Driving on the road is something we do so often it can almost become an afterthought. Safety on the road is critical to avoiding accidents and staying safe. We’ve compiled a list of tips/reminders to help you and your family stay safe on the road!
- Spare Tire and Tire-Changing Essentials. Sooner or later, you will likely encounter a flat tire while driving. Having a spare tire and the tools you need can make changing your tire as easy as possible. Recommended items include: spare tire (check tire pressure regularly), jack, lug wrench, flashlight with working batteries, flares/reflective triangles,gloves, and wheel wedges. Also, in the event that you do need to change your tire, put your hazards on, slow down and find a safe spot for changing the tire.
- Pack an Emergency Kit. It’s always best to be prepared in the event of a flat tire, breakdown, or other unexpected event. You can purchase pre-packed emergency kits or assemble one yourself. Here are some of the key items to include: First Aid kit, fire extinguisher, road flares, jumper cables, rain ponchos, tarp, flashlight and extra batteries, rags, duct tape, scent-free baby wipes, drinking water and non-perishable snacks, and a multipurpose tool. Depending on the weather in your area, you may want to add some cold weather essentials as well.
- Air Bag Safety and Seat Belts. Visit the dmv.org site listed at the end of the blog for more detailed information on air bag safety for children and adults. Also, always remember to wear your seat belt! Whether the driver, front passenger or back passenger.
- Check for Vehicle Recalls. Vehicle recalls happen periodically, and it’s good to know if your car is impacted. Visit nhtsa.gov to check for vehicle recalls.
- Take a Mature Driver Course. Traffic laws and technology has changed over time. For drivers who have been behind the wheel for a long time, or anyone looking for some refreshers, taking this course is a good way to brush up on your driving knowledge and skills.
- 511 Traffic System. Simply dial 511 while on the go to reach the national 511 Traffic System for updates and traffic information.
- Maintain a Safe Following Distance. Maintaining a safe distance behind other vehicles is not just considerate, it is also much safer for yourself and the cars around you.
- Use the Passing Lane Appropriately. The left lane, sometimes called “the fast lane”, should generally only be used for passing other vehicles. Cruising or going slow in the passing lane can create a dangerous environment on the road.
- Monitor High Beam Use. Also known as “brights”, using your high beams can help keep you safe and see the road better at night. However, failing to turn off high beams when approaching another vehicle can be dangerous and impair the other driver’s vision.
- Use Your Turn Signals. Using your turn signals helps other drivers know your intentions well in advance of an upcoming turn.
- Do Not Drive Distracted. Distracted driving can be extremely dangerous and causes countless accidents. Here are some activities to avoid while driving: talking on hand held devices, texting, eating, reaching for items, applying makeup, shaving, and operating music devices/player like an iPod.
- Obey Road Signs. Road signs such as speed limit signs and construction signs are there to keep you, other drivers and workers on the road safe.
- Maintain Your Vehicle’s Maintenance. Make sure to check your tires and tire pressure regularly, as well as maintaining your vehicle’s oil and fluid levels and having your breaks inspected.
- Child Safety Seats. If you have children, make sure to research and follow the child safety seat guidelines to keep your children safe while driving on the road.