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Of course you’re a safe driver, right? We all are! In our minds, we’re the best driver on the road, whether you’re driving along I-80 or a simple trip to your local grocery store…you got this. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. Many drivers assume they are ready for anything, ready to avoid an accident, ready to show the rest of Nebraska they know how it is done.

That might be true, but the team here at Eustis Body Shop is committed to your safety. We have compiled a few driving tips that we feel could be helpful to keep your vehicle on the road and most of all, keep you safe.

Check your ride

We know you’ve heard it before, but how often do you follow this simple task that could keep you out of harm’s way each time you drive your vehicle. A simple safety check of your vehicle can go a long way.

  • Walk around your car and look for properly inflated tires, working lights and signals, do you see any fluid leaking? Everything good to go? Great.
  • Now make sure your mirrors are adjusted properly, seats are comfortable, and your phone is put away. Many accidents are caused by improperly adjusted mirrors, blind spots and distractions.

Be a time traveler

We all wish we could predict the future, like what the next Husker Football score will be or when this everlasting Nebraska winter will finally end. Here are a few tips to hone your skills of viewing the future!

  • Always treat other vehicles as if they are going to make a driving mistake—never trust that they are as ready and as safe as you.
  • Is the car in the other lane just a little ahead of you going to merge into your lane without looking? Is the car entering that intersection aware they have a stop sign or a red light? Being prepared for situations like these can reduce your chances of getting involved in an accident.
  • Also remember, if you cannot see the face of another driver in their mirrors, have the mindset that they can’t see you either.

Hey, what’s the rush?

We’ve all done it, we’ve all been there…speeding. Whether it’s running late,  being impatient, or you just don’t like the speed limits, speeding is one the number one causes of accidents.

  • Follow the speed limits. Don’t follow other vehicles too close. A good rule to remember is: as your speed increases, so does your braking distance. If you double your speed, you quadruple your braking distance.
  • Getting there late is always better than not making it there at all due to an accident or something worse.
  • Lastly, increase your distance from other vehicles on the road with you.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk a little about some weather conditions that are common here in our state, and how to minimize your chances of a mishap on the road.

FOG

  • Here in Nebraska, we wouldn’t say fog is a common occurrence, but when it does hit, it can be really thick, and it can change your drive to Omaha from a clear view, to a dense soup of low visibility in a matter of seconds. Be prepared by being aware of any possible changing weather conditions before you head out. If you do run into fog, a key tip is keep those high beams off. Even though visibility is reduced, most drivers think turning their high beams on is the answer. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as high beams will reflect the light off the fog and make your view even more difficult. The best thing to do is to reduce your speed, give yourself plenty of distance from other vehicles, and make sure your low beam lights are on. If you have fog lights, now is the time to use them. They are called “fog lights” for a reason.

RAIN

  • Rain in Nebraska can range from a gentle mist, to a sudden deluge of rain and everything in between. It’s important to always have your windshield wipers in top condition. If your view isn’t clear, you will increase your chances of being involved in an accident. Also, reduce your speed according to the conditions as vehicles can hydroplane on even the slightest amount of water and when the temps are cooler, your vehicle is more likely to have a reduction in traction. Yes. Splashing in puddles is fun, but in a vehicle, it can be a dangerous thing. Try to safely avoid standing water or large puddles. Many times a deep enough puddle can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Lastly, increase your distance from other vehicles on the road with you (noticing a common tip yet?).

SNOW/ICE

  • Snow, ice, slush, black ice, freezing rain, we get it all here in Nebraska. You can start your trip in Lincoln with temps in the 50s and by the time you reach Grand Island you could be facing heavy snowfall. As the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Nebraska……wait 5 minutes.” So again, being prepared for the weather conditions is key. Also remember that bridges generally become icy and/or snow covered before the road does, so be alert when approaching bridges or overpasses.
  • A good old saying for winter driving goes as follows, “If the roads are wet, then drive like it’s snowing. If the roads are snow-covered, then drive like they’re icy. If the roads are icy, then don’t drive.”
  • If you must drive, brake gently, rather than slamming the brakes as this will most likely cause your tires to lock up and end up in a skid. The introduction of ABS in most vehicles has saved many lives and has helped avoid many accidents, but they are still a constantly variable part of a vehicle and as good as the ABS system is, it may not always protect you from an accident as expected.
  • With reduced traction, everything you do in a vehicle should be performed with a more cautious approach. Cornering is best done slower than you normally would, braking as well and lets not forget acceleration. Keep the inputs small and gentle, it goes a long way to staying safe and on the road. Here is that common tip again…increase your distance from other vehicles on the road with you.

We hope that you have learned a few new tips from us here at Eustis Body Shop. Since we’ve already established that you’re a great driver, hopefully you are already following these tips when behind the wheel and if not, now is a great time to start.