The number one rule (you guessed it): SLOWDOWN. No matter what the circumstances, heavy traffic, wet or icy roads, inattentive drivers, a blow-out, you name it, if you are driving slower you have more time to react and avoid bad things.
Be aware. My years of auto racing really highlighted this one. You should always know what going on around you and try to have an out. That means being proactive and not reactive. If a guy is tailgating you, move over. Let the maniac hit the next guy, not you. Don’t drive on the right side of anyone (real blind spot) for very long. Most folks drift to the right! And, in many of the newer cars it is real hard to see over your shoulder anyway.
Focus on the road. Sounds simple enough but with today’s lifestyles and technology, it is easier said than done. Cell phones, I Pods, the radio, CD’S, DVD players, GPS, makeup, shavers, not mention kids in the backseat. Is any of that more important than being safe? Pull over and stop if you really need to address any of that.
When making right turns, don’t assume the guy in front of you already went. Most folks look over their shoulder to check traffic and start to go before double checking that the guy in front has really gone. We see this one every week. Goes back to number one, “don’t be in such a hurry.”
When backing up, remember that cars turn much faster when backing than when going forward. Folks that park in underground parking lots or under car ports pay special attention here. If you turn it too much while backing up, you are liable to leave a portion of your front end wrapped around a pole or structure. Make sure you’ve cleared the closest object before you crank the wheel all the way. Here’s an obvious one ( but it never hurts to review.) Don’t drink and drive. Not everyone has a horrible collision that kills people. Sometimes it’s just damage to you and your car or the fence or garage post. But the results are the same…unnecessary damage.
Tired drivers are liable for more damage then drunk drivers. Get some good rest before you drive and if you are on the road and you get tired, pull over and take a quick cat nap. It’s amazing what that can do to recharge your battery. Get directions before you leave and commit them to memory or pull over and read them again. Driving while reading a map or looking at a GPS is a no-no. Driving while calling for directions, then writing them down while driving and ultimately reading them again while driving; that’s a real bad idea.
I hope you heed these words of caution. If not, the crew at Sturken Auto Body will be here for you!