With festivities just around the corner, many people are getting ready for road trips. Be it a vacation getaway or a family visit, driving during this holiday season can be a nerve-wrecking and stressful experience with the traffic, restless children and road work. Here are a few tips to ease the driving experience and keep you safe. Be a smarter driver simply by following some of the recommendations below and make your holiday driving experience a breeze.
Hands on the driving wheel
While driving requires undivided attention, it’s almost impossible to have zero distractions. One of the most dangerous, yet widely practiced, habits is using your phone while driving.
As long as you’re on the phone texting or talking, you will have only one hand steering the wheel. Add how your sight is distracted away from the road, with the combination of multiple family members in the car for a long holiday drive, and you have the perfect equation for an accident! Texting can always wait, and your phone should be put down until you’re safely parked and away from the road.
Some of you may opt for hands-free devices, but another option is built-in voice activated technology. The award-winning Ford SYNC® in-car connectivity system helps you make and receive phone calls and also allows you to browse through the music library on your devices via Bluetooth or USB through voice command. It will also read your text messages out loud so that you can stay in touch with friends and loved ones – while your hands stay on the wheel.
Keep your car clean
Even a small object like a water bottle lying in your car can become a hazard. Imagine the consequences when that bottle gets under your gas pedal. Always keep your vehicle nice and clean. It doesn’t just look good, but also adds to your safety.
Another behavior that puts people at risk is piling up the back seat with luggage. This is not only dangerous to you, but also to the drivers behind who cannot see through your windshield, which could lead to an accident if your car brakes abruptly.
Also, always pack heavier items in the lower areas of the vehicle so that in case of a sudden stop the heavier objects remain in place and don’t topple over to injure your passengers.
With Ford, arranging your things in the car has never been easier. Ford’s vehicles offer smart storage compartments to help drivers keep your cars neat and organized, whether it’s the drawer under the front passenger seat that is big enough for a purse or a laptop computer, or a rear passenger bin by the side of the seats, there’re no excuses for things lying around.
Prepare before your trip
At some point, almost every driver has driven whilst trying to fight off fatigue, especially during the busy holiday season when you’re rushing from one place to the next. Getting in the driver’s seat while tired can be dangerous not just to you and your passengers, but also to fellow drivers on the road. If you are about to set off on a long trip, it’s important to be well rested before you get behind the wheel. If you feel you are not in the right condition to drive, don’t do so.
Plan your route
Before going on a trip it’s always good to plan your route and have a few alternatives in case of unexpected situations like road blocks or extreme weather conditions. Make sure you give yourself enough time to complete the journey and plan for stops along the way.
Find yourself driving on a hilly slope when you detour? Ford always has your back with our driver assist features, no matter the terrain. If you are driving in the mountains, Ford’s Hill Launch Assist is at your side and will temporarily prevent you from rolling backwards when making a hill start. The system works by maintaining pressure to the braking system for an extra 2.5 seconds, giving you more time and control as you move your foot from brake pedal to accelerator. It’s also useful when you’re stopping and starting on slippery surfaces.
Additional features like the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and Electronic Stability Program (ESP) also give you greater control under any weather conditions.
Want more ways to drive smarter? Here’s more safety advice from Ford:
· Buckle up and do it properly: The seat belt is still the number one piece of safety equipment, so don’t neglect it.