM for ridesharing.

If a NEW, previously unregistered, referral completes a rideshare application, KMM will send the person who made the referral a gift card. Gift cards will be awarded for referral of NEW applicants only. Participants can receive up to 4 gift cards*.  In addition, the new rideshare applicants will also receive a thank you gift.

This program is KMM’s way of thanking commuters for recommending our rideshare service to their friends and family. For more information, log on to www.icarpoolnj.com.

*While supplies last

O Tannenbaum, How Lovely Are Your Branches

Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

In NJ and around the world, cutting down a Christmas tree has become a family tradition.  On a crisp December day, Mom and Dad bundle up the kids, pile into the car, and head out to a tree farm.  Hack saw in hand, they trek through the fields and over the hills inspecting, rejecting, and finally, finding the perfect tree.  Alternatively, the family stops at a nearby lot and selects a pre-cut tree.  Wherever the tree is purchased, it has to be brought home.  That’s when the trouble starts.

While this stately tree may fit perfectly in front of your picture window, it may be a bit oversized for your car.  How do you transport your Tannenbaum safely from field to foyer?

The folks at www.cars.com asked the experts at the National Christmas Tree Association for some tips on transporting your tree.

  • Get your Christmas tree netted before leaving the lot to make it more manageable. If it’s going on the roof, the trunk should be facing front.
  • Make sure to select a tree that will either fit inside your cargo area or on top of your roof. A roof rack is a good idea.
  • Have enough rope or cord to wrap around the tree and secure it to the roof rack or to cargo hooks.
  • Protect the cargo area or roof with a tarp or blanket.
  • Before leaving the lot, give the tree a good tug to make sure it’s secure.
  • Drive slowly and avoid the highway. Heavy objects affect your vehicle’s center of gravity and consequently emergency handling.

The NJ State Police emphasize that improperly secured trees can cause the tree to slide down the windshield and obstructing the driver’s view or falling off the roof and strike another vehicle.  They suggest planning ahead and arrive in a vehicle to support the size of tree you select.

Whether your holiday plans call for “rockin’ around the Christmas tree,” or sitting in quiet contemplation, make sure you and your tree arrive home safely.

Be Social for the Holidays with KMM

week1overtheriverBe Social for the Holidays  by snapping a picture and sharing it with KMM.  Each week, KMM will post a theme and encourage everyone to capture a picture that embodies the theme.  And because it is the jolliest season of all, each week’s theme pertains to the Holiday Season.

This week’s theme is: Over the river and through the woods to…

It’s easy to participate.  Take a picture using the selected theme and share it on either Google +  Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and make sure to tag your photo ‪#‎kmmwintercommuter‬.

A winning photo will be selected each week and receive a $5 gift card to Dunkin Donuts. All entries this week must be submitted by Friday at 4pm and a winner will be announced each Monday at 11am on KMM’s Facebook page.

Good Luck & Happy Holidays!