Here are some simple tips for things to check before getting in the car, and things to keep in mind while driving that will help keep you and your passengers safe and accident free.
Before getting in the car there are a few things you should check – especially if there will be children with you. If you have a young child, make sure to double check the child seats and be sure that they are installed correctly. If there is an accident this will increase the safety of children and help them to avoid injury. Another thing that can be checked before beginning to drive is that all lights, including turn signals and breaks are working properly. This way other drivers will always be aware if you are breaking or making a turn and can act accordingly.
Once you begin to drive, keep the headlights on. Cars are visible at nearly 4x the distance when their lights are on. When other cars can see you well you have greater security while driving. If you have stopped at a red light, which then turns green, before beginning to drive again, look for cars trying to make their red light at the last second to avoid pulling out in front of other cars. Never assume it is safe to begin moving just because you have the green light.
Another important habit to keep is to check your mirrors every 6-8 seconds and leave a 4 second space between you and the car in from of you. You should double this space at night or in inclement weather in order to account for increased stopping time or limited visibility. If there is inclement weather, always reduce your speed, and when applying the break do so slowly – remember as your speed increases, so does your breaking distance. Another factor that increases stopping time is the amount of weight in your vehicle; if you have a heavier load your stopping distance will be longer than usual. When on the highway, always stay in the right lane if you are not actively passing a vehicle to ensure constant flow of traffic and to stay out of the way of speeding cars. Also, when driving near trucks it is important to remember that if you cannot see them in their rearview mirrors they can not see you either, so be sure to keep out of their blind spots.
Pay attention at all times, remember that using a cell phone while driving increases your chances of being involved in a collision by nearly 400%. Always pay attention to speed limits and other signs. Sometimes drivers assume they are going the speed limit without paying attention to signs and looking for speed limit changes along the road. Other road signs will inform you of changes in the lanes or terrain of the road such as sharp curves or a stoplight ahead. Being aware of what is to come will help you to be prepared at all times.
Some safe driving habits to keep in mind at all times are to think ahead, scan the road, and always be ready to react. Do not drive if you are sleep deprived and be sure to keep your driving consistent and smooth – be easy on the gas and don’t break or accelerate too fast. If you keep these basic tips in mind you will decrease your chances of being involved in an accident and help to assure the safety of yourself and your passengers.
We all know it’s important to perform vehicle maintenance in order to ensure safety and efficiency, but what are some important checks to keep in mind? Here is a list of simple ways to make sure that your vehicle is running at its best, helping you to increase performance, efficiency, and safety.
1. Tire pressure: Be sure to check your tire pressure once a week. Every vehicle is made to run on a certain pressure and poor tire pressure can decrease fuel efficiency up to 2 miles a gallon. Check the owner’s manual to find the proper tire pressure for your car.
2. Oil and other fluids: It is important to change your oil every 3,000 miles to keep it running well. Be sure to change your oil whenever necessary and use the grade recommended by your car maker. Another fluid that you should keep an eye on is coolant. Levels should remain within 1 inch from the top of the radiator filler neck and fluids should be free of any contaminants. Flush or refill your coolant levels every 40,000 to 100,000 miles.
3. Air Filter: Replace the air filter once a year or after 12,000 miles (and more frequently if you live in an area with high levels of dirt or smog) to allow more air to enter the engine and increase power and energy.
4. Oxygen Sensor: Check this sensor to make sure it’s not plugged, and if it is, replace it. This will help to improve fuel economy up to 50%.
5. Spark Plugs: Your spark plugs help increase performance. You should change them once they become dirty so that they will work better as well as increase horsepower and give you better fuel economy.
6. Breaks: Don’t ever ignore break noises. Your breaks should be checked every 6,000 miles to ensure safety.
Some simple tips include cleaning windows, windshields, and mirrors in order to increase improve visibility. Another way to increase visibility is to be sure to replace wiper blades when they become worn out. To help improve gas mileage, get rid of extra things in the car that add additional weight and clean off snow and ice, which also adds weight and increases wind resistance. In warm weather, roll down your windows rather than turning on the air conditioner – it takes about 15 horsepower from the engine to use the a/c.
Always use proper tools, check the owner’s manual before repairing, take safety precautions, read all instructions, and consult a professional when necessary. Simple and proper car care helps improve fuel efficiency, save you money, and ensure your safety.