Road Tip

It’s National Safety Month. Rev your mind with these driver safety reminders:

Hang up the phone. The Institute of Highway Safety suggests you’re 4 times more likely to crash while chatting on your mobile… even if you’re talking hands free. Cell phone use causes the same cognitive distraction whether you’re wearing a headset or not — mainly because impairment results less from holding the phone than from not holding attention. A passenger can insert conversational speed bumps into the discussion when the road demands your focus; but someone on the other end of the phone is disconnected from your reality… and can unwittingly lure you into their static world even as you cruise at 65 miles/hour.

Watch the road, not the dial. With CD players, satellite radio, and GPS devices, your dashboard is a mini-computer. But if your eyes are on it and not the road, you might straddle the medium before you can say SIRIUS. Set your tunes and know your route in advance. Scan the road at least 15 seconds ahead. Don’t fixate your focus; it disengages your peripheral ability to detect motion from the sides.

Be defensive. Anticipate not only other drivers, but vehicle malfunctions. Warmer temperatures are hard on your tires, so keep them properly inflated and balanced. Avoid overheating by changing your oil and filter at least every 3 months and reducing AC use if you’re climbing altitudes.

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