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Michigan safe driving tips

Auto attorney tells you how to avoid – and prevent – car accidents

Our auto attorneys have put together a list of driving tips to help you steer clear of car accidents and travel more safely on Michigan roads. You’re welcome to call to speak with one of our attorneys. We can answer all of your questions, and the call is free.

  1. Know your way before you start to drive.
  2. Be prepared for winter driving.
  3. Stay in your vehicle if it stalls, and put on your dome light.
  4. Know the difference between automobiles with antilock brakes and those without.
  5. Always keep emergency items in your vehicle.
  6. Never drive if you’ve had too much to drink.
  7. Do not text and drive, or use the Internet while driving.
  8. Do not drive drowsy.
  9. If you become tired, it’s far better to stop.
  10. Drive defensively.
  11. Remember the basics.
  12. Watch what you eat when you have long drives.
  13. Make good decisions.
  14. As always, buckle up!

1. Know your way before you start to drive.

Michigan winter nights get dark earlier and roads can be wet and slippery. So don’t try to read a map or directions while you’re driving. Know your way before you get behind the wheel.

2. Be prepared for winter driving.

This includes keeping a snow brush and ice scraper in your car so you can see before you get behind the wheel to drive. Here’s a blog with lots of tips for safe driving during the winter.

3. Stay in your vehicle if it stalls, and put on your dome light.

If you need to run your car, do it only enough to stay warm and then shut it down again.

4. Know the difference between automobiles with antilock brakes and those without.

If you have antilock brakes, which most cars and small trucks come with today, stomp on the antilock brakes. If you do not have antilock brakes, pump your brakes and steer into a skid. It is useless and dangerous to pump on antilock brakes.

5. Always keep emergency items in your vehicle.

These include heavy blankets and flares, a first aid kit and other emergency items. Always try to keep a flashlight, jumper cables and some type of warning device in your trunk.

6. Never drive if you’ve had too much to drink.

Better yet, have a designated driver if you are going to a party or out socially where you may drink alcohol. Statistically, more people are injured or killed because of drunk driving during the holidays than during any other time of year.

7. Do not text and drive, or use the Internet while driving.

Studies say that those who text and drive are 23 percent more likely to get in a serious car accident. This includes using any sort of technology while driving, such as GPS navigation systems, iPods, iPads and computers.

8. Do not drive drowsy.

Drowsy driving causes car accidents and impaired decision making. In Northern states like Michigan, it gets dark early, temperatures are cold, people often have too much to eat or drink, and then get into cars with the hot air blowing at full power. Fatigued driving especially applies to truckers, who are on the road for long periods of time.

9. If you become tired, it’s far better to stop.

Coffee and other products containing caffeine have been proven to boost short-term alertness, but only if you feel yourself getting tired and have a short distance to go. If you are getting drowsy and still have to drive for many miles or for many hours, it’s better to stop and try to take a nap or get a hotel room than it is to try to “power through.”

10. Drive defensively.

Always know your surroundings. Keep an eye on vehicles in other lanes. Remember to think of large trucks and motorcycles, and stay out of their blind spots. Keep a safe driving distance behind other vehicles.

11. Remember the basics.

We all learned when beginning to drive a car: maintain your vehicle well, check your car battery, tire pressure, tire tread; and replenish windshield wiper fluid and other fluids. Remember to get your oil changed every three months.

12. Watch what you eat when you have long drives.

Meals that are high in fat and sugar are shown to cause people to fatigue faster. Those holiday meals are perfect for taking naps afterwards on a couch, but not for getting behind the wheel for a long drive.

13. Make good decisions.

Set realistic travel goals if you have to drive for long distances. Try to get a good night’s sleep before you begin a long drive.

14. As always, buckle up!

If you have children, please put your children in child safety seats and if the child is under 12 years old, the safest place is always in the backseat.

If you’ve been in a car accident, call one of our auto lawyers at or fill out our free consultation form. There is absolutely no fee or obligation.

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