Driving Tips for Safe Commuting and Traveling in 2020

Published on

January 10, 2020

Stop Driving While Distracted
We all have a lot going on every day. Technology, kids, busy schedules and more make it easy to become distracted while driving. Here are some ways that you can safely stay focused on the road:  

  • Don’t eat and drive. Do you really want your greasy burger to make holding the steering wheel more challenging?
  • Set aside your cell phone and other electronic devices. No text is worth the cost of a potential accident.
  • Turn down the radio. The song might be great, but if you can’t hear a siren or another vehicles screeching brakes, your music might be too loud.
  • Don’t reach for dropped items. Again, the world won’t end when you drop your cell phone on the floor.
  • Secure pets in the back seat. Keep your pet safe in a car carrier, or use a pet gate to keep them in the back. Also, never drive with a pet on your lap!  

Don’t Drive When Impaired
Nearly all of us know someone who was seriously injured in a car accident caused by an impaired driver, usually one under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Prescription opioid and legal marijuana-related vehicle crashes are on the rise, and with all the ride-sharing services available today, like Uber and Lyft, why would anyone risk a wreck when under the influence of these substances?

In addition, another form of impaired driving is being too tired while behind the wheel, like when you’re on a long trip. Stop along the way at a rest area or hotel, grab a few hours of shut-eye, and then hit the road again refreshed and awake!  

Drive More Defensively
Because of the increase in distracted and impaired drivers, driving defensively in order to avoid an accident is the rule. To do so, use these tips:

  • Slow down. Based on road conditions, like snow and ice in winter, or construction zones in summer, adjust your speed accordingly.
  • Anticipate hazards. Keep an eye out for other motorists, or pedestrians, who may do something careless.
  • Utilize vehicle safety features. Make sure you understand how your vehicles built-in safety features work so you can maximize your ability behind the wheel.

Adjust to Weather Conditions
Winter weather affects every vehicle differently. Make sure your vehicle is ready for anything that Mother Nature comes up with.

  • Clean off your windows. If your windows are covered by a film in warm months, or snow during winter, you can’t see other vehicles properly. Take a few minutes to clean off all your windows.
  • Use headlights. When any form of precipitation is falling, it’s foggy, or the sun’s not out, turn on your headlights so others can see you, and you can see them.
  • Make sure your tires are in good shape.  Check your vehicle's tire tread, and check the tire pressure regularly.

Maintain Your Vehicle
You need to make sure that your vehicle is always in safe operating condition, and that means routine inspections and maintenance. Follow your manufacturer-recommended intervals found in your owner’s manual:

  • Brakes and brake lights
  • Oil and oil filter
  • Suspension, steering and alignment
  • Wiper blades
  • Fluid levels, hoses and belts
  • Transmission and transmission fluid
  • Radiator, coolant and hoses

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