Tips for Safe DrivingWith today’s vehicle safety ratings, it’s not surprising to hear that most vehicles are much safer than their old counterparts. Even with the improvements in technology, there are still millions of car accidents every year. While most are not fatal, car accidents are still the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 3 and 34. We all have to do our part to stay safe on the road. Check out these great tips that improve your driving habits.

1.) Don’t Drink and Drive

This should go without saying, but we feel like we should remind ¬†you regardless. More than 30% of auto accident fatalities are caused by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. So make the smart decision, if you’re drinking, stay put.

2.) Resist Speeding

It’s easy to speed, we all have at one time or another, but speeding can increase your risk of accident by 50 percent.

3.) Avoid Distractions

This one is easy to say, but difficult to practice. Put down that smart phone or GPS until you’ve parked. Studies have shown that the reaction time of a 20 year-old talking on the phone is equal to the reaction time of a 70 year-old. It’s not just cell phones, anything that diverts your attention from driving should be avoided.

4.) Don’t Drive Sleepy

Like driving with distractions, driving while sleepy is a bad idea. A study from Virginia Tech reported that 20% of all accidents have sleepiness as a contributing factor. When you’re drowsy, opening a window or turning up the radio won’t help. Your reaction time is still drastically reduced, so if you’re fighting off yawns have a friend drive.

5.) Wear Your Seatbelt

Everyone knows that seatbelts save lives. So do this no brainer and buckle up before you go anywhere.

6.) Use Caution During Bad Weather

Whether it’s raining, foggy, snowing or there is ice on the road, you should always take extra caution when driving. Stay below the speed limit, and leave ample room between you and the car in front of you.

7.) Leave Tailgating for Game Day

Even if you’re frustrated with the driving conditions, tailgating solves nothing. In fact, it only causes more problems. If you don’t leave enough room in between you and the car in front of you, you will surely hit them if they brake sharply. Follow the three second rule, pick a stationary object and count the seconds between the car in front of you passing the object and you reaching it. At least three seconds should pass before you pass it.

8.) Drive Defensively

Driving defensively means you pay attention to other drivers and stay calm while driving. Keep plenty of space between you and the car in front of you, drive the speed limit and yield to other cars.

9.) Routine Maintenance is Key

Proper vehicle maintenance doesn’t just keep your car running great, it catches major safety issues as well. One of the most common maintenance issues that leads to an accident is tire pressure. Over-inflation and under-inflation can lead to performance problems and even a blow out. Brakes are an essential part of safe driving and routine maintenance ensures you’ll never be in that scary situation of bad brakes.