Driving presents challenges every time you get behind the wheel. Vehicle design safety improvements lessen crash chances—but only from a design point of view. Just like guns do not kill unless someone points and pulls the trigger, people crash; vehicles do not. No matter what design improvements are made to a vehicle, the bottom line is that each time you get behind the wheel of a car, you need to have the presence of mind to accept those challenges you face as you rally down the highway to your destination.
The smallest distraction can present the greatest hazard. Texting while driving, getting lost in thought, driving while sleepy, speeding, inclement weather, pulling out in front of moving vehicles and not keeping your car properly maintained all contribute to unsafe driving, crashes and fatalities. Night driving presents a whole new set of hazards: being blinded by headlight glare, overdriving your headlights, visibility, deer and other nocturnal animals crossing the road. Even something seemingly as trivial as getting dirt on your headlights can reduce what you see coming at you on the road by as much as 75 percent. Taking a rag and cleaning off the dirt takes seconds and diminishes such unacceptable risk.
Click on the links below to get purposeful information to help all drivers, including teens and other “newbies” stay safe on the road.
Vehicle maintenance generates pollutants. Here’s how to dispose of used motor oil, antifreeze, batteries and old tires.
A general guide about the fuel economy benefits and equivalent gas savings of keeping your engine tuned up, your tires properly inflated and the motor oil and air filter changed.
Keeping your tires inflated to manufacturer’s guidelines improves your mileage by 3.3 percent.
Fill in the year, make and model of your vehicle and get its recommended maintenance schedule, any recalls or technical service bulletins.
Find a mechanic, measure the risks of do-it-yourself car maintenance, and take an interactive look at your car system-by-system.
See what all those warning lights mean on your dashboard.
Don’t run your car until your gas tank is empty, estimating repair costs and videos.
The how-to basics of checking your oil, coolant, transmission fluid, battery, wipers and tires. Includes a print maintenance reminder.
Which cars garnered the coveted 5-Star Safety Ratings? Find recalls, report child car seat defects and find a child seat inspection site.
How to watch for blind spots and inattentive drivers. Why cutting in front of another vehicle can kill you.
Does your vehicle make the list? Vehicles are rated depending on the outcomes of high-speed crash tests, rollovers, rear impacts.
Tips for controlling driving speed, signaling, yielding, intersections and round-a-bouts. (pdf)
Bulleted tips for safe driving—including a reminder that doubling your speed quadruples your braking distance.
Deer can run out in front of your car any time. Peak seasons are fall and early winter. Peak times are dawn and dusk.
Don’t break the 2-, 4- and 10-second rules for following and stopping your car—depending on whether you have dry, wet or icy conditions.
Strategies for getting to your destination safely include keeping your headlights on, slow down, increasing your braking distance and stay in one lane when possible.
Safe driving tips for teens and newer drivers when driving in inclement weather.
Do you know what to have in your car when the weather turns cold, snowy and icy?
Get your interstate road conditions across the U.S.
How your tires cling to the road determine whether they are all-weather tires that will keep you safe when you attempt to stop in bad weather.
Poor visibility, standing water and less traction make wet weather driving more challenging.
How to plan and keep yourself safe when conditions make your car stall.
Listing of phone numbers and websites by state to get the latest road conditions.
Click on your state to view its highway safety laws—includes U.S. territories.
Clickable table includes state, speed limit, reckless driving laws, the laws and a comment field that includes information such as driver manual or statute.
Every U.S. state defines driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.8 as a crime. Check here to see what the open container laws are and the penalties for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence.
Safe Driving Resources
Traffic crashes are the number one cause of teen death in America.
Statistics show that an average of two people are killed for every crash involving a 15- to 17-year old driver.
How to copilot your teen without driving either of you crazy.
Click on your city to get the latest information on traffic jams, incidents, construction zones, and major events.
Familiarize yourself with the methods and ruses carjackers use to get your vehicle and stay safer.
Click on your state for the latest 5-1-1. 511 is the Traveler Information Telephone Number for the United States.
Articles dealing with GPS curfews, blocking texting drivers and other news and instructional resources.
Over 5,400 people died in 2009 in car crashes involving distracted drivers—1,000 of them involving cell phone usage.
Put names to the faces of those lives lost in and by distracted driving crashes.
Kids want you to know that texting and driving is a lethal combination.
Watch AT & T’s documentary about real people whose lives have been impacted by texting behind the wheel.
Sign the Safe Texting Campaign pledge—when you text, you are not focused on driving for 4.6 seconds—in that time, lives can come to a needless end.
Nearly one-third of drivers get less than six hours of sleep a night then drive to work. If you are less than 24 years old, you have a higher risk of falling asleep while driving.
Additional Safe Driving Resources
: SJTSA approved links to websites with traffic safety information.
: Traffic safety links approved by the City of Auburn, Alabama and Auburn University.
: A collection of links to government and trade organization pages.
: Links to enforcement organizations including several in charge of traffic and road safety.
: Suggestions for resources pertaining to traffic and highway safety.
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