What’s News: cybertruck follow up

As much as the public compares the cybertruck design to things like a flounder, the auto industry sees only one inspiration–the DeLorean.

Brett Smith tells CNN that Musk may have a different motive in mind.

The Cybertruck will give Tesla an opportunity to establish a toehold in the segment and build credibility. But it might not be the long-term design direction for Tesla’s pickup offering. In an interview on the Recode Decode podcast with Kara Swisher last year, Musk admitted the truck might have a hard time finding a market. “You know, I actually don’t know if a lot of people will buy this pickup truck or not, but I don’t care,” he said at the time. “If there’s only a small number of people that like that truck, I guess we’ll make a more conventional truck in the future.”

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Safety Season: DUI & DWI


The Holiday Season at The Kicker is Safety Season. Every Monday we’ll post about safety and include helpful information and tips to keep you and you’re family as safe as possible on the roads. If you’d like to find helpful links to all this information and more please check out our Safety Tab on thekickerblog.com (Drive Safe, Buying a Safe Car, After Accident Action Steps).


Driving after drinking too much alcohol is known as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Alcohol slows your reflexes, temporarily lowers your mental acuity and can thus compromise your ability to control a vehicle and drive it safely. And yes, even “buzzed driving” is still drunk driving and can be just as dangerous.

A DUI arrest can lead to expensive consequences, including spending time in jail, a suspended driver’s license and fines. If you hit and/or kill someone while you are driving impaired, the consequences are even worse.

It’s also illegal to have an open container of alcohol in your car. If you’re transporting alcoholic beverages, they should be sealed and in the trunk.

All 50 states have now set .08% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) as the legal limit for Driving Under the Influence, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). For commercial drivers, it’s .04%. And if you’re under 21, it’s zero tolerance – any amount of alcohol is grounds for a DUI arrest.bodyworn-794099_1920.jpg

In some cities, law enforcement officials set up sobriety checkpoints along the road to identify and deter impaired drivers. These are typically set up during holiday weekends or on dates when there might be more drinking and driving.

If you’re stopped at a checkpoint, you’ll be asked several questions and might be asked to perform a sobriety test (like saying the ABC’s backwards, performing some physical movements or breathing into an alcohol sensor). If these tests show that you have high alcohol levels, the police may arrest you.

Safety Season: Bad Weather Driving


The Holiday Season at The Kicker is Safety Season. Every Monday we’ll post about safety and include helpful information and tips to keep you and you’re family as safe as possible on the roads. If you’d like to find helpful links to all this information and more please check out our Safety Tab on thekickerblog.com (Drive Safe, Buying a Safe Car, After Accident Action Steps).

By Staff

If you don’t have experience driving in inclement weather its a good idea to avoid it entirely, but if you must go places try to take someone with you who does have experience and get some practice someplace where you’re not likely to hit anything.

Here are a few tips for driving in bad weather.


Step number one is not being in a rush. Just plan on taking twice as much time to get there and you won’t be tempted to push your luck, take short cuts or speed.

  •  Test out your brakes.  Ever car is different and the only way to be sure is to test your equipment at low speed to get an idea what you might be facing.
  •  Take corners slowly.  Slow before corners not during. Think–take on one problem at a time. First change speed, then direction.
  •  Accelerate gradually.  It’s not just slowing down that takes extra care. Tires without traction spin out. Don’t be a rabbit off the line when the light turns green and don’t slam on your brakes at a yellow light.
  •  Beware of black ice!  Black ice is difficult to spot. You’ll simply have to be aware that its below freezing so anything that looks wet is probably frozen. Bridges, over passes, and places that are shaded will be more icy even when the day warms up.


Believe it or not dense fog is statistically known to cause more accidents than ice. Think about it, black ice aside, you know when the roads are likely to be slick from cold weather conditions. Fog can come out of nowhere and drop visibility to a few feet. If you’re driving at freeway speeds sudden blindness is a problem. Keep following in mind:

  •  Do NOT use your high-beam headlights!  Doing so will reflect light off the fog ahead of you, making it even harder to see. Instead, turn on your regular headlights, or, your fog lights, if you have them.
  •  Use the white line on the right side of the road.  This will help guide you and keep you in your lane. It will also prevent your vision from being impaired by the headlights of oncoming traffic.
  •  Maintain a longer following distance.  When the car in front of you passes an object count out at least 5 one-thousands before letting yourself pass it. Stay roughly 10 MPH below the speed limit–its better to get rear-ended than to run over a pedestrian.
  •  Use your turn signals early.  Give cars behind you plenty of notice that you’ll be slowing down to make a turn.


Replace your windshield wipers every fall. They are your first line of defense.

  • Maintain a longer following distance.  It takes longer to stop when driving in wet weather and the roads can be slick. Having to slam on your brakes results in skidding.
  •  Turn on your headlights.  They’ll not only help you see, but will make sure you’re visible to other drivers.
  •  Drive in the middle lanes.  Water is more likely to pool on the outer edges of the road.
  •  Try and avoid puddles.  Driving over puddles of water can cause your car to hydroplane out of control. It’s helpful to drive in the tracks of the car in front of you. And keep your speed below 45MPH if you see standing water on the road.

For more resources on safe and defensive driving, check out idrivesafely.com.

What’s News: Lego takes on Tesla cybertruck?


Lego seems to have been inspired by recent events to bring its own vision fo the truck of the future to the world – behold this bold design statement in all its glory. Clearly, Lego is having a go at Elon Musk and the Tesla Cybertruck that he unveiled last week – which was… divisive in its reception, to say the least.

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Safety Season: Winter Driving


The Holiday Season at The Kicker is Safety Season. Every Monday we’ll post about safety and include helpful information and tips to keep you and you’re family as safe as possible on the roads. If you’d like to find helpful links to all this information and more please check out our Safety Tab on thekickerblog.com (Drive Safe, Buying a Safe Car, After Accident Action Steps).

Here are some quick tips for staying safe this winter.

Winter driving tips

Winter brings all sorts of driving headaches: snow, freezing rain and slush, which all make the roads more hazardous. To handle the hassle of winter driving:

  1. First of all, buckle up. Basic car safety encourages the use of seat belts and car seats at all times. They’re one of your best defenses in a crash. And it’s the law.
  2. Use extra caution in areas that ice up quickly, especially intersections, shaded areas, bridges and overpasses.
  3. Get in the habit of regularly checking weather reports on TV or online so you can prepare for bad weather. On severe weather days, schools and workplaces might close or delay opening. Consider staying at home if you don’t need to be on the road.
  4. Keep an emergency kit in the trunk of your car – including blankets, a first aid kit and jumper cables. Check out our full list of items for your emergency car kit.
  5. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and that your car always has a full tank of gas.

Best of the Web: Tesla Truck is, well…

Tesla chose to unveil this here and now because Musk loves Blade Runner. And to date, he’s made some wild claims about what it can do: out-truck a Ford F-150, outperform a Porsche 911, be “literally bulletproof” and ideally start under $50,000. It’s also “the official truck of Mars.’”
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Yes that’s really the new Tesla Truck and it may challenge Tesla fans loyalty. It’s ironic that it’s the official truck of Mars because Musk’s Mars rocket just blew up too. Ominous!

Compare for yourself.

With Rivian


The ugly design appears to have a function. According to Musk’s recent tweets the body material, 30x cold roll steel, is too tough for ordinary machines to shape it.

While we grieve the lack of style brought to most modern design cars the cybertruck might be a step too far. Or not, you be the judge of that.

Fluffy Pink Car Dice


Of course, car dice are tacky, but where did they come from. They’re among the first items sold to be hung from a rear-view mirror, and before they were fluffy, they were made of a polystyrene material. Most source agree that they started in Glendale, California but opinions are divided about whether they started in 1959 or 1952. Either way, the question is, WHY? Why on earth do we need to hang a pair of fuzzy dice where they can swing in our way?

Perhaps part of the reason they leave a bad taste in our mouth is that people who have these decorations are actually more likely to get in an accident. Traditional thought is that it’s young, drivers of hot-rods, which at one time is who was most likely to decorate their cars in such a manor. But that’s not strictly true anymore.

Brief History of Fuzzy Dice

The reasoning for this is that car dice or fluffy dice originated from US airmen during WWII, which would explain the association with flashy young men who take risks. Although several board games make use of just one die, car die must be in pairs. And while many games use dice the proper display of car dice is so that they display some combination that totals seven, leading to the obvious theory that it alludes to playing craps.

Maybe there should be more research done on whether woman hang dice in their cars, but typically this is associated with dudes. Online sources (and we all know how reliable these are!) link the practice with “hot rods;” and since its associated with people who “feel the need for speed” cements the link to airmen. This might not be reliable evidence, but it seems logical.

Nowadays both young and old have dice on their mirror – and you are more likely to have dice if you are of the older persuasion. Many men who couldn’t afford their dream car when they were new discover in retirement they can afford them. And if you want the exact car you wanted as a teenager you want the fuzzy dice that were on the hanging on the mirror back when you first saw them.

The Golden 80s

The golden age of car kitsch was the 1980’s with nodding dogs on dashboards, items stuck to the windows and bumper stickers. This was the time of the “fluffy pink dice.” If the drive to have such items was to express your individuality, then it lost its ability to satisfy as soon as everyone had them. The ultimate, flash in the pan, fad, that faded into a cliché, but never completely left.

The fad found a second life in “pimping” up the inside of your car (though there are more stylish and less obvious ways to achieve this). A reference to “pimp dice” can be found in the Urban Dictionary in 2007, but it probably originates with certain TV and movie characters like Huggee Bear from Starsky and Hutch.

Not all states support the hanging of the two dice. In Minnesota it is illegal to drive with this “tag” when the car is in motion. A citation or warning may be given if a car is being driven with anything from the rear-view mirror, be it dice, air fresheners or whatever as it may obscure your view.

The latest innovation seems to be using these fluffy dice as a speaker system. Giving them a purpose is a good idea, but generally a car’s speaker system is built-in. Probably more of a novelty.