Whether you’re a novice or seasoned motorist, it helps to be a smart driver. After all, the roads can be challenging and unpredictable—and accidents can happen even to the safest and most experienced drivers. Whether it’s navigating rush hour traffic, avoiding bad weather, or keeping your eyes on the road, here are 8 tips by our friends from FobBattery.com to help you be an intelligent driver:
- Make sure your car is maintained properly
Ensure your car is maintained correctly, including having oil changes regularly, checking tire pressure and keeping a full gas tank. Also, have your car inspected at least once a year by a professional mechanic who will check your vehicle and tell you if anything needs to be repaired or replaced.
- Drive Defensively
There’s a good chance you’re a better driver than the person in front of you. You’re attentive and constantly maneuvering to avoid accidents, debris and other automobile-related hazards. That’s why to keep your guard when driving, even on familiar roads. In the words of Jim Harrison of BMW, “You cannot drive safely unless you drive defensively.”
- Check the Weather Forecast
Being prepared to drive in bad weather is also important. If a storm is coming, look out for severe weather alerts, and if there’s snow or ice on the road, pack an emergency car kit in case you get stranded. A car kit can help you stay safe in the event of a breakdown, and it’s essential to have an auto jack and shovel, light sticks, blanket and bottled water—you can never be too prepared!
Wear warm clothes, comfortable shoes (with traction) and even gloves if you get stranded during cold temperatures.
- Stay Calm and Think Ahead
If you’re ever in a situation where your car breaks down, remember to stay calm and think ahead. By doing this, you can be prepared and avoid any panicking. While it is not fun to be stranded with a broken-down car, it could have been worse if you weren’t prepared for it.
- Keep Your Car in Good Condition.
Your car is a big investment, so you should keep it in good condition. Look at your car’s tires and make sure they are properly inflated. Ensure the belts, hoses, and fluids are all in good shape. Also, don’t ignore noises or other warning signs. If you see something out of order, get it checked out
- Know the Traffic Laws
While traveling this Holiday Season, it is important to remember that there may be regional variations in traffic laws, varying from state to state. For example, in New Jersey, it is illegal to text and drive, no matter if you are stopped in traffic or are in slow-moving traffic. In Pennsylvania, tailgating is not illegal. In Maryland, drivers are illegal to use handheld cell phones behind the wheel.
As always, we recommend you follow the road rules closely to help ensure your safety during the current travel season.
- Avoid Distractions
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,477 traffic fatalities in Texas in 2015. Distracted driving was a factor in 78% of these deaths.
How you can protect yourself:
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Avoid putting yourself into risky situations.
- Turn off your phone. If you must use your phone, use a speakerphone or earbuds that allow you to keep your hands on the wheel
Remember that your car is not just a mode of transportation — it’s also a heavy machine that can cause much damage if driven recklessly. Keep your eyes on the road, and you’ll increase your chances of reaching your destination unscathed.
- Don’t Hog the Road: Maintain Proper Etiquette on the Road
Even if you have a right to do something on the road, it doesn’t mean you should. Regarding driving, particularly in New Jersey, some rules and regulations must be followed. If you’re riding with other people in your car, take turns driving so that everyone has a chance to drive and get a feel for how to handle the vehicle. If you’re driving alone, let other cars merge into traffic ahead of you. Don’t hog the road.