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Driving is something you might very well do every day

adding up to many hours every week, and like so many drivers, you probably take a lot of safety precautions for granted even though you’re aware, as so many of us are, that driving is always inherently risky. Even though cars today are built with more safety and protective features than ever before, it’s a good idea to periodically refresh ourselves on some of the basic elements of road safety that we may have forgotten about since we first took our driver’s education classes years ago. Even if you’re a newer driver and those classes are fresh in your mind, it’s never a bad idea to remind yourself how to drive defensively and safely. Next time you get behind the wheel, try to remember some of these tips that can help keep you and your passengers safe on the road.

 

Belts for everyone

 

It may seem obvious, but one of the most important things to remember is that everyone in the car needs their own seat and needs to be properly belted in with lap and shoulder belts. No seat-sharing allowed! If you have kids in the car, they may be required to sit in a car seat if they’re under a certain age or size, and always double check to make sure car seats are installed correctly.

 

Avoid flying hazards

 

Not outside your car, but in the cabin! Solid objects on seats and dashboards can go flying in the event of a collision or a sudden stop, and they can cause severe injuries if they hit you. Make sure anything you don’t want to see turned into a dangerous projectile is stowed away in your glove compartment, under a seat, in the trunk, or someplace else where it can’t go flying at you.

 

No distractions

 

Smartphones and tablets stay off and out of your hands while you’re driving, always. Distracted driving from texting and using apps has caused a huge upswing in vehicle accidents in recent years. It’s also important to remember that less obvious distractions like eating, applying makeup, talking to passengers, and adjusting the radio can cause you to lose your focus on the road as well.

 

Regular maintenance

 

Get your tires, oil, fluid, and other automotive parts checked out regularly to make sure they’re not in danger of failing. Replace worn tires promptly. The last thing you want is to lose control of your car because an easily fixable part failed at the wrong time.

 

Drive defensively

 

Always be alert to what other drivers are doing and don’t drive aggressively. A little caution, prudence, and courtesy can go a long way in reducing accidents and keeping the roads safer for everyone. Maintain safe following distances, adjust your speed to account for bad weather conditions, and always be prepared to have to react to unexpected changes in the flow of traffic.

 

There’s no perfect guarantee when it comes to driving safety, but keeping these tips in mind can definitely go a long way towards helping.