2016 Safe Driving Resolutions
As we leave 2015 in the rearview mirror and head into the New Year, many folks throughout Iowa City are coming up with their 2016 New Year’s Resolutions. The start of a new year is a time to reflect on the previous year and resolve to do better in many areas. Some people may resolve to lose some weight and exercise more. Others may decide it’s time to cut down on their Netflix binge watching or take up a new hobby. We bet that a lot of people won’t put driver safety on their 2016 New Year’s Resolution “to-do” list. But in fact, resolving to practice safe driving habits in 2016 is one of the most important things you can do in the New Year.
Resolve to Drive Safely in 2016
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 317 people lost their lives on Iowa roadways in 2013. Nationally, nearly 33,000 died as the result of a fatal vehicular accident in 2013. These alarming statistics are a sobering reminder that driving on today’s Iowa highways can have deadly consequences. But there is something you can do about it. Resolve to drive more safely in 2016.
Here at your hometown Nissan new and used car dealership near Cedar Rapids in Iowa City, Carousel Nissan, we encourage everyone to make a resolution to follow these 2016 safe driving practices. While we cannot influence the actions of other drivers, we can certainly take responsibility for our own actions behind the wheel.
Resolve Not To Drink & Drive
Driving a vehicle while you are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, including certain prescription medications, will not only land you in jail but could result in somebody losing their life because of your irresponsible actions. Even if you think that you can drive while just a little “buzzed,” the fact remains that even a couple of glasses of alcohol can significantly impair your ability to drive. Take a cab or have a friend drive you home. It’s better than the potentially deadly alternative.
Resolve To Slow Down
We live in an amped-up, “get-it-done-yesterday” world. Statistics shows that speeding between 5 and 10 mph more than the posted speed limit increases your chance of getting into an accident by 20%. By slowing down, especially during periods of bad weather, gives you more time to react to potential road hazards. By sticking to the speed limit you may arrive at your destination a few minutes later, but at least, you will arrive safely.
Resolve Not To Drive When Drowsy
Much like driving while under the influence, driving when sleepy or drowsy can also be dangerous. According to the website DrowsyDriving.org, a 2005 study by the National Sleep Foundation found that 60% of Americans have admitted to driving while drowsy, fatigued or sleepy. Even more disturbing is that 37% of those polled said that they have fallen asleep at the wheel. There are several things you can do to avoid drowsy driving. First, get at least 8 hours of sleep. Getting a good rest especially important if you are heading out on a long trip. Second, if you notice that you are getting tired behind the wheel and are experiencing drooping eyelids, an increasing inability to concentrate, or excessive yawning, it’s time to pull over and take a break. If you are near a city or town, head for a restaurant or convenience store and get a cup of coffee. Find the nearest rest stop, or just pull over when it is safe to do so. Get out of your car and walk around. If possible, take a short nap until you feel refreshed. If you are driving with someone else, let them drive for a while. And pay attention to those “rumble strips” that indicate you are moving out of your lane. In other words, “Drive Alert. Arrive Alive.”
Resolve To Drive Defensively
Now more than ever, driving defensively is a key to driving safely. Unfortunately, there are too many drivers out there who throw caution to the wind. Don’t assume that someone is going to stop at a four-way intersection and watch out for people coming out of side streets. Give yourself enough room between yourself and the car ahead of you in case they slam on the brakes. If you are confronted by an aggressive, confrontational driver, don’t lose your cool. Remain calm, avoid eye contact, and stay in control. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and stay focused on driving and not getting distracted.
Resolve Not To Text Or Use Your Phone
Just like drinking while driving or driving while fatigued, using your cellphone while driving is risky business. According to the website textinganddrivingsafely.com, this is called, “Driving While Intexicated” (DWI). Both teens and adults are guilty of either texting or using their phones while driving. This website also reports that 23% of all collisions in 2011 involved cellphones. Even talking or listening while driving increases your chance of an accident by 1.3 times. Many of the new 2015 and 2016 Nissans for sale in Iowa City here at Carousel Nissan feature advanced Bluetooth® hands-free phone capabilities. Some features even let you have texts read to you aloud and send texts by voice. However, regardless of this advanced technology, it’s still your responsibility to use these features wisely. The best advice is to either pull over to take or make a call or just wait until you reach your destination.
Resolve To Know Your Limitations
Your age has a lot to do with your driving skill and potential for accidents. Sadly, car crashes are the #1 killers of teens, who are still learning the rules of the road and getting used to driving a car. Encourage your teen to take a safe driving course and tell them about some of the safe driving tips we’ve discussed here.
Older people are also at risk of more accidents. As we age, our reflexes and senses begin to deteriorate. Failing eyesight and hearing loss may mean it’s time to have a conversation with an older driver in your household who may need to restrict their driving. This conversation isn’t easy, but it could save the life of someone you love.
Resolve To Use Your Seatbelts
Seatbelts do save lives. That’s not just a marketing slogan; it’s a fact. According to the website trafficsafetymarketing.gov, seatbelts save an average of 13,000 people per year. From 2004 to 2008, seatbelts saved more than 75,000 lives. That’s roughly the capacity of Kinnick Stadium. Air bags are not a substitute for wearing seatbelts; they are designed to work with seatbelts to help prevent or lessen injuries in the event of an accident. Be sure to place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck. Adjust the lap across your hips below your stomach. Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm.
Resolving to drive safely in 2016 and beyond will not only make our Iowa City roadways safer for all of us, but it will also help ensure that you and your loved ones will arrive at your destination safe and sound. And isn’t that the best New Year’s Resolution of all?
A Great Deal Is A Safe Bet At Carousel Nissan
Now that the New Year is finally here, we’re celebrating with new deals on our large inventory of new 2015 and 2016 Nissans here at your local Nissan dealership in Iowa City, Carousel Nissan. We’re moving out the 2015 models to make way for the new 2016 Nissans in Iowa City, and that means exceptional savings are in store for you.
Start the New Year off right with a new Nissan in your driveway, thanks to our many Nissan dealer special offers and Nissan factory incentives that will save you money. Save even more by shopping our wide selection of top-quality Nissan Certified Pre-Owned vehicles in Iowa City. Plus, we have a great selection of value-priced used cars less than $15,000 in Iowa City to choose from.
Visit our Nissan dealership near Cedar Rapids today for some of Iowa City’s best deals on new and pre-owned Nissans. Carousel Nissan is located at 817 Highway 1 West, Iowa City, IA 52246. Call us today at 800-383-6477 or 319-337-5000.
Have A Safe And Happy New Year!