Driving is an integral part of our lives. Modern western societies are set up in a way that requires owning a car, while most adults spend a considerable amount of their day commuting to and from work. Driving also happens to be dangerous.
People generally don’t appreciate just how many things can go wrong while they’re driving, which could result in serious consequences. Here are a few tips that will help you stay safe on the road.
Know Your Car Well
Not everyone is a car person and that’s perfectly normal. Car enthusiasts are a special breed, to say the least. However, not being a car person doesn’t excuse you from knowing your car. We’re not just talking about its most basic specs. We’re also talking about how it drives, how it feels, and how far you can push it should you have to.
Knowing these things to the heart can make all the difference in the world if you’re presented with a potentially risky situation.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Staying on top of your car’s maintenance is a surefire way to avoid any serious issues in the future. Sure, things break from time to time, but consistent maintenance will minimize the risk of that happening.
More importantly, proper maintenance will make sure that your car’s safety systems, most notably your brakes, work as intended. Failing to maintain your brakes on time can be catastrophic. Legal counselors from this law firm insist that properly maintaining your car plays a massive role in not only avoiding accidents but also seeking compensation if an accident does happen. Inspecting your vehicle every 6 months or so will ensure that it’s in good driving condition at all times.
Be a Defensive Driver
Defensive driving is a hard pill to swallowing for some drivers. It’s hard to give up whatever habits you’ve already established. Things such as maintaining proper distance, always looking out for other drivers, paying attention to what they’re doing are all components of defensive driving.
While it does take some getting used to, the benefits are simply immeasurable. You will greatly minimize your risk of being involved in a car accident while you can also avoid unnecessary expenses caused by fender benders.
Plan Your Road Trips Well in Advance
Family road trips are fun. You get to see new places, spend quality time with your loved ones, and generally relax from the stress of your everyday life. That being said, a road trip can quickly turn into another stressful experience. If you’re going to a set destination and are running late, the need to hurry up could potentially expose your family to risk.
Instead of screaming down the highway toward your destination, you’re far better off making sure that your trip is appropriately planned. This means listing all the activities you want to check out and allotting enough time for each. Calculate how early you need to leave the house to see everything you need to see — then add at least an hour to that calculation.
Invest in Winter Tires
If you live up north or in areas that see plenty of snowfall, do yourself a favor and invest in a set of winter tires. Winter tires can be a true lifesaver when temperatures drop well below zero. The whole point of winter tires isn’t in the aggressive tread most such tires have. It’s actually the rubber compounds used to make these types of tires.
All-season and summer tires are made of a stiffer rubber compound that firm up when they freeze. A rock-solid tire offers almost no grip at all. On the other hand, a winter tire is soft and will give you a much better grip. Your stopping distances on ice and snow can potentially be cut in half. That’s a significant improvement from a safety standpoint.
4×4 Isn’t Omnipotent
Last but not least, if you drive an SUV, a truck, or a car that is fitted with a 4×4 drive system, it’s important to realize that this feature doesn’t make your vehicle invincible.
You won’t be able to just truck on through all kinds of weather, get out of sticky situations or drive fast in bad weather conditions. That is not what 4×4 is meant for. Remember that grip comes from the tires and that your 4×4 is there to assist with traction, not guarantee it.
Make Safety your Top Priority
Whenever you’re driving around alone or with your family, it’s imperative that you put safety first. Always have everyone buckle up, follow all road signs and speed limits, adapt to the road conditions. All of this is a part of defensive driving. The sooner you start practicing this form of driving, the better.