Top Down

2013-06-05T00:00:00Z Top DownSteering You Right With Sharon Peters Sharon Peters CTW Features


We want to buy a second car – a convertible because finally, in our fifties, we’ve managed to buy into a beach house and we want to do the fun-in-the-sun thing fully. We want a new convertible, not used, but we’ve got to stay at $25,000 or less, and are finding almost nothing. Are we missing some?


There are some. In most cases you’ll have to be satisfied with the barebones, plain Jane version, but if your most important objectives are new and convertible, maybe that won’t matter to you.

Here are some options: Fiat 500c, Smart fortwo, MINI, Volkswagen Beetle and Jeep Wrangler. A couple of these have a base price so close to $25,000 there’s no wiggle room at all. But as we’re nearing the end of the model year, you should be able to negotiate.

Good luck. And wear sunscreen!


I keep hearing how teens and young people constantly text while driving, but I’m seeing massive numbers of adults doing it. Maybe that’s because I travel metro highways with all those Type A’s who think they’re so important they can’t be out of touch for even 30 minutes. But I suspect it’s going on everywhere. Any evidence?


AT&T found recently that nearly half of adults surveyed – 49 percent – confessed to texting and driving even though nearly all of them acknowledged it’s dangerous.

Moreover, the survey indicated that adult-driver texting is actually increasing: Just three years ago 60 percent of adults surveyed said they never texted while driving.

The most frequently cited reasons (excuses) for texting behind the wheel are: it’s become “second nature” to be constantly in texting mode; it makes them feel more productive and “connected.”

I just hope they find that thinking comforting when they hit a child or roll a vehicle and wind up with life-changing injuries.

And, by the way, they’re laying a path for future generations. Even though most of us have good reason to believe teens pay little attention to what we say or do, teens in the survey said parents’ behavior influenced them. Also, the survey found that lack of parental rules against texting while driving is a huge predictor that teens will send and receive messages while driving.

© CTW Features

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