If your car could talk to you, what kind of resolutions would it want you to make for 2017?
Well, here at the Car Pro we know cars pretty well. Check out our list of ten automotive resolutions guaranteed to make your car smile all the way through 2017. Plus, many of them well help keep the roads safer for us all.
1. Say No to Distracted Driving.
In 2017, pledge to focus on the big picture and not the little screen glowing in your pocket. Don’t drive and use your phone.
The U.S. government calls distracted driving a dangerous epidemic. In 2014 alone, 3,179 people were killed in distracted driving accidents. Another 431,000 were hurt in crashes with a distracted driver, and that’s 10,000 more than in 2012. Texting remains the most dangerous distraction. Driving 55 mph while sending the average length text takes your eyes off the road for about the length of a football field. That’s a lot of distance.
Head to Distraction.gov to pledge to:
2. Buckle Up For Your Mission.
It’s simple. Always use your seatbelt and make sure everyone else in your car does, too. Even Luke Skywalker buckles in before he (spoiler alert) blasts the Death Star to bits.
Remember, every time you get behind the wheel you are entrusted with a huge amount of deadly force. Fastening your seatbelt ensures that you keep yourself and your passengers as safe as possible. Don’t believe us? In 2014, 21,022 people died in car crashes. Half of those weren’t wearing seat belts.
The good news is that seat belt use reached 90 percent in 2016 according to the NHTSA, up from 88.5 percent in 2015. So let’s keep that trend going upward.
3. Be a Boy or Girl Scout.
Being prepared certainly never hurt anyone. Being unprepared has quite the opposite effect. Make sure you’re one of the former.
Throw a complete first aid kit into the back of your car for the new year. It doesn’t take up much room and you never know when it will you might need an impromptu gauze bandage or extra band-aids for those shoes that still rub. A road emergency kit including jumper cables, tape, batteries, a flashlight and other items is also a must for the trunk.
Add to that an ice scraper and blankets if you’re traveling in wintry conditions.
4. Give Your Car Some TLC.
Your car doesn’t just deserve a day at the spa, it needs it.
Always keep your car maintained and up to date on its service, whether you own it or are leasing. Read more about the importance of keeping maintenance records here. Don’t just keep the fluids changed and tires rotated either. Keep it clean, too. Dust the interior and wipe away all those food crumbs.
Interior upkeep is a must because it’s all part of keeping your vehicle in good condition both inside and out.
5. Always Designate a Driver.
If you can believe it, some people still drive under the influence, so this bears repeating every year. Don’t ever drive drunk.
Make sure you plan for a safe night out, whether you designate or driver or Uber it home. By the numbers, nearly a third of all traffic deaths involve drunk driving. Texas and California are the most problem states. They made up the highest number of DWI fatalities. Texas coming in first with 1,446. California with 882.
Let’s lower those numbers for 2017.
6. Never Run on E.
Let 2017 be the year you never run on a nearly empty gas tank. Continually starving your vehicle will hurt it in the long run.
When the fuel light comes on it means you only have about 10-15 percent of fuel in the tank, depending on your make and model (check your owner’s manual.) Running on the last fuel reserves is a no-no because it causes the fuel pump device to dry out. Dry pumps overheat which can cause damage.
If you thought gas was expensive, replacing the fuel pump will make you cry.
7. Listen to Your Car.
Cars are getting much better at communicating with us thanks to new technology. So it’s your job to listen to them.
These days they do more than just flash warning lights on the instrument panel. They can also sound audible alerts. For instance, new Audi’s will beep at you to remind you it’s time for an oil change.
Don’t ignore these messages. Check your owner manual if you’re not sure what the issue is. Often times a quick trip to your Certified Car Pro Dealership will take care of everything.
8. Don’t Exceed Your Limits.
Do your car, safety, and wallet a favor. Resolve to stop speeding.
Last year speeding played a role in 27 percent of traffic deaths. Speeding has consistently been a part of at least a quarter of traffic accidents since 2005. That means one out of four car deaths involve speed as factor.
If you’re concerned about running late, try leaving early. Also, it helps to remind yourself that you’ll be much later if you’re in an accident or pulled over because of you’re lead foot. Better to run a little late than to put yourself and the lives of others in danger.
9. Get Some Sleep.
Hit the pillow, not the airbag. Both are white and fluffy. Both save lives. The pillow takes a more proactive stance. Use it for at least seven hours each night and not only will you feel better, but you’ll also be more alert and a better, non-drowsy, driver.
Drowsy driving ranks right up there with drunk driving according to a recent AAA study. Researchers found that drivers who get less than 5 hours of sleep a night have a crash risk similar to driving over the legal limit. Missing 1-2 hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep a night can double your crash risk. Miss 2-3 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period more than quadruples the risk.
So get more shut-eye. The result will be safer roads for everyone, something we can all toast to.
10. Shop Like a Car Pro.
Last, but certainly not least, resolve to use a Car Pro Certified Dealer when you buy your next car.
Car Pro Certified Dealers will give you the VIP buying experience from the test drive to signing on the dotted line. You can find a complete list of Car Pro Certified Dealers here. Also don’t forget to check out our in-depth video reviews when narrowing down your car shopping list. We’ll also help guide you with tips and advice on the weekly Car Pro Radio Show.
That’ll do it for our list of top 10 Automotive Resolutions to make this coming year. Cheers to the road ahead!