We all know we shouldn’t drink and drive, but what other tips should we follow to stay safe on the road?

The Kearns car repair team at Master Muffler suggests the following for driving safely and keeping your car in working order for each trip you take.

Be a Safe Driver

Besides buckling up every passenger in your vehicle, you can practice being a safe driver by eliminating distractions, following road rules, and always driving while alert and well-rested. 

If you drive an older model, your lights may not be automatic, so you can improve your visibility by always flicking the headlights on when you start your car. 

Signs Drivers Should Never Ignore

It’s common to get away with going a few miles over the speed limit or to simply pause a stop sign in a rural, deserted intersection instead of coming to a full stop. But there are some road signs we should always take seriously to avoid becoming a statistic.

Animal Crossings

Animals are unpredictable, and if you’re driving along a road that indicates animals may cross, stay alert. You never know when something could crawl or leap over the road in front of you, and animals can be especially hard to detect at night. 

School Zones

Like animals, children are known to dart into the road without warning. When you see flashing lights indicating a 20mph school zone, slow down even if the sidewalks look deserted. Children don’t always have the luxury of crossing guards to help them navigate across the street, so as a driver it’s up to you to keep your eyes peeled for students making their way to and from school.

Train Crossings

If you think you can make it across the tracks before the train, think again! Racing a train at an intersection is never worth trying to save a few seconds or minutes. If your regular commute always crosses the tracks, build extra time into taking that route or find a new way to go if you simply can’t wait for a train. The US Department of Transportation (UDOT) reports nearly 6,000 crashes annually between cars and trains, and that number doesn’t have to be so high. Whether or not there are safety crossing arms where a road intersects with train tracks, it’s always a good idea to stop, look, and listen.

Tips for Keeping Your Car Safe

When it comes to keeping your car safe, we’re referring to not only maintaining it but securing it as well.

Protect From Burglars

Whenever you need to park your car in an open area, do your best to avoid being a target for thieves. 

  • Lock all doors
  • Don’t hide a spare key on or in your car
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car
  • Park under lights
  • Install/Activate a car alarm
  • Use a steering wheel immobilizer
  • Install/Activate a tracker on your car
  • Never leave your car unattended while running (this means don’t start it to “warm” it up in your driveway and then head back inside!)

Regular Maintenance

To prolong the life and performance of your vehicle so you can drive it safely for years to come, stay up to date on routine maintenance, which you can schedule with our Kearns car repair team at Master Muffler

  • Clean battery terminals
  • Regular oil changes
  • Engine tune-ups
  • Tire alignment and rotation

Also, be sure you’re using the right type of fuel for your vehicle, the right viscosity motor oil, and that you maintain optimal tire pressure. After you’re done having your car’s internal operations serviced, don’t forget about regular car washes to protect the body from premature rusting.

Staying Safe if You’re Pulled Over

In the event you’re pulled over while driving, or stuck on the side of the road waiting for help, here’s what our Kearns car repair team suggests for staying safe.

  • Park on the far-right shoulder
  • Turn on your hazard lights
  • Confirm the ID of the police officer who’s stopped you
  • Stay in your car if possible
  • If you have to exit your vehicle, put your car between yourself and oncoming traffic
  • Place cones or roadside flares around your vehicle for visibility

If you’re unsure whether you should pull over on a busy highway when you see lights flashing in your rearview, keep in mind that failure to do so may be classified as resisting arrest depending on the jurisdiction you’re in. It’s always better to signal, slow down, and pull over to the right shoulder as much as you can.

Consider the Weather

Finally, you’ll want to change the way you drive based on the weather. Give yourself more time in inclement weather so you’re not rushing and sacrificing safety to be somewhere on time. It’s better to arrive safe and late than to have an accident and be unable to arrive at all.