The new year is fast approaching and shortly after the countdown ends, many people will drop their resolutions quicker than the shimmering ball that’s suspended over Times Square.
In time for 2015’s arrival, automotive expert Suzanne Kane from iSeeCars came up with 10 bad driving habits you can drop next year. These are resolutions you’ll want to keep because your life could depend on it.
Put down the electronic devices
This should seem like common sense but as the National Safety Council reported this year, cell phone use is blamed for over a quarter of all car crashes. Kane declares restraining yourself from using your mobile device while driving as the most important bad driving resolution to make for 2015.
Use your turn signals
This simple change in your driving habits could help keep you out of a fender-bender — or worse — next year. “The drivers in vehicles behind you or alongside you on the freeway or street aren’t mind readers,” Kane writes. Hopefully you already use your signal to indicate an upcoming turn but do you often forget to use it when changing lanes? If so, add this resolution to your list.
Tailgating is one of the most dangerous bad driving techniques you can develop and Kane recommends dropping it from your list of habits. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that rear-end collisions account for about 23 percent of all wrecks, resulting in around 2,000 deaths each year. Kane writes that tailgating is typically a sign of an impatient driver or someone who’s always in a hurry.
Save the burger for later
Eating while driving is another textbook bad driving habit and one that can be avoided. “This is another form of distracted driving that takes your mind off your primary focus of driving,” Kane writes.
Check your wheels
This is one that most of us probably forget to do but regularly checking your tire pressure is an easy way to avoid a blowout. Tire gauges can be found cheap at your local auto parts store and may end up saving you a major headache — or injury — later. Many car makers recommend checking your tires at least once a month. Click here for tips from the DMV on how to do it properly.
Make sure everyone is buckled up
Many of today’s cars will alert you and your front-seat passenger if your seatbelts are not buckled, but what about those riding in back? It’s a simple step that could very well save the lives of everyone in your car should a crash happen. “Why take the chance? Make it a point to buckle up, every time, and be sure others traveling with you do too,” writes Kane.
Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.