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Fasten your seat belts
Car crashes are a leading cause of death. Aside from always following traffic signs and obeying the rules of the road, buckling up your safety belt may be the single most dramatic move you can make to reduce your injury risks in the event of an accident. The deaths and injuries that occur every year due to car accidents could be reduced by about half if both drivers and passengers used their safety belts. Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is strapped in, and that small children are secured in safety seats before you take off. It can save your life, and it's the law!
Never, Ever Drink and Drive
Young people in particular are at high risk for auto accidents. Alcohol is the major cause of fatal car crashes caused by human error. People are killed on the road every day because they or others had alcohol-impaired judgment or reflexes. If death doesn't scare you, how about disability? Drunk driving results in hundreds of thousands of injuries including lifetime disability from brain damage, paralysis, blindness, or amputated or deformed limbs.
On a warm day, the temperature inside a car can shoot up in minutes - even if the windows are partially open. Even if it is not so hot outside, the danger of overheating exists - especially if you have a dark-colored car. Don't leave pets or children unattended.
Essentials for an emergency
Carry these items in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
Prepare your car for night driving.
Match box or a lighter.
Bottled drinking water.
Flash Light and spare batteries.
First Aid Kit. Duct Tape.
Clean fuel can.
Cellular phone - if you have one.
Spare tire in good condition - check it every time you save your oil changed or tires rotated.
Insurance company information.
List of M&M Dealers/Service centers enroute.
Basic Tool Kit.
Tissue paper/ towlettes.
Paper and a pen or pencil.
Respect other Drivers
Courteous driving is a key to reducing traffic crashes.
Give the right-of-way at intersections.
Give proper signals well ahead of time to let others know what you are going to do.
Keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you.
Do not cross lanes to weave in and out of traffic.
A yellow light means to SLOW DOWN and be prepared to STOP. Many crashes occur due to people rushing to "beat" the yellow light.
ALWAYS obey school zone speed limits and stop for school buses with flashing lights.
Give the right of way to emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire tenders.
Do's & Don'ts of driving Before you drive... Have a clear head
Make sure you always have a clear head before deciding to operate a motor vehicle. Alcohol and certain drugs, both illegal and legal, can severely impair your driving skills. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause dangerous drowsiness. Get a good night's rest and don't drive for long stretches without a break. If you are tired, don't risk the safety of yourself and others on the highway by trying to drive. Just as with alcohol--designate a driver or choose another means of transportation such as taxi cab or public transportation.
Limit driving alone when tired
Driving with someone else in your vehicle can increase your overall alertness. It is well recognized that when driving alone, especially when sleep deprived and at night, your chances of a crash are dramatically increased.
Read the labels
If you are taking any medications, be sure to read and obey the warning labels. If the label says the medication causes drowsiness or not to drive--heed the warning and don't drive. The warnings are there for a reason. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or to ask about medications for your condition that don't cause drowsiness. Plan ahead Allow yourself plenty of extra time to reach your destination and allow for emergencies or traffic jams. In today's busy world most of us are in a hurry to get where we are going. By allowing extra time we can be more relaxed when operating our vehicles and thereby cut down on the incidences of road rage, and excessive speeding, tailgating and weaving in and out between cars.
Research safety features
Safety should always be a top priority when shopping for a vehicle. Research the safety performance of any vehicle you are considering buying including how the vehicle performs in crash tests. Both driver and passenger side air bags are now mandatory in all new cars. Look for side impact bags in many new models as well. When buying a used vehicle, look for one with air bags. Research what type of safety systems are in the car and choose the safest to protect you and your loved ones in the event of a collision.