3 Things Smart Car Owners Do

Are you doing all you can to get the most from your drive time this fall?

Smart Car Owners

You spend a lot of time in your car. But don’t take our word for it — according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans who drive spend more than an hour a day in their cars. That’s a lot! Here are some smart things you can do to ensure your own drive times stay enjoyable and safe this season. 

  1. Pay attention to what your car’s telling you. Cars don’t converse, but they do have things to tell you — so take a few minutes to listen to the sounds your car makes while you’re driving. Do your tires squeal around turns? Check their pressure — they could be over-inflated. If this is the case, your ride could be harsher than it needs to be. Over inflation could also affect your tires’ wear patterns and their handling characteristics.

    Are you starting to hear metal-on-metal sounds when you apply the brakes? It might be time to check your brake pads. Pads are made of softer, composite material and can be less expensive to replace than metal brake discs (aka your rotors). Keeping an ear out for these sounds is smart because you’re paying attention to potential issues before they have a chance to become bigger, costlier concerns.

  2. Minimize your distractions. If you must keep your phone on, place it on standby or switch on its default, ‘I’ll call you back’ message. Talking on your cell while driving is legal in some states, but why create unnecessary diversions?

    And, of course, save your texting for once you reach your destination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over two thirds of surveyed US drivers talk on their phones while driving, and nearly one third have reported texting while driving. According to a 2014 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, almost 2 out of every 10 vehicle crashes with injuries were reported as distraction-related.

  3. Create a welcoming, pleasant environment. Your car should be a space that makes you feel good when you’re spending time in it. Wash and wipe it down inside and out to keep it looking sharp — the time you spend sprucing up your ride helps you tune into any cosmetic or mechanical concerns, too! For longer trips with the family, try listening to some language-learning programs or downloadable or streaming audio books.

    Who knows, you could arrive at your next destination with the ability to speak a new language! Finally, invest a few dollars in an air freshener that contains your favorite scent. Smell is powerful, and can be powerfully calming — whether you’re ducking out to the store or sitting in traffic. 

You’re in charge when it comes to car ownership. Take these tips to heart or create your own habits for getting the most from your drives. A prepared, attentive car owner is a smart (and happy) car owner!

Sources:

http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2011/auto/

http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/
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