Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Car Safety Tips To Give You Peace Of Mind

According to the 2000 census, more than 112 million people drive or carpool to work daily. That number is certainly much bigger today, 10 years later. With all these people on the road, drivers need to take every precaution to ensure they arrive safely at their destinations. Here are some tips to heed for safer car travels, whether it be to work, for leisure, or taking the kids to school.

Know Your Route

Before hitting the road, take the time to map out your route. Motor clubs provide auto travelers with maps and detailed directions to their destinations. Be aware of traffic, construction and weather advisories along your route so you can make alternate plans should these conditions affect your drive. A GPS can be a really smart purchase. Knowing exactly where you are going step by step allows you to pay more attention to your surroundings when driving in unfamiliar areas.

Reduce Driver Distractions

Traffic, construction and careless drivers are distractions beyond your control. However, you can reduce the risk of an accident by decreasing the distractions inside your vehicle. Don't use your cell phone while driving and certainly don't try to send or read text messages. If you have a GPS, don't try to set it while driving- pull off the road to change any settings. It takes only a couple seconds of distraction to possibly end up in a terrible car accident.

Have an Emergency Kit

In addition to standards such as a first aid kit and battery jumper cables, consider adding a safety light to your vehicle emergency kit. A safety light serves a dual purpose: it shines like a flashlight and alerts like a flare. The light can be used as a bright spotlight or as a blinking safety light to warn oncoming traffic of a motorist's presence. Also consider having a tire inflating gizmo. Can come in really handy if a tire has deflated, and you just need to get down the road to get it fixed properly.

Preventative Maintenance

Keeping your vehicle properly maintained is absolutely essential to have a safe handling car. Follow all the recommended service intervals found in your vehicle owner's manual- always monitor hoses and belts, and check filters, spark plugs and fluids. Also, be sure tires are properly inflated and rotated, and the gas level is sufficient. Get on a good preventative maintenance program with your local auto repair shop to ensure your car is always safe to drive.

Buckle Up

When lap and shoulder belts are used correctly, they reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent.

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