March 18th, 2013
Are you tired of driving all the time to get where you need to go? There are many alternatives to driving after you donate a car to Goodwill, such as riding a bike or using public transportation. But for those who still prefer using car to get around, Google is developing cars that drive themselves so you don’t have to.
At this point, Google is still in the testing phase of its 10-vehilce fleet. Currently, all of the driver-less cars are being ridden in by selected test participants and one of Google’s engineers in the passenger’s seat. They have successfully navigated 300,000 miles, which has included driving over the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Coast Highway and Lombard Street in San Francisco, which is famous for being a difficult street to drive due to traffic and hairpin turns.
Google’s driver-less system operates the vehicle by driving at the speed limit it has stored on maps and navigating pre-programmed routes. The system keeps the vehicle at a safe distance from other vehicles and objects by using sensors that constantly monitor the surroundings of the vehicle. Additionally, the system includes an override that allows the driver to easily shut off the driver-less system and begin driving the vehicle manually.
Google does not currently have plans to produce vehicles that have this system built in, but they are looking at selling the system to major car manufacturers for them to begin using in their vehicles. You can learn more about Google’s driver-less car here.
So, if you are tired of having to drive yourself, keep your eye out for when this incredible new technology is available to the general public. When you decide it is time to replace your old car with a driver-less car, consider donating the old car to Goodwill of Greater Washington.
Donating your old vehicle is a great way to support your community while also getting a great tax deduction.
March 14th, 2013
When people in the DC Metro area find themselves with a car that has been damaged, they often consider donating the vehicle to Goodwill of Greater Washington. There are many different things that cause car accidents, but one of the leading causes of car accidents is distracted driving.
Distracted driving includes many different activities, such as texting, using a cell phone or smart phone, eating and drinking, talking to other passengers, reading, looking at maps, programming a GPS, watching a video, adjusting an mp3 player and several other activities that take any of the driver’s attention away from driving.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has created a website to help raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. This site contains several startling statistics about distracted driving, such as:
- 3,331 people died in car crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011 and an additional 387,000 people suffered injuries as a result of car crashed involving a distracted driver.
- In 2010, 18% of crashes that caused injuries were reported to involve a distracted-driver.
- Text messing increases the risk of a crash by 23 times that of the risk of driving without distractions.
- Drivers that use mobile devices are 4 times as likely to get in a crash and seriously injure themselves as nondistracted drivers.
To help combat the dangers of distracted driving, many states have passed laws against cell phone use while driving. Here is a summary of these laws in the DC Metro Area
- Washington DC: Handheld devices and texting are banned for all drivers. All cell phone use banned for novice drivers.
- Maryland: Handheld devices and texting are banned for all drivers. All cell phone use banned for novice drivers.
- Virginia: Texting is banned for all drivers. All cell phone use banned for novice drivers.
But despite the new laws, distracted driving accidents still occur. If your car has been involved in an accident, you should consider donating it to Goodwill. Goodwill will be happy to tow your donated vehicle free of charge to you. Plus, when you donate, we will give you all the paperwork you need for a great tax deduction.
February 15th, 2013
After you donate your vehicle to Goodwill, you will probably be in the market for a new or used car. Buying a used car can be a great option for people looking to get a good deal on a vehicle; however, buying a used car can be tricky.
Here are some tips for you to follow when you’re shopping for a car to replace the one you donated:
- Don’t be too Picky: If you have a specific car in mind, it may be a good idea to research some vehicles that are similar to include in your searches. Expanding your search can help you find an even better deal.
- Ask for the VIN Before you Buy: If you have the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) for the vehicle you are thinking about purchasing, you will have the chance to check up on its vehicle history before you make a decision to buy it. Some things you can find out are the true mileage, if the vehicle has a salvage/rebuilt title or if it has been labeled a “lemon” by any previous owner.
- Read Before Signing: Sometimes dealers may lead you to believe that you are purchasing a vehicle but actually give you documents for leasing the vehicle. Therefore, it is very important to read any and all documents very thoroughly before signing anything.
- Have a Mechanic Inspect the Car: An honest dealer or private party selling their vehicle should have no problem allowing you to have your mechanic inspect the vehicle at your expense. Having your mechanic inspect the vehicle for $50-100 will probably be well worth your while before you make a purchase just to be sure that you don’t end up having to make unexpected repairs shortly after you purchase the car.
Now that you are ready to start shopping for your next used vehicle, you can begin the vehicle donation process right now by clicking the blue donate button below. To learn more about donating a vehicle, click here.