Safer Driving Tips

Although modern automotive designs and features have significantly improved vehicle safety, people must still practice safe driving techniques to avoid accidents and other mishaps while on the road. Consider the following driving tips from your Katy auto insurance representatives for staying safe on your next road trip.

Plan the Trip

Pre-plan your trip so that you can identify rest stops and gas stations along the route. Share your intended route and itinerary with friends and family in the event that you experience problems while on the road. Even if you plan to use a GPS device, ensure that you have a detailed map as a backup.

To eliminate confusion while driving, individuals traveling outside the United States should research the rules for operating a motor vehicle in the countries you plan to visit. Because laws regarding cell phones can vary, make sure that you understand the rules if you plan to drive in another municipality. If cell phone use is authorized, use a hands-free device to minimize distractions or better yet do not use the phone at all while driving. You should also ensure that your insurance provides the coverage that you need, such as rental car deductible and roadside assistance riders. You may also be able to save money by having your auto and Katy home owners insurance policy with the same company.

Before Leaving

Avoid drinking alcohol. Studies indicate that consuming even small amounts can impair a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Get plenty of rest before starting the trip. While caffeinated beverages may initially make you feel more alert, the effects will wear off over time causing you to lose focus. Check the tire pressure, fluid levels, spare tire and jack before leaving your home. If you are driving a rental car, familiarize yourself with the controls and equipment, such as brakes, wipers, horn and lights. This will minimize distractions while driving. Have change for tolls if your E-Z Pass is not valid for the entire trip. Ensure that everyone is safely buckled in. Verify that the child car seat is properly secured. Do not allow children to climb around inside the car.

On the Road

Practice defensive driving techniques, especially when traveling during rush hour or holiday traffic. Anticipate sudden stops, unsignaled turns and lane changes. The three-second rule helps maintain proper following distances. As the car in front of you passes an object, begin to count. At least three second should elapse before you pass the same object. Do not exceed the speed limit. Use caution when changing lanes. Fill up when the fuel gauge reads a quarter of a tank to avoid running out of gas.

Driving while tired is dangerous. Stop and take breaks every few hours even if you do not feel sleepy. Grab a healthy snack, stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Avoid using the cruise control at night. Manually maintaining your speed will help you to focus. When driving alone, play music and keep the window open. Whenever possible, share the driving with someone else, which enables you to keep an eye on one another.

To avoid congestion or extreme weather, download a smartphone app to monitor conditions along the route. You can often get similar updates from all news stations on the radio. Use extra caution if you must drive regardless of the weather and road conditions. Lower you speed and maintain a larger following distance.

If you have to stop for an emergency, pull over into the breakdown lane or onto the shoulder of the road as far as possible. Activate the emergency flashers. Stay in the car and contact roadside assistance. In case of an accident, notify the police immediately and speak to your Katy car insurance representative as soon as possible.


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