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12 New Year's resolutions for drivers

Resolutions drivers can make to ensure safer passage through 2015

Published: January 2, 2015, 11:45 AM
Updated: June 8, 2015, 1:42 PM

New Year's Resolutions

For many the New Year is a time for reflection and an opportunity to plan some changes.

A good way to arrive at a set of New Year Resolutions regarding driving is to think of the actions of other drivers that raise your blood pressure or result in crashes and resolve to avoid those actions.

Here are a dozen New Year Resolutions drivers can make to ensure safer passage through 2015.

  1. 1. PAY ATTENTION – I resolve to pay attention to the job at hand – driving. Instead of thinking about issues in my work or personal life I will look down the road and scan the scene surrounding my vehicle and intended path frequently. This will allow me to make a decision and take action in time to prevent an incident.
  2. 2. NO DISTRACTIONS – I will avoid distractions – whether talking or texting on my phone, changing stations or tracks on the audio system, checking my hair in the mirror or becoming involved in a serious discussion with passengers.
  3. 3. LANE CHOICE – I resolve to avoid swapping lanes frequently in the hopes of arriving at my destination one or two minutes earlier. When I do change lanes it will be after looking ahead, planning that change and communicating my intentions.
  4. 4. RESPECT – I resolve to treat fellow motorists as I would like them to treat me. I will not run down the inside or outside of a lane of traffic and butt in at the end. I would not do this at the bank or a grocery store, so why in a car?
  5. 5. LEAVE IT TO THE OFFICIALS – I resolve to watch my mirrors and recognize that if there is nobody in front of me and a long line of vehicles behind I am probably holding them up. It is not my job to police traffic in the belief that if I am travelling at the speed limit there is no need to move into another lane.
  6. 6. SIGNAL – I resolve to communicate with fellow motorists whether they be ahead, behind or alongside. I know that failure to signal my intentions can cause them to have to take last second avoidance.
  7. 7. WATCH THOSE EXITS and MERGES – I resolve to merge smoothly when leaving or entering a flow of traffic. I will pull off and out of the way as quickly as possible when exiting and accelerate briskly when entering traffic to allow the people behind me to continue on their way with as little interruption as possible.
  8. 8. USE MIRRORS – I resolve to properly set and use my mirrors – all three of them – frequently. By doing so I will be aware of the traffic environment around me.
  9. 9. KEEP DISTANCE – I resolve to avoid tailgating because I know that, at highway speeds, I will travel at least two vehicle lengths after seeing the brake lights of the vehicle in front of me before I can even get my foot unto the brake pedal – if I am paying strict attention!
  10. 10. STALE LIGHTS – I resolve to come to a safe stop rather than accelerate or continue driving when approaching a traffic light that has already turned yellow.
  11. 11. TAKE TIME – I resolve to take more time getting ready to drive and when at the wheel, especially I winter when I need to ensure the windows and lights are all clear and when it takes longer to start, stop, turn and do almost anything.
  12. 12. GET SET – I resolve to take the time to reset the mirrors, seat and steering wheel when wearing bulky winter clothes that change my relationship to these controls.