We’re just days away from 2015 and you know what that means! It’s time for our list of New Year’s resolutions that we hope you’ll make your own this next year. They will save lives, keep your car running smoothly and make the roadways safer places for us all.
Resolve to put the cell phone away. Distracted driving is a no-no, we know this, but it’s worth repeating. Using your cell phone to chat or text while behind the wheel puts you, your passengers and other drivers at risk. The U.S. government’s Distracted Driving website lays out the most recent statistics. In 2012, an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver and drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in deadly crashes. The lesson here, put your phone down when you’re behind the wheel.
Resolve not to drink and drive — and make sure friends don’t either. The good news is that drunk driving deaths fell in 2013. The bad news is that more than 10,000 peopled died in drunk driving crashes that same year. The most recent figures from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration break it down like this:
- Drunk driving deaths declined by 2.5 percent in 2013
- An average of one drunk driving fatality occurred once every 52 minutes in 2013
- Men were responsible for 81% of drunk driving incidents in 2010
Never drive under the influence of alcohol and always designate a driver. Also, check with your doctor about any prescription medicines you’re taking to see what impact they could potentially have your ability to drive safely.
Resolve to buckle up. Buckle Up America, that’s the message from the NHSTA as well as Car Pro. NHTSA figures show overall seat belt use rate was 87 percent in 2013. But there’s no excuse for not getting that number to 100%. They saved more than 12,000 lives in 2012.
Resolve to stop speeding. Speeding-related deaths nationwide account for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities each year, taking close to 10,000 lives, according to a 2013 NHTSA report. One in five drivers also admitted to trying to get where they were going as fast as they could. Resolve to obey speed limits, never tailgate and always drive responsibly.
Resolve never to drive drowsy. Crashes involving drowsy drivers are a growing problem according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, but it’s one you can help prevent. Never get behind the wheel when you’re in danger of dozing off. Pull over if you need and fuel up with some caffeine. Take a nap if you must. But don’t drive while you’re sleepy. If you go without too much sleep, it can be like you’re driving intoxicated.
Resolve to give your car some TLC. Preventative maintenance is key to keeping your car in tip top shape throughout the year. This year, keep your fluids refilled, replace aging tires, don’t ignore dashboard warning lights and stay on top of oil changes. All of these things will keep your car running smoothly and can avoid costly repair bills down the road.
Resolve to be a better car buyer. Ask the Car Pro for advice anytime and check out Jerry’s weekly new vehicle reviews. The Car Pro is here for you, all year long.
Happy New Year!