When you’re behind the wheel of a car, driving safely should always be your top concern. Drivers are more distracted than ever, so it’s crucial to know the basics of safe driving and practice them every time you’re on the road. Here are some safe driving tips:

Maintain your vehicle. Read your vehicle’s owner’s manual and follow the recommended schedule for maintenance service. Conduct your own routine check-ups on tires, brakes, lights, wipers, and fluid levels. For good visibility make sure your mirrors, windows and outside lights are clean.

Buckle up. Always wear your seat belt and drive sober and drug-free.

Stay focused. Always keep 100% of your attention on driving – no multi-tasking. Don’t use your phone or any other electronic device while driving.

Slow down. Speeding gives you less time to react and increases the severity of an accident.

Drive “defensively”. Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing and expect the unexpected. Assume other motorists may be unsafe, so always be prepared to avoid it.

“No moving about the cabin.” Secure cargo that may move around while the vehicle is in motion. Don’t attempt to retrieve items that fall to the floor. Have needed items within easy reach – such as toll fees, toll cards and garage passes.

Now that we’ve entered the winter months, drivers face out-of-the-ordinary challenges when they get behind the wheel. Snow, slush or icy roads are involved in nearly one in four weather-related vehicle crashes. These conditions can make it harder for drivers to see, slow down and stop.

If you must travel during winter weather, preparing your car in advance, knowing the forecast and driving based on road conditions are a few important ways to help you drive more safely.

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