13 Driving Tips that Could Save Your Life (and Some Money, Too)
Brush up on the rules of the road with these car driving tips. Not only will they save you money-but they could save your life.
Driving tip #1: Leave early.
Getting out the door even a few minutes ahead of schedule means you’ll be less tempted to speed or take other risks to reach your destination more quickly, says Scott Marshall, director of training for Young Drivers of Canada.
Driving tip #2: Remember the two-second rule.
For city driving, there should be at least two seconds between the time the back of the car in front of you passes an object along the side of the road and when the front of your vehicle passes it, says Marshall. Double that in winter, at higher speeds or in poor conditions.
Driving tip #4: Coast to a stop.
Take your foot off the gas when you approach a yellow or red light. You’ll use less gas and reduce wear and tear on your tires and brakes.
Driving tip #5: Accelerate gradually.
If you treat green lights and on-ramps like the start of the Indy 500, you’ll drain fuel and strain your engine.
Driving tip #6: Check your car’s tire pressure.
Look on the inside of the driver’s door for your car’s ideal pressure and monitor it regularly. If it’s low by just eight pounds per square inch (55 kilopascals), you’ll burn through four per cent more fuel.
Driving tip #7: Switch to synthetic oil.
Switching to synthetic oil will lower both your greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption. (Check your owner’s manual to be sure, but synthetic oil is now safe for almost all vehicles.)
Driving tip #8: Put your phone out of sight.
Sgt. Alain LeBlanc, media relations officer for the RCMP in Nova Scotia, says distracted driving is now the leading cause of fatal and serious-injury collisions, a trend that bears out in Saskatchewan as well. A 2013 study from Virginia Tech found that drivers who text are twice as likely to get into a crash or near-crash. But even a hands-free phone is a distraction, says Marshall. “Driving is done with more than just your hands. You need your brain, too.”
Driving tip #9: Get the kids settled before you leave.
You can’t concentrate on the road while putting in a DVD or passing out snacks.
Driving tip #10: Watch for wildlife.
Thousands of deer are killed on Canadian roads each year, says Marshall, who also blogs about road safety at safedriving.wordpress.com. Prepare yourself
to spot animals sooner by moving your eyes from side to side while you drive through areas where there could be wildlife, especially at dawn and dusk.
Driving tip #11: Leave room between cars.
Don’t drive right next to another vehicle. Instead, leave some space so you have time to react to the unexpected, says Marshall.