Our friendly pals over at AutoTrader.com have put together a snazzy New Year's Resolution list for Ask Patty! Make a resolution for you and your vehicle for 2007!
Get out of that Old Car – Whether you want to drive it until the wheels fall off (and they just did), you don’t feel it is dependable, it is not big enough for the family, or it just isn’t what you want, with the variety of vehicles, manufacturer discounts, and aggressive financing, this is a great time to look into a new ride.
Keep It Clean – One of the best ways to feel good about your car, and sometimes yourself, is to have a clean car. It not only provides a good personal image but, by keeping that empty bottle of soda from rolling under your brake pedal, it is also improves your safety.
Dress It Up – The same way new accessories can make you feel good; they can also make you feel good about your car. New wheels, pinstripes, spoilers, or just a steering wheel cover can improve your outlook on your car. Most automotive parts stores carry a wide selection of accessories with staff that can install them for you.
Ease off the Gas - studies clearly show that aggressive driving can reduce your vehicle’s efficiency by up to 20% while rarely getting the driver to their location any sooner.
Check Your Tire Pressure - Maintaining proper tire pressure has many benefits: longer tire life, improved efficiency, more comfortable ride, and better / safer handling.
Change Your Oil and Filters Regularly – Your car is a major investment, treat it like one. Prolong its life (and yes, improve efficiency) by keeping the engine clean.
Car Pool – Sure, there are a million reasons why you don’t want to do it. But in the long run it saves you money, and in some regions, you can actually be reimbursed or paid for being in a car pool.
The Road is not a Race Track - Remember that just because you want to be a race driver, or think you are, it does not mean you have the right to endanger others. A closed track, with other drivers that have accepted the responsibility and danger, is the only appropriate place for competitive driving.
Safety First – Take responsibility for yourself, your passengers, and others on the road. Obey speed limits (especially in neighborhoods, near schools and near parks) and keep yours eyes on the road. Anything that is not part of operating the vehicle is secondary and should wait until you have come to a stop.
Reduce Distractions – The cell phone has been the primary target of blame, but any distraction is a hazard to you and others. Some examples of distractions you could try to eliminate or reduce are: reading, eating, hair / make-up, television (really), adjusting music, rubber-necking, and of course, cell phones.
Take Care of Yourself and Others
Be (more) Courteous – Find opportunities to make the experience better for everyone. Things like yielding rather than cutting someone off, and waving instead of “gesturing”, can help make the commute easier and make you feel better about yourself.
Use Your Seat Belt – The percentage of people that regularly do not wear their seat belts is still in the double digits in some states. Not wearing a seatbelt is one of the top reasons for automotive fatalities.
Secure the Kids – They don’t know any better – it is your responsibility! Children loose in a vehicle can be a distraction to the driver and a danger to themselves. Remember, automotive accidents are the number one killer of children under 15 ~ so strap ‘em in and teach them the importance of being responsible passengers.
Have a happy new year from AutoTrader.com!