Archive for driving

DIY Car Servicing: Not as Difficult as You Might Think

Driving safely is much more than not drinking and driving. It also means that you should keep your car in top running condition. The best way to do this is to put your vehicle through a regular maintenance routine. How about servicing your car on your own? You don’t need to be an experienced mechanic to be able to maintain your car at peak performance. All you need is to know what to check for and how to fix basic problems. Yes, you should leave the more complex issues to the professionals. Here’s a look at some things that you can do to service your car, keep it in peak condition and save some money in the process.

How to Service Your Car:

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There are some basic checks that you should perform on your car at regular intervals. Here is a list of things you can do yourself:

  1. Radiator Flush: Driving around in the heat of summer can take its toll on your car unless you ensure that your radiator is working perfectly and you’ve topped up on coolant. The problem is that the radiator tends to wear down and corrode with use. This can affect its ability to keep the engine cool. The best way to prevent radiator problems is to flush your radiator once a year. All you need for this is a screwdriver or pliers, radiator flushing solution, some rags, coolant and a funnel to pour liquids through. However, before you begin, you should make sure your car is completely cool. First, remove the drain plug on the radiator, and drain out all the existing coolant. Make sure you put something to collect the used coolant so that it can be disposed off safely. Now put in the flush solution and top up with water. Turn on the car and let it run till the car reaches its usual operating temperature. Now turn on your air conditioner and let it run for about 10 minutes. Turn off the car and when the engine has cooled completely, drain out the fluid in the radiator and fill in fresh coolant.
  2. Oil & Oil Filter: Most car experts say that the oil should be changed every 6,000 kms. However, check what the optimal time to change oil is for the make and model of your car. Again, the oil should be changed only when the engine is completely cool. For this you will need to use a jack to raise the car. If you don’t have a good jack, check out the Autosun 2 Ton Hydraulic Trolley Jack. This high quality, powerful device can lift up your car with ease. Once the car is raised to a comfortable height for you to slip under it, locate and loosen the oil pan. Let all the used oil drain out. Now remove close the drain plug and remove the oil filter. Make sure you lubricate the rubber gasket before you fit in the new filter and oil. Use your dip-stick to ensure you’ve filled in the right amount of oil.
  3. Brakes & Brake Pads: This is one thing that can save your life in a crunch! Experts recommend that the brakes and brake pads should be checked at least every six months. And don’t forget to check your brake fluid too. Once again, you will need to raise your car with a jack. You will also need to remove the car tires to be able to reach the brakes, so don’t forget to loosen the lugs before you jack up the car. You will need a screwdriver to open out the brake caliper and remove the brake pads. Make sure you don’t move the brake line in any way while doing all this. All you need to do then is to replace the brake pads.
  4. Cleaning the Interiors: Since this is where you spend most of your time with your car, it always helps to keep it clean. A portable vacuum cleaner is just right for this job. If you don’t own one, consider the Autofurnish Wet and Dry Car Vacuum Cleaner. This small and easy to use device makes cleaning your car a breeze. You will also need a clothes brush or a new shoe polish brush and a clean cloth. Use the brushes to loosen all the dirt from the upholstery and floor carpeting before using the vacuum cleaner. Give all other surface a good cleaning with a cloth once you have vacuumed. Air Wick makes great gel air freshners to give your car the final touch.

It is a good idea to check your air filter and tyres as well, while you’re at it. A good car repair kit, like the Emergency Kit for Car Repair by Global Gift India, is also a great idea to keep within easy reach.

What You Need to Know About Driving in Southern California

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The Los Angeles area has a terrible reputation with drivers because of the amount of traffic that is present. If you are visiting Southern California for the first time, you might be too intimidated to attempt to drive, but you should know that it is manageable if you are smart about it. Just like driving anywhere else, you can make it through Southern California’s traffic if you are aware of your surroundings and follow the rules of the road.

Be Prepared

Before leaving your hotel in the morning, prepare yourself for the absolute worst. This does not necessarily mean that traffic will be horrible for your entire stay, but leaving early and being aware that you might end up stuck in traffic can help to limit your frustration. Do not rush to get anywhere and enjoy the scenery along the way to maximize your experience in this beautiful part of the world. You can further prepare yourself by listening to a news radio station before leaving your hotel. That way, you will be aware of any road closures or accidents that might slow you down.

Plan Your Journey

It is very difficult to avoid traffic completely, but you can avoid traffic during less busy times of the day. For example, some will say that Los Angeles rush hour last between 4 AM and 8 PM, but there are breaks during the day that will allow you to travel more freely. For example, traffic tends to die down between 10 a.m. and noon, making this a good window in which to drive. Make sure that you have a GPS on board, so that you do not waste time trying to figure out which turns to make as you attempt to beat the traffic.

Choose a Lane

Your lane selection can make your trip much easier. Many of the freeways in Southern California are between six and eight lanes, so you will want to begin changing lanes well before your exit. You should also know that there are a number of exit only lanes on the right hand side of these freeways and that people drive extremely fast in the left hand lanes. Therefore, it is best to stick to the middle lanes until you need to get off the freeway, at which time you can begin moving over in your desired direction.

Be Ready to Brake

Traffic can stop at any moment, so do not get too comfortable with the speed that you are going. A traffic jam or an accident could occur miles ahead of you and the chain reaction could lead to you having to slam on your brakes at a moment’s notice. Do not tailgate the vehicle in front of you and give yourself plenty of time to stop if the flow of traffic comes to a rapid halt. This is especially true if it starts to rain, as you are much more likely to end up in a gridlock when it is wet outside.

Public Transportation

Southern California is very spread out so use of public transportation depends on your destination. You can take the subway between downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood or take the bus out to Santa Monica, which provides you with a break from the traffic and allows you to relax with your vision stardust clearomizer. If you want to visit some of the theme parks that are found in Anaheim or head to Long Beach for some seafood, public transportation is not your best option. In this situation, you are better off driving because it will save you time and money while you visit all of the region’s attractions.

What You Need to Know About Teaching Your Teen to Drive

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Young drivers have some of the highest crash rates globally, but parents can take the necessary steps to minimize these incidents. Generally speaking, this crash rate is high because teens lack the experience to get themselves out of dangerous situations while driving. They are also more likely to drive while distracted. If parents take the time to teach their teens how to drive before allowing them to drive on their own, many accidents can be prevented.

Start in the Parking Lot

Before permitting your teen to drive on the road, have them practice extensively in a parking lot. Make sure they can drive in a straight line both forwards and backwards before moving into more advanced techniques. Starting and stopping are also important skills to learn, as your teen should be able to accelerate and decelerate smoothly. The parking lot is also a great place to practice turning, as the teen should not cut corners or go too fast. Try to limit your parking lot sessions to about 20 minutes, then extend them as the teen becomes more comfortable.

Leaving the Parking Lot

Eventually, you can take your teen out of the parking lot and let them drive on the road. This is always a scary time for parents, but it is part of the driving process. To minimize the stress on you and your teen, determine the route that you will travel before you depart.

Stay away from busy parts of town. This allows your teen to slowly integrate into traffic. As they get more comfortable driving on the street in residential areas, you can begin taking them to business areas of town that have more traffic. Be careful that you do not overwhelm your teenager with this scenario and keep the route relatively short.

Bad Weather

If you live in an area with extreme weather, you might want to prevent your teen from driving in these conditions at first. Snow and ice are particularly dangerous; even experienced drivers can struggle when the road is slippery. This is another scenario where you should start in the parking lot and then slowly allow them to drive on the road. Taking your teen to the parking lot to get used to how the car handles snow gives them a good base from which to learn. It can also encourage them to be extra careful during these conditions.

Create Rules

As with anything else involving your teen’s behavior, it is important that you set boundaries. Begin by having rules that determine where your teen is allowed to drive and how late they are allowed to stay out. You might also want to restrict the number of passengers that your teen is allowed to carry.

More passengers increase the chances that your teen will become distracted while driving. Have a set list of punishments to be implemented if your teen breaks any of these rules. That way, they know what the consequences will be if they choose to ignore the guidelines that you have created.

Distracted Driving

In addition to driving with too many passengers, many teens now use their cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. This is an escalating problem that causes numerous accidents every year. It does not matter if the driver is making a phone call, sending a text message or surfing the internet from behind a global VPN. Using a phone while driving is dangerous.

In fact, the FCC reported that over 400,000 vehicle-related injuries in 2010 were the direct result of driving while distracted. Also, 11 percent of all accidents involving drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 occurred, because one of the drivers was texting. By setting a good example when you drive, you can hopefully prevent your teen from exhibiting any of this dangerous behavior.

Which Economy Cars Failed Safety Tests And Why?

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A recent crash-test that was conducted by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has revealed shocking information about the safety of economy cars. In fact, 10 of the 11 vehicles that were involved in this test failed, and six of them received the lowest possible score. Due to this, it is a good idea to consider the Chevrolet Spark if you are looking for a new economy class car, as it was the only vehicle to receive an acceptable rating. Keep in mind that such a rating is not what you should be looking for, especially when you factor in the importance of keeping your family safe during an accident.

The Six Worst Rated Economy Vehicles

Six 2014 vehicles were ranked as “poor”, and this is even worse than the findings that were reported by the IIHS in 2013. The test that was given to determine how safe these vehicles are included simulating an accident at 40 mph that caused 25 percent of the driver’s side front end to strike a five foot tall barrier. As you can imagine, this could lead to serious injuries or even fatalities without the proper safety precautions in place as shown by the Today Show. If you were driving any of these vehicles in New York, and a pedestrian was struck by you and killed, a New York wrongful death lawyer could take serious action against you for driving a faulty car.

Sadly, the Mitsubishi Mirage, Honda Fit, Toyota Prius C, Nissan Versa, Fiat 500 and Hyundai Accent all failed this test miserably. In fact, the Honda Fit did so poorly in this test that Consumer Reports made the decision to pull their recommendation for this vehicle. Additionally, the crash test dummy that was used while testing the Honda Fit, Fiat 500 and Hyundai Accent indicated injuries to the hips, upper legs and lower legs. The dummies in the other vehicles that received a poor grade showed damage to the lower legs only.

Four Economy Vehicles that Received a Marginal Score

If you care about safety, it is important to steer clear of purchasing a vehicle that has received a poor designation. However, a marginal score is not much better. During this test, the IIHS determined that the Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2, Toyota Yaris and Kia Rio all performed just well enough to receive a marginal rating. This is bad news for consumers who place safety at the top of their wish list. The test dummies in the Mazda 2 and Kia Rio sustained lower leg injuries, and the dummies in the Toyota Yaris had marginal damage to its lower legs. Fortunately, all of these vehicles did provide an acceptable or good level of protection for a driver’s head, neck, chest, hips and thighs. However, the structural integrity of each vehicle on this list received a marginal score, and this can easily lead to additional injuries.

As you can see, it is definitely important to review safety information before you make a purchasing decision. In the economy grade class, the Chevrolet Spark is the only economy car that prevented its testing dummy from receiving any injuries, earning it IIHS’s 2014 Top Safety Pick award.  However, even if you select the safest car available, it is still possible for you to be injured in an accident. Therefore, you should always remain alert at all times while you on the road.

Domonique Powell has always read consumer magazines to get advice on the best purchases for her family, especially cars. While researching this article, information provided by a New York wrongful death lawyer proved most helpful in understanding the process of claims made in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Foul Weather Trucks: Five Automobiles that Can Handle the Snow

Old man winter is settling in, bringing the bitter cold, and mounting snows for the duration of the season. When you head out, bundled up to your eyebrows, you want to know that your truck is going to get you anywhere. Your vehicle should be your first priority in winter. Pay close attention to five, foul weather trucks that can handle the snow or any kind of weather.

Foul Weather Trucks Five Automobiles that Can Handle the Snow

Nothing Runs Like a Chevy

The Chevy Silverado is built to plow through those high snow drifts, and whether you opt for the 1500 or 2500HD, you’ll have a powerhouse. Features include coil-over-shock suspension, high lateral-rate body mounts, and impressive rear axles that are up to snuff. Choose a V8 or V6 engine to get the job done. Check out Rocky Ridge Chevy Trucks for sale to find the right ride.

 

Don’t Forget Your Trusty Ford

Ford lovers agree that nothing runs like a F-150. This full-size beast has an advantage over cars thanks to four-wheel drive, and enough weight to hold steady. You’re less likely to see America’s top seller slipping and sliding with an excellent payload. You can opt for a V6 or V8 and choose your preference in transmission to weather any storm.

 

You Know It’s Ram Tough

Head to the Dodge dealer when you’re looking for something to tough out icy roads and whiteout conditions. With a 100,000 mile warranty on the powertrain, and the Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500, you get to choose how much muscle you need when the weather outside is frightful. Look under the hood at a V6 or a Hemi V8 and have confidence on the road.

 

Plow Through with a Toyota

Toyota offers you the Tacoma and the Tundra, two respectable vehicles that will ride out winter’s storms. You’ll be backed by a V6 in the Tacoma or a V8 in the Tundra. It’s tire pressure monitor system and Star Safety system are more advantages to keep you safe when the elements are against you.

 

Finish the Journey in a Hummer

You won’t find a new hummer, but there are plenty of the used variety. These vehicles are like a tank, built to endure anything, and will take on snow without a problem.

 

As you gear up for the blast of icy air and heaps of white stuff, choose wisely when it comes to a vehicle. Make sure you invest in the ride that is all about performance.

Caution! Apply Brakes to Cars, Lupus and Alcohol

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Caution! Apply Brakes to Cars, Lupus and Alcohol

With more than 1.5 million Lupus sufferers in this country alone, it is imperative for people who suffer from this autoimmune disease, as well as those closest to them, understand the risks of mixing alcohol with Lupus medication. With upcoming holiday festivities, it’s important to remember not to over imbibe.

Lupus is a condition where your immune system gets confused and instead of attacking foreign substances in your body, it goes after your healthy cells and tissues, leading to damage to your joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, and blood vessels to name a few critical things.

Symptoms of Lupus vary in people but can include fatigue, fever, joint swelling and pain, memory loss, and chest pains. Inflammation can stress your major organs. Since there is no cure for Lupus, most treatments are centered around treating the symptoms and preventing flare ups, such as reducing pain and swelling, and balancing your hormones.

Reactions From Alcohol

Many Lupus sufferers have reactions to the sulfates in wine. Others have a reaction to the gluten in beer. Symptoms include chills, diarrhea, and fevers. And alcohol also stresses the liver in Lupus patients.

Any medication, whether it be one that can be purchased over-the-counter or one that is prescribed to a patient, comes with risks that could make drinking alcohol ill advised. However, this risk could be increased substantially when the person consuming alcoholic beverages has Lupus.

Before a person thinks about consuming a beer or enjoying a glass of wine at a celebration, she would do well to understand the negative reaction that her medications could have once they are mixed with alcohol.

Pronounced Inebriation

A person who is perfectly healthy can sometimes consume alcohol and still remain somewhat in charge of her faculties. However, a person who has Lupus may not be so lucky. Because she often takes medications that contain aspirin, corticosteroids, and anti-inflammatory agents, she could suffer more pronounced inebriation, if not total incapacitation.

A Lupus patient who makes the unfortunate choice to drive after consuming alcohol also could suffer additional legal punishment if she is found to be under the influence of both medications and alcohol. The police will not give any credence to her being sick with Lupus or having to be on medication. According to one Orlando DUI lawyer, “that person will face legal punishment to the fullest extent of the law.”

Medication Rendered Ineffective

When a person with Lupus drinks alcohol, she may not realize that she could be rendering her prescribed medications useless. Alcohol could be impeding the medications’ intended effects, leaving she at risk of flare-ups and pain. If a patient wants her medications to work properly, it is vital that she avoid consuming alcohol and making it difficult for her medicines to carry out their intended duties. Once a person avoids alcohol, this Lupus patient could enjoy being free from flare-ups and pain that are commonly associated with this condition.

Along with avoiding alcohol, a Lupus sufferer could also choose simpler and more natural treatments for her conditions. Along with taking her medications, she may be advised to get plenty of rest and stay well hydrated. Resting and proper hydration can help her body avoid the pain and inflammation that are associated with her condition. Likewise, doctors urge Lupus patients to work out every day, but avoid overdoing their routines. A simple walk around the block or a short session of lifting weights could help her body heal itself from the discomfort associated with Lupus.

While more than one million people in this country suffer from Lupus, this disease does not have to control people’s lives. They can find relief from the pain, flare-ups, and swelling that make so many patients miserable by following some simple steps. Using alcohol while taking Lupus medications could lead to legal and physical disaster for these patients.

Lupus sufferers can still enjoy their holiday get togethers by avoiding alcohol. Concentrate on family and friends and camaraderie. Get into the spirit of joy by celebrating with loved ones in activities that don’t involve drinking and ring in the New Year with a substitute for the bubbly by toasting with sparkling juice.

Debbie Nguyen has many friends who have Lupus. She encourages them to keep a healthy lifestyle and abstain from alcohol. Search Orlando DUI lawyer online for information and tips on how to keep your driving record healthy.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/donhomer/7398342956/

Defensive Driving: 5 Tips That Could Save Your Life

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Defensive driving is the process of taking precautions to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers when you are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. This means going above and beyond the rules of the road to remain alert and one step ahead of possible dangers. Preparation and practice will lead to a style of driving that gives you the best chance of avoiding an accident or other hazards. In order to improve your driving habits, here is a list of five defensive driving precautions and tips.

1.    Eliminate Distractions

While you can’t control every distracting element that can pop up while you drive, you can certainly take precautionary steps to prevent many of them. Avoiding food in the car, keeping music volumes low and staying away from multitasking are just a few ways to eliminate distractions while driving.

This also means avoiding cell phones, one of the most dangerous distractions while on the road. This is a mistake that drivers make every day despite laws that make talking or texting while driving illegal. Save your cell phone use for when you reach your destination in order to avoid reckless driving, an expensive ticket or worse.

2.    Avoid Other Driver’s Blind Spots

Checking your blind spots is a basic and well-known driving safety tip. While this is an important precaution, there are two sides to this coin as you can make it easier on other drivers by avoiding their blind spots. No matter how careful you are, there’s no way to ensure that another driver will check their blind spot before changing lanes on the highway. Avoiding this area will ensure that your safety doesn’t depend on the awareness of another driver.

3.    Avoid Tailgating

Once in a while you might find yourself frustrated by traffic or the speed of the driver in front of you. While your first instinct is likely to tailgate behind this individual in order to save time and encourage them to speed up, this is a dangerous habit. Tailgating decreases the time and space that you have to brake if the driver in front of you comes to a stop. It also decreases your visibility of the road ahead as you are too close to another vehicle.

This tip is especially important if you notice that the driver in front of you is driving erratically. Keeping your distance from unpredictable drivers will keep you from having to suddenly brake, swerve or make other adjustments while driving.

4.    Always Yield

Although rules exist dictating which driver has the right away, other drivers often ignore these rules. Rather than assuming that another driver will respect your right of way, airing on the side of caution is the best approach. Four-way stops, intersections and situations in which another driver has a yield sign are all instances that should be approached with caution. Taking the time to see whether or not another driver plans to yield for your vehicle can be the difference between having an accident and continuing on your way.

5. Take a Defensive Driving Course

While making a conscious effort to drive defensively is certainly a good start, taking a defensive driving course is the best way to improve your driving habits and knowledge. Just as you might seek out the best web design company to create a website or the best carpenter to build your kitchen, defensive driving classes present themselves as the best option available.

Defensive driving courses are usually offered by schools and can also be found via your local Department of Motor Vehicles. They offer a mix of instruction and driving practice that will make defensive driving habits second nature. The certificate that these classes produce will also reduce your insurance fees, ensuring a safer and cheaper experience on the road.

6 Ways To Improve Your Driving At Night

I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly relish the idea of driving my car at night. Many of Britain’s roads are in a somewhat questionable state, and with many unlit motorways and suburban roads thanks to council funding cuts, you have to be more aware of your surroundings than you normally are during the day.

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Why Every Man Needs Driving Gloves

If you are thinking about simple car gadgets for men that you can acquire without denting your wallet, you cold consider men’s driving gloves for a change. These are found in a number of department stores, gadget shops and boutiques; they are also available online for those who don’t have the time to go shopping in town. You only need to do an online search for some of those reputable shops and you will acquire for yourself some fashionable driving gloves that will actually be delivered to your address and you begin enjoying the experience.

Some gadgets for men such as driving gloves have been around for a while but they are now slowly making a comeback. Originally, these were used as a protective accessory to protect a driver’s hands especially during those days when steering wheels were either wooden or metallic. You can now use them to enhance your safety while driving because they enable you to have a better grip of the steering wheel. Even though modern cars have greatly improved safety features on the steering wheel, there are men who are now combining fashion with safety and this has seen the proliferation of leather driving gloves once again.

Apart from safety as a reason for having men’s driving gloves, comfort is another important purpose why you may require them. These gloves are normally made from some very exquisite materials and are lined with a fabric that is extremely friendly to the skin. Wearing a pair of these gloves will eliminate any form of discomfort that can be associated with driving. One other feature that you will love about them is the fact that they are actually breathable and, as such, the skin on your hands cannot be stifled as a result of the hardness of leather. This unique quality also ensures that you are not affected by episodes of sweating on the hands due to excessive heat. With this car gadget for men you will actually arrive at your destination with smooth hands that are devoid of sweat or any sores.

Anyone who is in love with car gadgets for men will definitely consider driving gloves as a simple accessory that will enhance their comfort and safety on the road. Even if you are comfortable with the state of your car’s steering wheel, you may want to take over these gloves due to their aesthetic value. Driving in leather gloves definitely makes a big fashion statement and because they come in chic designs and different bold and attractive colors, everyone’s taste can easily be taken care of. You want to combine the look of a fashionable driver with some form of sophistication; this is something every man will want to be associated with.

The best way to find men’s driving gloves is to do your shopping online; the online shop will give you greater variety in terms of design and color schemes. You can also browse and compare features and prices from different online shops so that you get the best value for money. There are retailers selling car gadgets for men who stock the leading brands and with them you can comfortable shop in a secure environment without any hassles.

About the author:

This blog post is offered by Mohit Jain who is a gadget geek and loves writing on gadgets and gizmos. If you are someone who shares the passion for car gadgets for men then he recommends you visit Men’s Gear. Its an uber cool site that features amazing and unique not to be found elsewhere gadgets, gears and gizmos.

 

Six Reasons You Should Start Driving More Carefully

six reasons you should start driving more carefullySome drivers struggle to balance their feelings of personal liberty with their need to drive more carefully. Yet everyone wants to avoid reckless driving violations that can lead to jail time. Perhaps drivers just need an incentive to start driving more carefully. Here are six reasons for slowing down and paying greater attention to the road.

Balance the Bad

A careful driver can balance the dangerous actions of bad drivers. By employing defensive driving strategies, good drivers can make the roads safer for themselves, their families, and others.

Save on Fuel Costs

It’s so easy to speed, but drivers eat up gas by going 80 or more. They also risk reckless driving violations. A careful driver uses less gas by driving closer to the speed limit. Drivers can use cruise control to help them regulate speed and resist the temptation to let it rip.

Eliminate Jail Time

Reckless driving violations may put the driver in jeopardy of jail time. The only way to deal with this is to get a good attorney. In the meantime, the best way to eliminate fines is to drive more carefully and more slowly. No one wants to lose their license, their vehicle or their freedom due to an avoidable traffic violation.

Safeguard Against Wrecks

Defensive driving helps to safeguard the driver against wrecks and the resulting financial repercussions. A wreck can mean expensive car repair, car rental, car replacement, medical care, physical therapy, and lower pay due to missed work. Even a minor wreck can clean out a driver’s bank account.

Strongest Defense

A careful driving record provides the strongest defense in the case of an accident. A driver who was obeying traffic and speed laws at the time of an accident is less likely to be found at fault. This can prevent law enforcement from pursuing a jail sentence. It can prevent the other party from launching a successful lawsuit.

Maintain Vehicle Integrity

By being alert to everything from potholes to road debris to weather dangers, a careful driver protects a vehicle from damage. Driving carefully day after day protects the vehicle’s tires, suspension, brakes and other valuable parts. This can extend the life of the car.

Truly, a slower speed and a more careful approach can save money, stress, time and grief. It really is worth it to curb bad driving habits and start driving with greater care.