Driving safety tips for you and your family

Safety on the road should be a top priority. Here are some easy safety principles to know and practice, as well as services to consider, that help give you and your passengers the most protection on the road.

Wear your seat belt

The single best thing you can do to be safer in your car is to wear your seat belt. In a majority of states, it is a primary law for drivers and front seat passengers, which means you can be pulled over and receive a fine for not wearing a seat belt. Every state requires child safety seats for infants, and nearly all require a booster seat for children who are not yet big enough for a regular seat belt. So even if you are going only on a short trip, take the extra few seconds to buckle up before you start driving.

If you are a parent, make sure that you have the proper car seat for your kids, since their car-seat needs will change as they grow. There are three types of car seats that are designed to be used in conjunction with seatbelts—rear-facing seats, forward-facing seats, and booster seats—until children are big enough to wear just a seat belt. You can determine which type of seat is right for your child by reviewing the height and weight recommendations on the car seat. Always be sure that children sit in the back seat, even once they start wearing just a seat belt.

Keep your tires in top shape

Maintaining tires at their recommended pressure has been shown not only to make your car safer but also to put money back in your pocket by making your car more fuel efficient. To make sure that you have your tires at the recommended pressure, consider purchasing a tire-pressure gauge. Keep it in your car to see if you need to raise or lower tire pressure. If you live in an area that gets heavy snow and ice in the winter, you may want to consider replacing your tires with snow tires for increased grip before the winter begins.

Invest in a back-up plan

Car trouble can arise at any time—if you find yourself in need of an auto part or the help of a mechanic, you will likely get your money’s worth as a member of a roadside assistance program. Upon your request, these programs send a representative to help you with common problems like jump-starting your car, fixing a flat tire, towing your car a certain distance, or even bringing you gas if you run out. As an extra bonus, you also may be eligible for discounts on entertainment, electronics, and more.  

Play some defense                                          

Even if you take precautions to make your car safer, you will always have to think about the other drivers on the road. You can help keep yourself and others around you safe by practicing defensive driving techniques by minimizing distractions when you drive:

  • Avoid any activity that takes your focus away from the road, like eating or using a handheld phone.
  • Keep a safe distance behind cars in front of you so that you have time to stop quickly or turn.
  • Make yourself more visible by turning on your lights not only when it is dark out, but also when it is raining or foggy.

These easy tips can go a long way in ensuring your safety on the road.


www.safercar.gov, “Car Seat Types,” accessed December 31, 2014, http://www.safercar.gov/parents/Car-Seat-Types.htm.

www.safercar.gov, “Tire Maintenance,” accessed December 31, 2014, http://www.safercar.gov/tires/pages/tires_maintenance.html

SLPC 26342 01/15 (exp. 01/17)

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