Though innovations change and improve every year, our resolutions for safety remain the same—even as we race into a brand new decade. With more and more distractions making their way into automobiles every minute, the need to revisit our roadside resolve to stay safe becomes even more important in 2020.
Relax on the Road:
According to a 2019 study by Safe Motorist, 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving. Regardless of who is at fault, the behaviors of others, or how late you’re running, road rage is never the solution. This year, commit yourself to relaxation on the road—choosing to drive responsibly in all situations. Take it from your collision repair experts—behaviors such as honking, tailgating, speeding and yelling do more harm than good when it comes to getting where you want to go.
Put Down Distractions:
Distractions are everywhere, both inside and outside your car. From cell phones to flashy billboards, noisy passengers and furry friends, the number of stimuli a driver is faced with at any given moment is overwhelming. Distractions can be classified as manual (reaching for an item, petting a dog), visual (checking an image, looking in the backseat) or cognitive (daydreaming or focusing on another problem). Whatever the distraction is, make a pledge this decade to keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on the drive.
Texting: Many phones now enter a “Do Not Disturb” mode when they detect you are in your car. Utilize this feature and know that your messages can wait.
Other cell phone use: Texting while driving may be an obvious no-no, but you shouldn’t be on your phone at all when you’re on the road. Taking your eyes and hands off the wheel, for any reason, can put you and others at risk. This includes frequently checking maps, taking photos, scrolling through social media, etc.
Eating: Save mealtime for the table and keep food out of the front seat. Not only can it create a mess in your car, but snacking while driving can create chaos if you lose control.
Makeup: It may be tempting to save some time in the morning by getting ready in the car, but your best look is arriving safely at your destination.
Passengers: Whether your passengers are backseat drivers, karaoke enthusiasts or furry friends accompanying you on an adventure, anyone riding in your car should be a traveler and not a distraction.
Keep Your Car in Good Condition:
This year, commit yourself to keeping your car in the best possible condition. Not only will this keep your car running smoothly, but it will also keep you safe, extend your car’s life and make driving more enjoyable. Be sure to change your oil when needed, check your tires, keep the car clean (inside and out), check your fluids and wiper blades and take your car in for service at the appropriate date or mileage.
Never Drive Under the Influence:
Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes. Driving under the influence can include both alcohol and drugs. With the invention of Uber and other rideshare apps, finding a designated driver is easier than ever. This year—and every year—commit to staying sober behind the wheel to keep yourself and everyone else safe.
Be Wary of the Weather:
Take note of the weather conditions this year and prep your auto accordingly. If it’s snowing, remember to clear off your roof and windows, drive slowly, watch out for ice and invest in chains as needed. If it’s rainy, remember to leave more distance between you and the cars in front of you, use your wipers and pull over if the conditions get too bad. Regardless of your skill as a driver, never be afraid to stay home when the weather gets too bad. Like the old saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
From our friends here at Caliber, we hope this year is full of adventure and fun. And, no matter where the roads take you this decade, we ask that you keep safety your top priority. If you do end up off track, however, our team has a permanent resolution to always live out our Purpose—Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life®.