According to the Utah Department of Transportation, there have been 122 fatalities on Utah roads as of June 2021. We can all do better if we implement safe driving practices such as those listed below.
Driving Tips for Safer Roads
At Master Muffler, our Provo car repair teams only want to see your vehicle for routine maintenance; we’d hate to see you because your car needs repair after an accident.
Did you know that sending a text while driving is comparable to wearing a blindfold for five seconds while behind the wheel? In many states, it is illegal to use a phone while driving, and Utah is one of them. If you’re tempted to use your phone while behind the wheel, consider placing it in the backseat with your bag so it’s out of reach.
Eating is another common distraction for drivers. It’s better to do your makeup at home and be late for your appointment than it is to apply mascara while driving and cause an accident. Multitasking while driving isn’t worth any minutes you think you’re saving. When you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, make driving your number one priority.
Be a Defensive Driver
Driving defensively means you’re proactively making decisions for your own safety. You don’t have to assume that all other drivers are oblivious to you, but you can drive as if they are. This may mean yielding at an intersection even if you have the right of way, or reducing your speed in traffic, and allowing other cars to merge. Keep your eyes on the road, looking beyond the car immediately in front of you so you can better anticipate any threats to your vehicle.
You probably learned in driver’s education that you should be no less than four seconds behind the car in front of you. The 4-second rule means that in ideal driving conditions, you watch the car in front of you pass a marker on the road, and you can count to four before passing it yourself. For any inclement weather, add an extra second between you and the other car. For example, if it’s raining, add one more second between vehicles, and add another second if it’s also very windy. You’ll now be six seconds behind the car in front of you. This will give you more time to respond in the event traffic patterns change, or there’s an abrupt stop.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Did you know that speed limits apply only when driving and weather conditions are perfect? That means it’s okay to slow down when it’s raining, icy, snowy, or when there’s a lot of traffic. Get into the practice of giving yourself extra time to reach your destination so you don’t feel pressured to go the speed limit in inclement weather. Additionally, give yourself more travel time in the event someone else has an accident and your commute is affected as a result. You’ll be less stressed as you wait for traffic to clear knowing you allotted for unpredictable circumstances the best you could.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
It’s important to always know where you are in relation to other vehicles, being mindful of your blindspots and theirs. For example, if you can’t see the driver of an 18-wheeler, s/he can’t see you. Pass other vehicles with intention, clearing their blind spots and turning radiuses completely.
Use Safety Features of Your Vehicle
Your car has safety features for a reason – use them! Before you even turn the key in the ignition, buckle up and adjust your mirrors. While driving, signal every time you change lanes, and only use the passing lane for actually passing.
Other safety elements to be mindful of are your headlights, tires, and windshield wipers. Give them a once over each month to ensure your headlights are aimed in the right direction, and that they don’t have fog behind the covers. Check for the right psi in your tires, and that they’re evenly wearing. Replace your windshield wipers at least once annually to give you the best view when behind the wheel. If you have questions about the condition of your vehicle, contact the Provo car repair experts at Master Muffler.
Have a roadside first aid kit, as well as tools for changing a flat tire in your vehicle. A safety kit should include a road flare, flashlight, jumper cables, water, a foil blanket, and extra charging cords or batteries for your mobile devices.
Utah Accident Report
Although there were 13% fewer drivers on the roads in 2020, traffic-related fatalities increased 11% last year. It’s believed that drivers became less cautious as traffic reduced, leading to more crashes and fatalities due to distracted driving, speeding, or driving under the influence.
UDOT reports that between 2019 and 2020, 24% of road fatalities were related to speeding. We can all contribute to lowering that statistic by observing posted speed limit signs, and reducing speed when the weather and road conditions deem it necessary.
No matter the statistic, Provo car repair experts at Master Muffler hope you won’t be one of them. Please continue to drive with safety in mind, and let us know how we can help keep your car running smoothly.