While today’s cars are designed and equipped to be safer than ever, until we finally get self-driving cars, the human element remains the most critical aspect of automotive safety. Whether you’re driving the kids to school or taking the family a cross-country road trip, be sure to follow these time-honored tips to ensure everyone arrives safely.
Buckle up – every time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that seatbelt use can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by more than 45 percent.
Stay sober. NHTSA says nearly 10,000 deaths a year occur from crashes involving drivers with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher, which is the threshold for determining intoxication in Arizona and most other states.
Check the kids’ car seats. Make sure child safety seats are both properly installed – always in the back seat – and are both age and weight appropriate. Check out these car seat guidelines to learn more.
Watch your speed. NHTSA estimates that speed plays a factor in nearly 10,000 deaths per year. Drivers are more likely to be seriously injured or killed at higher speeds, and speeding increases the risk of being in a crash because there is less time and distance available to respond.
Minimize distractions. Avoid talking on the phone, texting, eating or any other activity that draws your attention away from the task at hand. NHTSA estimates that distracted driving is a factor in at least 3,000 deaths per year. Drivers who take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds can double their risk of being in a collision.
Don’t drive while drowsy. While it can be hard to avoid driving after too little sleep, it’s best to be well rested before getting behind the wheel. The AAA Foundation estimates that drowsy driving is a factor in an average of 328,000 crashes each year, including 109,000 collisions that result in injuries and 6,400 fatal crashes.
Keep kids entertained on longer trips. Yelling at unruly kids in the back seat is the original motoring distraction. Tablet or laptop computers, portable DVD players and driving games can be invaluable here, though don’t discount low-tech options like playing I-Spy or 20 questions.
Make sure your car or truck is up to the task. Breakdowns and blowouts are not only inconvenient, they can be hazardous, especially if they occur at highway speeds. NHTSA estimates that tire failure alone causes approximately 11,000 crashes a year.
Check the air pressure in your vehicle’s tires regularly using a tire pressure gauge, and keep them inflated at the psi (pounds per square inch) recommended in the owner’s manual. Examine the vehicle’s tires for uneven and excessive wear and replace them if the tread is thinner than the distance from the top of Lincoln’s head to the edge of a penny.
Also, be sure to take your car or truck into the shop for regular oil changes and have it fully inspected by a mechanic before embarking on a long road trip.
This year, make one of your resolutions to drive safer and take better care of your vehicle by visiting the ASE-certified technicians Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care.
For more than 55 years, the experts at Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care have been serving the Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley and Sierra Vista communities. Whether you’re looking for new tires, need your vehicle repaired or just a check up, the team at Jack Furrier have the skills and experience to service your vehicle. They were even voted “Best Auto Repair Shop,” “Best Tire Store,” “Best Locally Owned Business” and “Best Customer Service” in the Arizona Daily Star’s 2016 Reader’s Choice awards.
To request a quote or find one of the Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care location nearest you, visit JackFurriers.com.
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