Although you might already have many of the following habits of safe driving, perhaps there are a few that you can commit to this year.
Observe the speed limit – Statistics show that about a third of fatal auto accidents show speeding as a cause. So allow enough time for your trip, and remember that these limits are based on what traffic will bear in a given area of the road – not to inconvenience you.
Avoid tailgating – Allow your speed to determine your following distance -- the higher your speed, the more room you’ll need to stop behind the car just ahead. Beware if you’re following a slow driver since they might be distracted and could make an unexpected move.
Signal before making a turn – Your car’s turn signals are the only way to communicate with others sharing the road with you. Make it a habit to use your blinkers even if no other cars are around. That way, you’ll remember to do it when it really counts.
Don’t run the red light – Even if you are alone at the intersection, come to a complete stop and wait for the green light. Even then, before proceeding, check the cross traffic to be sure they are stopped. How many times have you heard someone say, “I didn’t see them coming?”
Never Drive impaired – If you’ve been drinking alcohol or you are tired, drowsy or ill, don’t get behind the wheel and put yourself and others on the road at risk.
Avoid all distractions – Studies have shown that, when distracted, you are as much at risk as a drunk driver, and that applies to all types of distraction -- whether it’s adjusting the radio or GPS, talking to passengers, or most especially texting or using your cell phone.
Never fail to buckle up – It only takes a second, but it’s potentially life-saving for you and your passengers. And in most states it’s the law.
Secure your passengers – Before starting the car, be sure that all passengers are buckled up. Properly secure young children (under age 8) in the appropriate car seat for their size and age. Seat all children under age 12 in the back seat.
Take care of your vehicle - If your car is not in good condition, you can’t rely on it to perform as expected. Routine and regular maintenance such as regular tune-ups and tire checks will keep your car running well.
Be a defensive driver – Pay attention to what other vehicles around you are doing at all times and drive accordingly. Anticipating what the other drivers are going to do will let you adjust if a car makes an unexpected move.
Auto Insurance Tip
Will you be carpooling in the new year? Whether you'll be driving the neighborhood kids to or from school, sharing the drive to work with coworkers or something else, your auto liability insurance should reflect the increased risk of additional passengers in the automobile. And if you'll be compensated for your driving, there are extra coverage issued to sort out. Check with your insurance agent to be sure your insurance coverage is adequate well in advance the need to file a claim.
The scope of your insurance coverage and options depend entirely upon the policy and the insurance company providing it. This website is not intended to advise, offer or bind coverage. You should always discuss your insurance issues with professionals such as a licensed and qualified insurance agent before making any decisions or choosing a course of action. Ewing Hines & Associates is a full-service insurance agency offering auto insurance for your vehicle, home insurance for homeowners, renters and condo dwellers, business/commercial insurance and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA), Washington DC since 1960. Our experienced insurance agents at our office in Kensington, MD welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time.