Tips for Secure and Safe Driving!

Usually when you think about being safe and secure while driving, thoughts of seat belts, air bags and prepackaged emergency kits spring to mind. While these items certainly enhance the safety of the vehicle as well as your sense of security should an accident occur, they do nothing to remedy the everyday problems and mishaps encountered during the routine drive. The following tips will help you be better prepared to handle any crisis that may arise while using your car:

1) Once a week maintenance checks – check tire pressures, all fluid levels (oil, radiator, automatic transmission, windshield washers, brake fluid and gasoline). This should be done regardless of how new your vehicle is – better safe than sorry.

2) Once a month maintenance checks – make sure the hazard lights function, the horn sounds, the headlights work (hi and low beam), turn signals are working, and the inspection sticker and license tags are current.

3) Daily Preparations prior to leaving – connect your ear-bud or Bluetooth to your cell phone, plug in the cell phone charging device as well and place the cell phone in a convenient location. Get out all toll coins and tokens as well. Or do not use your cell phone while driving by turning it off prior to the start of your trip.

4) Emergency Kit - many companies sell complete kits ready for purchase. Stored it in either the trunk or under the seat and routinely make sure that everything is in good working order and replace any items that have an expiration date. Add in battery cables, Fix-A-Flat Tire Inflator, flares, and empty gallon jug (to fill with gas should you run out). If your vehicle is older, you should also keep a quart of oil on hand too.

5) Survival Kit – pack bottled water, granola bars, crackers, hand wipes, napkins, Kleenex, sanitizing hand cleaner, towel, change of clothes, Utility knife, hammer and thermal blanket. This should be in your car regardless of the type of usage or whether you have a family or not and should be easily accessible. Spilling food and/or drinks is always a distinct possibility (hence the towel and change of clothes), plus accidents do not always happen in highly trafficked areas.

6) Accident/Break-down Kit – list all emergency phone numbers (Insurance, Towing service, Road-Side Assistance, Mechanic, your information and family contact information), a copy of your current insurance ID card, a disposable camera, pen and paper. Should you be involved in an accident, take pictures of the scene including the other vehicle’s license plate, the damage to both autos, the area where the accident happened, stop lights and signs, street signs, ask for and write down the other driver’s information including their driver’s license number and insurance. Call the police immediately and get an accident report number.

The fact is most people never even consider the possibility that anything will happen to them while driving, but just like ‘Murphy’s Law’, something always does. Being prepared makes it easier on youself when a mishap or an accident occurs. And remember, these are recommendations and suggestions, you should always consult with a professional mechanic or insurance agent before a long trip or outfitting your vehicle.

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