Spring Driving Tips!

The Top Ten Best Driving Practices


  • Always wear a seat belt. Why wouldn’t you?  Seat belts are the #1 lifesaving piece of equipment built into vehicles today. They save lives! Make sure that those riding in the car including young children are properly installed and secured by their belts. I will never start driving until everyone is buckled up and I will not ride in cars with those who do not use seatbelts.
  • Always travel within the speed limit; if the road conditions are hazardous, then go slower. I watch people speed by me during torrential rainfalls and say a quick prayer that they will arrive alive. Speed is involved in approximately 30% of all traffic crashes resulting in fatal and serious injuries. I read somewhere that at the most speeding may only save about 5 minutes on a trip. Do we need to risk our lives and that of others for a lousy 5 minutes? How about getting in the habit of leaving the house 5 minutes earlier? The U.S. saw a 20% jump in motor vehicle death rates in the first six months of 2020, despite the quarantine according to the National Safety Council. They credit higher speeds for most of these fatalities.
  • Set up your infotainment systems before leaving on a trip. Technology is great and manufacturers are adding more to our vehicles every time we turn around. Be sure to set up your GPS, radio stations, or other techy gadgets before you begin driving. That goes for your mobile device too.  Turn on your “Do Not Disturb While Driving” setting to avoid using your phone when driving.
  • Make sure your car is in tip-top shape for traveling. There is nothing worse or more dangerous than a breakdown on the road or a flat tire. I know people who were killed by a drunk driver while waiting for Triple A. Included in this tip is another. If there is a breakdown, get away from the car. It is much safer.
  • Never and I mean NEVER drive when you are impaired by alcohol or other drugs. Most people know when they have had too much to drink; if they don’t, they always have a “sober” designated driver or a taxi cab ready. Much easier and cheaper than paying fines, lawyers, and increased insurance rates if you are caught. It is also safer than risking your life and someone else’s because you decided to drive when you knew you shouldn’t.
  • Do you take prescription meds or smoke pot? Have you heard of a synergistic effect? It’s when two or more drugs taken together create a more potent and dangerous effect. If you are taking prescription meds, be sure to read and understand the possible side effects that taking them individually or together can create. If you are thinking of rolling a fat one, just stay home! Marijuana is impairing, no matter what pot enthusiasts say. People do not smoke to feel the same as they did before they lit up or why bother?
  • Stay a safe distance behind the car in front of you no matter how many people cut in. The general rule is now a 3-second gap. During inclement weather, allow more time to safely stop for the conditions in which you’re driving. The most important thing is that YOU DO NOT TAILGATE. You risk multiple car pileups among other dangerous scenarios, so stay as far back as you can. Of course, if you are using your mobile device, it doesn’t matter how far you are behind that car, you are courting disaster.
  • Pull into a safe place if you are tired. Late night?  Not enough sleep?  Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk, drugged, and distracted driving. The car is not your bedroom and you will be a much better driver if you keep them separate.
  • Driving while Angry. Did someone pull in front of you or do something else equally annoying? If they made you mad and all you can think of is revenge, the best thing to do is pull over, take a deep breath, and count to ten or twenty if you need to. Let it go. Think of something pleasant like that glass of wine when you get home. Or the hug you will receive from a loved one. Driving isn’t therapy and you shouldn’t take out your anger on your driving or the other driver.
  • Respect your passengers! They are your responsibility when you are the driver and they should be treated with respect. Always drive safe, sober, focused, and alert. They will feel the benefits. If they are children they will learn from your example.

If you just focus on your driving, keep your hands on the wheel, keep your eyes on the road, and practice all these tips you will be considered a “Good Driver”.

Fall Driving Tips!

Fall driving

Fall is a time for hay rides, leaf peeping and pumpkin picking. It’s also a time when road and weather conditions make getting there a little tougher.

Stay safe on the road this season with these smart driving tips.

Don’t brake on leaves. Wet leaves can be as slippery as ice. Drive slowly through them and avoid hard braking. Leaves may obscure lane lines and other road markers, so pay attention to the edge of the road and take care to stay in your lane, advises PennDOT.

Avoid sun glare. On and near the autumnal equinox (which fell on September 22 in 2018), the first 15 to 45 minutes after sunrise and before sunset can make for more difficult driving due to sun glare. The sun perfectly aligns with east/west roadways during this time. Grab a good pair of sunglasses for the daytime, keep your windshield clean and use north/south streets or streets with tree cover when possible, says the National Weather Service.

Use your rain smarts. During fall, many cities see increased rainfall. When it’s raining, be sure to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you, as the wet roads may be more slippery than usual and you may be at higher risk of hydroplaning. Use your low beams or fog lights (never high beams) in fog conditions, says the Safety Council.

Be careful on bridges. As the temperature begins to drop, morning frost can leave icy patches on bridges, overpasses and shaded spots on the road. Slow down.

Adjust your eyes. We lose 1 to 2 minutes of daylight daily after the autumnal equinox according to the National Weather Service. After leaving home or the office and before hitting the gas petal, give your eyes time to adjust to the dark, advises the Minnesota Safety Council. It takes them between 2 and 5 minutes to start adjusting.

Make sure your vehicle is up to the task. That means you should:

  • Check your tire pressure. Tires lose 1 to 2 pounds of pressure for every 10-degree temperature drop, according to the Safety Council.
  • Replace your windshield wipers. A really clean window can help you see when there’s glare.
  • Adjust your headlights. If your headlights seem too dim, ask your mechanic to make sure they’re aligned properly.

Watch out for deer. Autumn marks the beginning of deer breeding season and they will be more active in areas near the road, says the PennDOT. Deer are most active during sunset and sunrise so be extra watchful when driving near the woods and near deer crossing signs.