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SafetyBe Prepared: What to Carry in Your CarKeep the following items in your car in case you have a flat tire, are stranded by weather or have some other roadside emergency.Kids and Car SafetyWhether you're driving across country, taking the kids to Grandma's or just acting as local carpool captain, keeping your young passengers safe should be your number one priority. Child Car Seat Safety GuidelinesWith the wide selection of car seats on the market, how do you know which one to buy, and when to switch from one style to another? And how important are car seats anyway?Driving in the RainHere are some helpful hints on preparing your car and planning ahead for wet road travel.Driving in the WinterWinter driving can be hazardous. Be safe, be smart, by following these tips.Improve Your Night-Driving SkillsHere are some tips, courtesy of Bridgestone Winter Driving School, to improve your night-driving skills.Prevent Drowsy DrivingFeeling tired but unwilling to pull over and take a break? Driving drowsy is risking your life—and those of other drivers!12 Winter Driving Tips from ExpertsWe talked with snow plow drivers and auto technicians across the country – they see it happen and fix your car after that spin-out. Here's their advice:5 Safe Driving TipsThese tips are from police officers and those who have first-hand experiences with car-related emergencies. Pet Safety and Your CarWe've been bombarded with car-seat safety for children, airbag safety for infants, and seat-belt use for everyone. But how safe are your pets in your family vehicle? Animal safety in cars is critical to your best friend's safety. Share the Road Start Seeing MotorcyclesWe asked motorcyclists to share their pet peeves about drivers. Let's all do our part to share the road and get along.5 Common Winter Driving MistakesDo you make the following winter driving mistakes?
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5 Safe Driving Tips

Be alert. Be aware. Pay attention while driving. We've interviewed police officers from around the country — inattention was the number one cause for accidents. Statistics also support that claim: distracted driving accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the 6 million car crashes each year, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

1. Pay Attention

After interviewing police officers from around the country, we found that inattention was the number one cause for accidents. Statistics support this claim: distracted driving accounts for nearly 80 percent of the SIX million car crashes each year, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

If you're sleepy, have been drinking or are otherwise impaired, don't drive. Read our article Prevent Drowsy Driving for more tips.

Stay focused. Don't drive and 

  • talk on a cell phone
  • eat or drink
  • read or check e-mails
  • put on makeup
  • change the radio

WHN Tip: Cell Phones
If you must use your cell phone, use a hands-free device while driving. Many states and local jurisdictions have restrictions regarding cell phones and driving. Check with your local police department about the laws in your area.

2. Slow Down

Practice cautious driving in severe weather conditions and at night or when visibility is poor. Read our  Improve Your Night-Driving Skills, Driving in the Winter and Driving in the Rain  articles for more tips.

3. Keep It Running

Practice good car maintenance and have your car checked at least once a year, especially before winter.

4. Be Prepared

Prepare a Car Emergency Kit with the essential items needed in the event of an emergency — spare tire, flares, food/water, antifreeze, etc. Make sure you add winter items before it gets too cold.

5. Watch Other Drivers

Observe other drivers: the distance from their car to yours, their speed, if they're on the phone and how they drive.

More Advice from Those Who Know

Wear your seatbelt.

Obey all traffic laws and the speed limit.

SmartMotorist.com recommends following the "three-second rule." (NOTE: The distance changes at different speeds. In bad weather, double or triple the three-second rule for added safety.)

  • First select a fixed object on the road ahead such as a sign, tree or overpass.
  • When the vehicle ahead of you passes the object, slowly count "one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand."
  • If you reach the object before completing the count, you're following too closely. Making sure there are three seconds between you and the car ahead gives you time and distance to respond to problems in the lane ahead of you.

Be insured. Each state has different rules about car insurance. (Click here for a list of state requirements from Findlaw.) Go to our Insurance section for more advice.

Know what to do in case of an accident. Read our What To Do If You're In a Car Accident for more tips.

Need more? Read these Driving Safety tips  from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Visit our Links section for more car safety web sites.

Other Car Pages
Safety12 Winter Driving Tips from Experts

We talked with snow plow drivers and auto technicians across the country – they see it happen and fix your car after that spin-out. Here's their advice:

 Read More
5 Common Winter Driving Mistakes

Do you make the following winter driving mistakes?

 Read More
5 Safe Driving Tips

These tips are from police officers and those who have first-hand experiences with car-related emergencies.

 Read More
Be Prepared: What to Carry in Your Car

Keep the following items in your car in case you have a flat tire, are stranded by weather or have some other roadside emergency.

 Read More
Child Car Seat Safety Guidelines

With the wide selection of car seats on the market, how do you know which one to buy, and when to switch from one style to another? And how important are car seats anyway?

 Read More
Driving in the Rain

Here are some helpful hints on preparing your car and planning ahead for wet road travel.

 Read More
Driving in the Winter

Winter driving can be hazardous. Be safe, be smart, by following these tips.

 Read More
Improve Your Night-Driving Skills

Here are some tips, courtesy of Bridgestone Winter Driving School, to improve your night-driving skills.

 Read More
Kids and Car Safety

Whether you're driving across country, taking the kids to Grandma's or just acting as local carpool captain, keeping your young passengers safe should be your number one priority.

 Read More
Pet Safety and Your Car

We've been bombarded with car-seat safety for children, airbag safety for infants, and seat-belt use for everyone. But how safe are your pets in your family vehicle? Animal safety in cars is critical to your best friend's safety.

 Read More
Prevent Drowsy Driving

Feeling tired but unwilling to pull over and take a break? Driving drowsy is risking your life—and those of other drivers!

 Read More
Share the Road Start Seeing Motorcycles

We asked motorcyclists to share their pet peeves about drivers. Let's all do our part to share the road and get along.

 Read More