Man texting while driving.

Rub Your Tummy, Pat Your Head

Electing to drive a car is a little like choosing to do brain teasers all day — the goal isn’t to get stumped by our task but rather to engage the mind and hone in on the relationship between our fine motor skills and our instincts. Driving allows us to experience all of it at the same time. 

Perhaps you remember your driving instructor telling you to imagine how a problem might occur on the road ahead of you and to have a plan in case it does; driving is full of those kinds of opportunities to do multiple things at the same time, all while traveling at 70 miles per hour.

Owning a car is also a chance to uphold various responsibilities. As car owners, we need to be aware of the vehicle’s last tune-up and whether it’s time for another car repair. We need to pay attention to the car’s performance and take an interest in how it works. In fact, there are a few things that every driver should know in order to do right by themselves, their vehicle, and their fellow drivers.

#1 — Visit Your Provo Car Repair Team Once a Year

There are myriad reasons why people bring their vehicles in for car repairs at our Provo Master Muffler. Perhaps they were in a collision or they simply need an oil change; maybe their catalytic converter is on the fritz. Regardless of the reason, making sure that your vehicle is roadworthy is a sign of a good driver because safe cars save lives.

Just as there are numerous systems in our bodies that need to be looked at once a year by a doctor, our car needs a full inspection about as often. We mentioned catalytic converters, which should be checked on a yearly basis, but these annual visits are a good time to check in with:

  • The engine
  • The battery
  • The filters
  • The fuel lines
  • The HVAC unit

The more familiar you are with how those systems are running, the less of a chance there will be for nasty surprises (like something breaking) on the road.

#2 — Don’t Let Distractions Win

You may be surprised to learn that over 25% of all car accidents are due to distracted driving. Then again, perhaps this isn’t so much of a surprise, which is an even bigger indicator of the effect that cell phones and other preoccupations have had on our national consciousness as drivers.

We all know not to allow these distractions to pull our focus while we’re behind the wheel but just to drive the point in even further, here are a few statistics about distracted driving (there is a lot more where this came from):

  • It causes about 3,000 deaths per year.
  • One out of every four distracted driver fatalities is under the age of 30.
  • It is the cause of nearly 1 million traffic accidents per year.

Every driver should know that when they text and drive, they risk more than an unplanned trip to our Provo car repair center, they increase their odds of sustaining permanent damage to themselves and others.

#3 — The Laws of the Land

We are all familiar with the general laws that govern the road; stop signs, traffic lights, speed limits, etc. But there are also laws set up by each state that dictate how traffic is to be conducted within their borders. Familiarizing yourself with these rules will save you a lot of time and money.

For example, in the state of Utah, there are distinctions between what constitutes distracted driving and what is permissible. 

  • You may speak on the phone while driving but you’re not allowed to dial a phone number while driving.
  • You may manipulate the phone while at a complete stop (like a red light).
  • You may not hold the phone to text but you can hold the phone to use GPS or take a phone call.

There are other rules ranging from 5th wheel towing and when you need to get a Utah driver’s license. You can learn more about them here.

#4 — Safety-Promoting Behavior

It’s not just cell phones that present a significant danger to yourself and others on the road. As we pointed out above, only 1 in 4 accidents are caused by being distracted. So, what causes the other 75% of collisions? 

Naturally, there are things that are out of our control, like rainy weather or the position of the sun (some statistics show a 16% increase in traffic incidents when the sun’s glare is at its worst). Other causes include:

  • Speeding
  • Road rage
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Following too closely

In order to avoid expensive car repair bills (or worse), it’s important for each driver to identify ways in which they contribute to an unsafe driving environment and make the necessary changes.

#5 — Don’t Forget the Little Things

We’ve already talked about the importance of a yearly check-up for your vehicle but what about all the days in between? While you might not feel comfortable servicing your car’s essential systems on your own, there are other small things that you can do to keep it operating well. These include:

  • Replacing your windshield wipers
  • Putting air in your tires
  • Topping off your car’s fluids
  • Replacing burnt out lights

These little things are all important in their own right and can be extremely important when multiple need to be completed at once. Drop by our Provo car repair center for help in doing any of this; we’re just as good at doing the small tasks as the big ones.

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