Car safety is paramount, for you, your family, and other people on the road. Plus, just a few simple safety improvements in your vehicle may pay for themselves; car insurance companies are likely to reward you with discounts. Here are twenty things you can do, that make your drive just that much safer for everyone.
And no, turning your car into a beanbag chair is not one of the 20 ways.
It looks neat, but, trust us; the weight kills your fuel economy.
#1) Turn your cell phone off while driving: distracted driving can cause you to drive as you would if your blood alcohol was at the legal limit.
#2) Check your fluids on a regular basis, and top them off as necessary.
#3) Check your tire pressure every week or two weeks, and keep them at the proper pressure. This will keep you safe … and save a little gas.
#4) Replace your windshield wipers, so your car can handle foul weather.
#5) Apply the penny test to your tires. Point a penny so Abe Lincoln’s head is pointing down, and stick it in the lowest part of the tread. If it covers Abe’s head, your tires are good. If it doesn’t…time for new ones.
#6) Don’t speed, especially in areas you know well. Many accidents occur a short distance from a driver’s home, in areas he or she is very familiar with.
#7) Check your tires every night for possible puncture hazards: nail heads, sharp rocks, and so on.
#8) Keep a car safety kit in the trunk: flares, warning signs, jack, spare tire, tire reinflation canister, tire patch kit, a first aid kit, snow chains, folding shovel, kitty litter, and an air horn. Most of it will fit in the spare compartment in the trunk.
#9) Test your brakes on a regular basis. After all, they’re keeping you on the road.
#10) Check your lights every few months: a blown-out taillight can be the difference between safe driving and getting broadsided.
#11) Install anti-theft features. Car alarms aren’t as effective as once thought, but a Lojack or other tracking device should work like a charm.
#12) Stick to a regular maintenance schedule. Tune-ups and basic maintenance done by a qualified mechanic will prevent mechanical problems that could cause a crash.
#13) Get your eyes checked on an annual basis, especially as you get older. As eyes age, they can shift in many ways: stay on top of these so you can see the road.
#14) Never drive while tired, no matter what the circumstance. It’s safer to pull over and nap for a few hours than it is to try and push through.
#15) For long trips, travel with people who can take turns driving. It’ll cut down on strain and keep the drivers alert.
#16) Try not to eat or drink anything while driving. One spill can be all the distraction needed for an accident.
#17) Keep the music down, so that you can hear audio cues from other drivers or potential problems.
#18) Before pulling out, check your mirrors and adjust them. You can’t avoid what you can’t see!
#19) Wear your seat belt. It’s good advice anyway, but studies have shown that if you wear your seat belt, you’ll drive more cautiously.
#20) And, most importantly, don’t get complacent. Even good drivers can get into accidents if they decide to slack off or go on mental auto-pilot. Keep your focus, and you’ll keep your car in one piece.