So, you have just passed your driver’s test and gotten your driver’s license! Congratulations! You have taken an important step towards gaining your independence and becoming an adult. While this is a great accomplishment, it is important to keep in mind that you should approach your newly found freedom responsibly and carefully. When you are behind the wheel, your actions affect not only yourself, but other drivers on the road.
It is extremely important to obey all traffic laws. Traffic laws are in place to keep yourself and others safe on the roads.
Montgomery County in Maryland has a lot of speed cameras. If you do not want your speeding tickets to be mounting, seriously consider slowing down while you are driving. Additionally, slowing down will afford you more time to react in case something unexpected occurs.
Keep Your Car In Good Running Shape
The better condition you keep your car in, the longer it is going to perform at a high level for you. Changing the oil regularly and getting other regular maintenance checkups for your vehicle can prolong its life. In addition to oil changes, rotating your tires and checking fluid levels are extremely important.
Wear Your Seat Belt
Not wearing your seat belt when you are driving your car is against the law. Passengers should also wear their seat belts at all times. This will help prevent potential injuries or death. Statistics show that, when it came to fatal accidents, 56% of teens were not wearing their seat belt at the time of the accident. Please buckle your seat belts.
Having your eyes anywhere other than on the road is a recipe for disaster when you are operating a motor vehicle. Do not text and drive, do not play games on your phone, do not try to change the radio station. If you have other passengers in your car, make sure they are not horsing around in the back seat. It only takes seconds for something bad to happen. If you are paying attention, you have a better chance of avoiding a dangerous situation.
Adjust Your Accessories
Really, this should be done before you actually start driving your vehicle. Adjusting your seat to a comfortable position and adjusting your mirrors are actions you need to take to ensure that your visibility is good. You need to be able to see where other cars are around you.
If you do not create enough distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you, there is a higher chance of having a rear-end collision if the car in front puts the brakes on. For every ten miles per hour, make sure you are at least one car length behind the one in front of you. This should afford you enough time to come to a complete stop when you need to.
Always have your important documents stored in your car. That way, in the event of an emergency, you will have what you need when the time arises.
Be Mindful of the Weather
Always pay attention to the weather forecast. Rain and snow and ice can present dangerous driving conditions. If the roads are wet, slow down. You do not want your car to hydroplane. This happens when your tire is lifted off of the road surface by water.
Do not drive under the influence
Driving while drinking or under the influence of drugs is not safe. It is also against the law.
The more you practice safe driving techniques, the better overall driver you will be.
Are you the type of person who has a car filled with clutter? Maybe you have items scattered all over your car in different areas. Or maybe you have a trunk filled with items it would take you a week to organize. In the event of an emergency, there are a number of essential items you will want to have stored in your car. What are they?
You can buy various emergency kits that contain different items. Here’s what we recommend in terms of what you should keep in your car in case something unexpected happens that leaves you stranded.
Not everyone is going to face the same challenges when it comes to their car. If you are the type of person that spends a considerable amount of time in your car, your needs may be slightly different from others. If you think you fall into this category, consider keeping the following items in your car just in case disaster strikes.
Safety Supplies: First-Aid Kit, Flashlight, Matches (or another tool you can use to start a fire)
Energy bars or MREs – energy bars are great to give you a quick boost if you have been stranded for a while. We understand you most likely are not going to find yourself in a military situation, but MREs (meals ready to eat) only need hot water to be ready for your consumption. If you are facing dire straits, these are an option for you.
Water bottles – It is recommended that men drink about15.5 cups of water every day (3.7 liters). It is recommended that women drink about 11.5 cups of water per day (2.7 liters). When it comes to storing water in your car, be careful not to store water in plastic bottles in hot temperatures as the chemicals in the plastic may seep into the water leaving it unsafe to drink. Glass bottles or gallon jugs are a better option.
For Winter Emergencies
In addition to the items mentioned above, you may consider keeping these other items handy:
Emergencies can occur at a moment’s notice and it is important to be prepared.
We live in a day and age where the cars we drive have state-of-the-art cooling systems that allow for engines to maintain a safe temperature, so the car can perform at its highest level in any situation. However, there are instances when your vehicle may overheat. If you would like to learn how to prevent overheating or how to fix an overheating problem, please read on…
There are several reasons why an engine would overheat. Usually, this happens when there is a problem with the vehicle’s cooling system that does not allow heat to leave the engine compartment. More often than not, this is due to a leak or blockage somewhere within the cooling system or other components of the car.
Over time, parts of your car are going to suffer wear and tear. Rubber hoses, gaskets, and water pumps can leak. When this happens, your car’s cooling system may be affected. Also, if you have a consistent long commute for work every morning, eventually, the stop=and-go traffic has the potential put very serious strain on your car’s cooling system. This is why it is so important to have regular maintenance check-ups conducted by an experienced professional who knows what to look for.
When you are driving, it is extremely important to pay attention to any alerts your car may be giving you. If you see lights flashing or any indicators being illuminated, get to a repair shop as soon as possible. Putting this off could spell disaster for your wallet.
So, what should you look for to know if your car is overheating? Again, if any of these problems are occurring, seek professional maintenance assistance immediately:
If you any steam coming from underneath the hood of your car.
The temperature gauge for your engine is reaching “H” or is moving into the red area of the gauge.
If you smell any strong odors coming from the front of the car, get to a maintenance shop as soon as you can.
To combat the effects of overheating, it is a good idea to have some essential items on hand:
If your car is overheating, take these next steps:
Turning off the heater will potentially lower the temperature of your engine. If you see the warning light turning off or if the temperature gauge goes back to neutral, you should be okay.
Pull over. If you are driving along and your car starts to overheat, it is best to pull over to the side of the road and turn off the engine to give it time to cool. If you have the towing option on your Erie Insurance auto policy, you can contact their roadside assistance to come help you. Their number is 1-800-367-3743. You will want to select OPTION 2.
Be patient. If you do not have roadside assistance, it is best to stay calm and wait at least 15 minutes for the engine to cool. It is possible that the engine coolant has reached a scorching temperature, so please do not attempt to open the hood at this time.
Add coolant. Before you add coolant, please make sure you are wearing some heavy-duty gloves. You will want to unscrew the reservoir cap and, using a funnel, gently pour the coolant into the hole of the funnel. Using a funnel allows you to control how much coolant you are adding and prevents a mess.
Drive your car to a service station. Coolant does not directly address the problem you may be having with your car if it is overheating, but it may buy you enough time to get to a service station to have it looked at. A professional will be able to tell you exactly what is wrong with your car and what needs to be done to fix the problem.
We all take risks every single day. Some of those risks, like driving, may be unavoidable. What can we do to ensure our own safety as well as the safety of others around us while we are behind the wheel? We can practice something called defensive driving.
What is defensive driving?
Defensive Driving is a set of skills one has to defend themselves from possible collisions with other vehicles on the road. Whether caused by bad drivers, drunk drivers, or hazardous weather conditions, there are several steps one can take to make sure they remain safe while on the road.
Give yourself extra time to reach your destination: It does not matter where you are going. While we cannot control the weather, we can take it upon ourselves to anticipate poor weather conditions by paying attention to weather forecasts, so we can make an informed, educated decision about how to proceed with our days. For example, if you know you are going to have an important appointment with your doctor, you can be proactive in finding out what the weather is going to be like that day and plan accordingly. If weather conditions are going to be rainy or icy, it would be a good idea to leave earlier for your appointment, so you do not feel rushed. Stress can lead you to make poor choices while behind the wheel. Road rage is not your friend. Aggressive driving is what we are trying to avoid.
Be able to control your speed on the road: As mentioned earlier, road rage is not your friend. Stay calm and focused while you are operating a motor vehicle. Not only will you be keeping yourself safer, but you will also be protecting other drivers around you. If you have a long commute with long stretches of road in front of you, consider using your cruise-control option in your car. This will allow you to conserve your energy and maintain your focus on what is in front of you.
Be prepared to react to other drivers: This is important. While we cannot control other drivers on the road, we can help protect ourselves by anticipating actions of other drivers. In order to protect yourself, maintain a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you. Stay in your lane. If you are able to maintain a safe speed and a safe distance, you should be able to give yourself ample time to react should another driver do something. Because you have taken steps to anticipate bad driving techniques, you will avoid a collision and a potential insurance claim.
Do not expect other drivers to do what you think he or she should do: As stated before, ways to keep yourself safe are to maintain a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you. Giving yourself that safe distance will buy you more time to react to a bad driver. If another driver is texting while driving, because you have maintained a safe speed and distance, it will not matter that they are not paying attention to the road. You will avoid a collision.
Use proper etiquette and driving techniques while on the road: We all learn how to properly operate a motor vehicle when we take our driver’s test. We all have to pass it before we get our learner’s permit. That is not to say that once you get your learner’s permit, you are suddenly an expert driver. We should all use our turn signals before switching lanes, maintain a safe distance between ourselves and the cars in front of us and around us, and stay calm behind the wheel.
Stay alert and avoid distractions: In most states, it is now against the law to hold your cell phone while driving. Texting while driving is against the law. Some police officers will pull you over just for having your cell phone in your hand. Eating behind the wheel can be another distraction because it, oftentimes, forces you to take at least one hand off of the wheel and your eyes off of the road. Finally, if you are listening to music or the radio, consider leaving the volume level at a place that allows you to hear other cars around you. For example, if a car is honking at you, you will be able to hear it. If a police cruiser or an ambulance needs to pass you, you will be able to hear it and move out of the way.
Defensive Driving is the best way to keep yourself safe while driving. You will be able to protect yourself as well as other drivers around you. And finally, you will be taking preventative measures to keep your insurance rates from increasing. No one wants to have their insurance rates go up or to have their insurance policy canceled altogether.