According to the FCC, the popularity of mobile devices have had some unintended and sometimes deadly consequences. An alarming number of traffic accidents are linked to driving while distracted. The most recent national statistics are sobering.

  • Over 8 people are killed and 1,161 are injured daily in incidents reported as distraction-affected crashes in the United States.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2015, there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
  • At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.
  • In 2015, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey reported that handheld cell phone use continued to be highest among 16-24 year old drivers.

What have you been teaching your children about distracted driving? “Do as I say, not as I do” is a risky way to teach our children safe driving. Teens whose parents drive distracted are nearly three times as likely to also drive distracted. Lead by example.

distracted driving infographic

What better time of year to commit to driving safer for ourselves and those we love? Be the driver you want your teen to be by modeling distraction-free driving every time you drive. Here are some simple steps you can take to set the right example for your kids:

  • Drive without sending or receiving texts, using the Internet, Facebook or social media of any kind.
  • Wait to text or call others until they have stopped driving.
  • Pull over to a safe location to check texts, social media, or listen to voicemail.
  • Stop texting, or end phone conversations with others once you learn they are driving.
  • Pull over to a safe location or wait until you are finished driving to eat, apply makeup, adjust music or scroll through iPods or similar devices.
  • When being driven by a distracted driver, ask them to “stop what else they are doing and focus on the road.”

State laws

Currently there is no national ban on texting or using a wireless phone while driving, but a number of states have passed laws banning texting or wireless phones or requiring hands-free use of wireless phones while driving. For more information on state laws, visit

For more information

For more information and statistics about wireless devices and driving, visit

Related Articles: Safety Awareness: Driving Habits to Avoid on the Road

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, the number of traffic accident fatalities in the U.S. has decreased markedly since the 1970s. That being said, there are around 35,000 deaths per year, and traffic accidents usually rank in the top ten causes of death annually.

There are a few things to be aware of when driving on the road. Whether you have been driving for 1 month or 20 years, the rules of the road are always changing. Awareness saves lives!

Drunk driving

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Driving under the influence of alcohol is still the most discussed driving offence. 42 states in the United States now have administrative license suspension (ALS) for a first-time offence. Driving with an impaired sense of judgment is a habit that everyone should have come to the realization that it’s not healthy.

Everything shows us how bad this is: according to findings from, in 2014 alone 9,967 people died as a result of crashes that were caused by impaired driving.

Driving tired

Hitting the road while you’re stressed and tired is another habit that is dangerous. The NHTSA thinks drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. The human body gets tired easily, and getting behind the wheels is not the smartest thing to do when your body badly needs rest.

The fact that driving requires a sharp response in instinct makes it very apt that you’re fully alert before taking control of the wheels.

Aggressive driving and road rage

This is just a sheer emotional rage that mostly manifests itself when people are behind the wheels. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for you to maintain a calm demeanor when sharing the road with other drivers.

Being aggressive while driving won’t get you to your destination any faster, and neither would it earn you a trophy. It just upsets you and everyone you share the road with.

Driving too fast for the weather conditions

When the weather gets bad, slowing down is the best way to avoid an accident. This goes back to that physics thing.

All-wheel drive isn’t an excuse for driving fast in inclement weather. When the road surface is slippery, a 3,500- to 5,000-pound vehicle will probably skid if you need to slow down in a hurry. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 24 percent of all vehicle crashes are weather related. That’s a good reason to slow down and increase the distance between you and the car in front of you.

Reckless driving

Reckless driving is a good way to cause a crash and endanger other motorists. This includes swerving, weaving in and out of traffic, passing on the right, accelerating and braking suddenly, and yes, driving slowly in the left lane on the freeway, among other things. Many states consider driving 20 mph or more over the speed limit reckless driving, which carries heavy penalties in the form of fines, jail time, or a combination thereof. This goes back to predictability. If your movements in traffic are drastically different than those of other drivers, you’re more likely to cause an accident. Not surprisingly, younger males are more likely to engage in this shabby mockery of race car driving.

Distracted driving

NHTSA estimates that there are 660,000 distracted drivers on the road most of the time. The federal government has responded by pressuring state governments to ban texting and driving, eating and driving, and all other activities that take motorists’ attention away from the road.

How many times in the past week have you looked into someone’s car at an intersection only to see that they couldn’t see you, because they were on the phone or in a heated debate? Distracted drivers are an example of why some people think autonomous, self-driving cars are the way of the future.

What bad habit do you often catch yourself displaying when behind the wheel? How do you plan to change these driving habits that could be endangering you and your family?

Vowing to end the “assault on the American auto industry,” President Donald Trump promised to reopen a federal review of fuel economy standards that was concluded in the waning days of the Obama administration. Today’s target is a big one: the fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks.

These rules are hardly an ideal climate policy, since they only apply to new cars (not the millions of cars already on the road), and since they’ve been undercut by cheap oil and the growing popularity of SUVs. But it’s one of the few federal programs aimed at greening the US transportation sector, which accounts for one-third of carbon dioxide emissions.

In 2012, the Obama administration approved fuel economy standards that required automakers to average 54.5 miles per gallon across their fleets of vehicles by 2025 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A follow-up review was slated to begin this year, but the Obama administration expedited it after November’s election and determined in January that the standards were sound. In 2016, U.S. cars and light trucks were expected to average 35.5 miles per gallon.

Read the full story > USA Fleet Solutions: Trump Reverses Obama’s Fuel Economy Rules for Cars

Tire Alignment

If you’re wondering whether your car needs an alignment, first look at your tires. Uneven tire wear — often, more wear on the outside of some tires — is a prime indicator that your car is likely out of alignment. Here are a few more indicators:

  • your car seems to be drifting to one side, even when you think you’re driving straight
  • your steering wheel vibrates
  • you are driving straight, but your steering wheel isn’t centered

How Does a Vehicle Get Out of Alignment?

As vehicle parts age they get worn out and tend to bend or flex, this creates stress & strain and pulls on the suspension system of the vehicle in different ways. Sudden “jarring” of the suspension eventually forces these pieces to pull out of alignment when being driven.

Wheel alignment can be thrown off by:

  • Pot holes
  • Hitting the curb
  • Bumping into concrete parking stalls
  • Fair wear and tear — as vehicles age, rubber components start cracking or losing their elasticity. Ball and socket joints develop looseness. They start to give a little more, progressively getting slightly worse over time.

What if I Never Check My Alignment?

Wheel alignment and axle repair cost often seem like unnecessary expenses, especially if a car is only a few years old.

Dealing with small alignment problems and minor axle issues immediately, however, keeps repair costs down in the long term and helps make sure you’re always in control.

An alignment check will ensure that your car drives straight and handles properly, making your ride safer. You’ll also get better gas mileage because your tires will be properly aligned with the road, decreasing resistance.

At Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center, we recommend an Alignment Check with every other oil change. A lot happens over the course of 6,000 miles.

Video: How to Maintain Your Tires for Best Performance

Studded snow tires literally have metal studs embedded within the tread. These small, strong pieces of metal are designed to dig into ice, which provides added traction. When the driving surface isn’t covered in ice, studded tires can damage the road.

The use of studded tires is said to cost taxpayers millions of dollars in road wear every year. Additionally, as studded tires chip into the concrete, they eventually cut ruts in the road that will fill with water to create a hydroplaning hazard when it rains. This has prompted states to prohibit studded winter tires completely or restrict them to seasonal use. Check with local law enforcement officials to confirm restrictions in your area.

Stud Insertion

Tire studs consist of two primary parts. The tungsten carbide pin is the element that protrudes beyond the tire tread and contacts the pavement surface. The outside part of the stud is a cylindrical metal jacket or body that is held in the tire tread rubber by a flange at the base.

Typically 80 to 100 studs per tire are inserted into holes molded in the tire’s tread design. A special tool spreads the rubber and inserts the stud.

This illustration shows a stud hole molded into the tread when manufactured, as well as studs properly installed, inserted too shallow or too deep.

Stud Insert Diagram

All-season tires are built to handle a variety of road conditions – dry roads, wet roads, and in many cases, light snow. The tread compound of all season tires can harden in low temperatures, so there’s less traction between the road and your tires.

Winter tires are built specifically to perform in winter conditions like low temperatures, ice, slush, and snow.  Winter tires use special rubber compounds that stay pliable in the cold, giving them better grip and improved braking, even in extreme conditions.

What Does Tire Quality Matter if My Vehicle Has AWD or 4WD?

It matters! All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive improve traction by sending power to all four wheels when you accelerate (instead of just two wheels, as in front- or rear-wheel drive). But 4WD or AWD doesn’t help at all once you put on the brakes. Winter tires improve traction whether you’re accelerating, turning, or braking.

What Does the Symbol “Mountain / Snowflake” Mean on Winter Tires Sidewall?

A sidewall mark of M+S (or M/S, M&S, MS) means that you have an all-season tire that has been approved for use in mud and snow by the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association (RMA). These tires will provide traction in light snow, but we wouldn’t want to be caught in a blizzard with a set of M+S tires.

The mountain/snowflake symbol (shown here) on the sidewall means that a tire has been approved for “severe snow service” by the RMA. These tires are tested to be sure they meet the RMA’s standards for snow traction.

Largest Tire Selection

Get New Tires Fast & Easy

Because we have an extensive inventory of more than 4,000 tires in stock, our unparalleled tire selection assures you that we will have the replacement tire for your car or truck. Featuring tires from MICHELIN®, BFGoodrich® and Uniroyal®, Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers also carry tires from manufacturers such as GT RADIALS, Bridgestone, Continental, Cooper, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Pirelli and Yokohama. We have passenger and performance tires as well as studded, winter and all-season tires.

At MST Tire Center, our tire experts are able to match your specific driving needs, including factors such as driving terrain, endurance and travel conditions, resulting in the best possible match for your vehicle. You may also shop from home via the online tire finder by inputting your vehicle’s make, model and year.

Happy Couple Car

Valentine’s Day can mean more than just chocolates and flowers. How about a gift that lasts and shows that special someone you really care?

For decades car’s have symbolized the means by which to get away

In the old days, we used to ride off into the sunset on horseback, romanticized by westerns. Not since the first car was invented.

Over time, what it meant to own a vehicle really has shaped the future we live in today. The vehicle production industry alongside the oil industry stands to shape the future of tomorrow as well.

Although cars and trucks are still compared to horses, the average vehicle is way more powerful now. Even so, since we have replaced vehicles with horses – it doesn’t stop the avid car lover from treating their ride like it’s alive and has feelings.

Embrace that car love.

Just MarriedWhen celebrating we decorate our car so that it draws attention to our big day, whether it be our wedding day, game day, birthday, graduation, etc. In short, we love our cars and the freedom they represent.

We also understand that transportation is necessary in one form or another to achieve our goals and ambitions.

For the love of your car: Give the gift of travel

What do you give that special someone when you know in the back of your mind that flowers won’t last, sweets are unhealthy and teddy bears are for children?

This year, instead of your usual Valentine’s Day gift, why not try new brakes or tires – to really say I love you? This year buy something that will help your loved one get where they need to go.

Invest in a gift that lasts


Includes: Mounting & Balancing, Valve Stems, FREE Puncture Repairs and FREE Tire Rotations for the life of the tires. Limited time offer.

Tires from Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center have 3 years / 36,000 miles warranty on all parts and labor. Shop the best tire brands in Reno, NV.


Services Include: Full brake inspection, brake flush, pads, rotors, clean & adjust. 3 years / 36,000 miles warranty on all parts and labor. Limited time offer.


Purchase at any of Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers four locations in Reno. Limited time offer.


ALSO INCLUDES: Preventive Maintenance Vehicle Inspection.

Most cars and light trucks. Not valid with any other offer. Limited to all filters in stock. 4×4 / AWD $5 extra. Up to 5 qts. add $3.95 waste disposal fee. Limited time offer.

Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers

We pride ourselves on providing preventative maintenance Reno, NV auto repair services including oil changes, brake replacement and many other Reno, NV auto repair services at affordable prices.

For auto repair and tires give us a call at (775) 525-2420 or contact us online to get a free quote. Feel free to stop by any one of our four tire and auto repair shops located in Reno, Nevada.

Set up an appointment today: Contact us here.

oil-changeThere are many choices when it comes to picking the appropriate oil for your car’s engine.

Viscosity is the most important property of a lubricant. Understanding viscosity promotes the ability to reduce wear, improve fuel economy and make more horsepower.

Viscosity (a fluid’s resistance to flow) is rated at 0° F (represented by the number preceding the “W” [for Winter]) and at 212° F (represented by the second number in the viscosity designation). So 10W-30 oil has less viscosity when cold and hot than does 20W-50. Motor oil thins as it heats and thickens as it cools.

Remember that using oil with a viscosity that is too high can result in excessive oil temperature and increased drag. Using an oil with a low viscosity can lead to excessive metal to metal contact between moving parts. Using the correct viscosity oil eases starting, reduces friction and slows wear.

It is important that you pick the viscosity (thickness) that’s suitable for the temperatures your vehicle normally operates in (check your owners manual), and you’re done. Well, not quite. There’s a whole lot more to the story than that.

Armed with knowledge of viscosity grades, you can now select the right one. In return, you will prevent wear, improve fuel economy and make more horsepower.

Is oil really the lifeblood of an engine?

That’s a long-popular analogy, but it’s really not an accurate description. Blood carries nutrients to cells, but it’s air that carries fuel—the “nutrition”—for an engine. However, without oil to lubricate and cool moving parts, keep them clean and help to seal the pistons in the cylinders, the engine would run for only a matter of seconds, then sieze. So, yes, oil is important.

Oil is so important that we want no less than the best the engine can get—for a good low price, of course. Now, what if you could custom-blend the oil so it had exactly the characteristics you believe that your vehicle needs for the type of driving you do?

Recommended Oil Types 

The weight or viscosity of oil recommended for your vehicle should be located in your owner’s manual, or you can just ask one of our ASE certified Technicians. Changing your oil and filter according to this schedule can save you big $$ and reduce the need for repairs down the road.

After determining the correct viscosity, the next choice in motor oil is what type? Higher mileage blends can benefit engines over 75K miles. Synthetic blends and full synthetics can bring additional protection and often flow more easily during severe cold than conventional oils.

If you are not sure, just ask! We have trained professionals at all of our 4 locations in the Reno and Sparks area. We are more than happy to assist you, for appointments or walk-ups.

Our fully qualified ASE Certified Technicians will do everything possible to keep your vehicle running safely and efficiently.

Please visit: for a location nearest you.

Related Article: Why Switch Oil Viscosity?

Flooding is a coast to coast threat to the United States and its territories nearly every day of the year. If you know what to do before, during, and after a flood you can increase your chances of survival.

Turn Around Don’t Drown®

Turn Around Don't Drown

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water.

Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.

A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

For more information about tips and resources offered by the National Weather Service in regards to flooding, click here.

Happy Holidays

We would like to remind you that no matter where you’re going, if you need our services we’ll be here. Whether it’s tires, an oil change or something more, our ASE certified technicians will keep your vehicle running strong.

3 Safety tips we encourage drivers to keep in mind before any long distance travel.

1. Emergency kit. Be sure to keep a winter emergency kit in the car including a flashlight (check to make sure it works and has extra batteries), booster cables, tools, duct tape, and emergency rain coats (ponchos). Extra supplies to think about packing in the trunk are: snow brush and/or scraper, gloves, water, cloth or paper towels, blankets and extra winter clothing. An emergency meal is not a bad idea as well; MRE or Meal-Ready-to-Eat or other non-perishable snacks.

2. Maintain your vehicle. Always make sure your vehicle is up to date with its maintenance, especially for winter.  If the battery is more than 3 years old, it should be tested. Windshield wiper blades are critical for clearing the windshield for a clear view. Consider replacing your worn out wiper blades with winter or all-season. Remember to keep your washer fluid reservoir full. We are currently offering a FREE Courtesy Winter Vehicle Inspection (click link for related coupon information).

3. Snow tires. If you’re considering getting snow tires, make sure you install them on all four (not just two) wheels.  Otherwise, the front (or back) of your car will respond differently to the road and ice than the other resulting in possible steering difficulties. See this related article for more information about whether to choose Winter Tires vs. Snow Tires.



A federal mandate requiring nearly all U.S. truck operators to use electronic logging devices to track duty status has been upheld in court, meaning the December 18, 2017, compliance date remains effective. The mandate, however, will not apply to drivers of vehicles built before the year 2000 — a change made from 2014’s proposed version of the rule.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal court overseeing the case, voted to keep the mandate in place, securing a victory for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and its ELD rule. Its decision was issued Oct. 31st, following oral arguments made in Chicago on Sept. 13th.

The decision does not change the rule’s exemption for pre-2000 year-model trucks, which are allowed to operate without an ELD.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a lawsuit on behalf of two truckers in March in an attempt to have the mandate overturned. But OOIDA was unable to convince the court of its arguments that the rule violates truckers’ Fourth Amendment rights to privacy. OOIDA also claimed the rule didn’t meet standards set by Congress for an ELD mandate — an argument the court also rejected.

FMCSA says the rule will save the industry $1 billion a year, mostly in time and money saved on paperwork, the agency says. It also says the rule will “save 26 lives and 562 injuries” a year, the agency said in a press release.

For the Full Story click here.

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