If you choose to buy a vehicle from our Kia dealership (or one of our partner dealerships in Turnersville and Allentown), you are already making a decision that could make you a much safer driver. All Kia vehicles are equipped with safety features that not only protect the driver and passengers in the event of an accident but actually also make those accidents easier to avoid. These range from back up cameras to lane diverging alerts to predictive braking systems. Here are some tips that will help you make the most of these safety features in your new kia:
1. Put away the cellphone. This is something that might be difficult, especially for younger drivers. We’re so used to checking out cellphones these days that if we don’t do it every five minutes, we start to feel disconnected from the world. Even just looking down to check your text messages when you are at a stoplight is not a good idea. Make it a habit to not just put your cellphone in a cup holder while you are driving, but to actually put the cellphone away, where you cannot hear it or see it.
2. Slow down. Especially in areas where the speed limit is already low, it is important not to speed. Not only is speeding in a residential area very dangerous, for every mile an hour you are going, you have a 5% higher chance of dying in an accident. That means that if you are going 60 in a 55 zone, you have a 25% higher chance of dying if you are in an accident than if you were going the speed limit. Speed limits are not arbitrary—they are carefully calculated based on the road and its surroundings.
3. Don’t drive while drowsy. Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk. Even if you know the road well, if you are drowsy, your reflexes are not as fast as they might need to be in order to avoid hitting another vehicle or a person. You might even find yourself nodding off, which can lead you to causing a serious accident, even if yours is the only car involved. This is especially important if you are going to be driving at highway speeds, as falling asleep or not paying attention while driving at this high rate of speed can have disastrous and even deadly results, no matter how impressive your vehicle’s safety features are.
4. Wear your seatbelt. The seatbelt is one of the oldest and most common safety features and you are going to find them in every single vehicle that you can purchase. It might sound cheesy, buy wearing your seatbelt can save your life. When in an accident, a seatbelt restrains you so that you are not thrown from the vehicle. While you might think that you can brace yourself before impact, the truth is that the speed at which most serious accidents occur ensures that individuals not wearing their seatbelts are going to be in for much more serious injuries than those who did wear them.
5. Slow down in bad weather. Bad weather doesn’t just mean snow (though if there is snow on the road and the road is not just wet, you should slow down significantly). Bad weather means rain, sleet, hail, fog, dirt, and smoke. If visibility is reduced, slow down. If the road has the potential of being slick under your wheels, slow way down. Just about any type of weather can cause a dangerous driving situation, so pay attention to the conditions and adjust your driving habits accordingly.
6. Don’t tailgate the vehicle in front of you. There are only a few outcomes of tailgating. In general, when you tailgate someone, it is because you think they are going too slow. It’s very rare that this person is going to suddenly realize that they are going too slow and pick up the pace, simply because you are riding their bumper with your vehicle. If they do happen to notice that you are tailgating them, they are probably just going to get annoyed, which means that they will continue driving slowly and might even slow down. This is a situation which can be very dangerous for you, as the tailgater, as you might not have time to slam on your breaks, if the person in front of you slams on their breaks. While most Kia vehicles do have advanced safety features that automatically apply the brakes if the vehicle sense that the car in front of you is suddenly slowing down, your vehicle is not going to be able to completely compensate for how close you are to the other car.
7. Pay attention to what the people around you are doing. One of the biggest mistakes you can make while on the road is to assume that everyone else is paying as much attention to the road as you are. Assuming that everyone else is doing their best to avoid getting into an accident and therefore letting your guard down is a good way to get into an accident. Take the time to pay attention to what the cars around you are doing. If the car in front of your is swerving in the lane and it is pretty obvious that they are texting or doing something else that distracts them from the road, it’s a good idea to get as far away from this driver as you possibly can.