We’re 22 days into 2014. How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? Hitting the gym every day? Spending less? Staying organized?
If you are struggling to stay on track with some of these tougher resolutions, we have a few here that we are sure you can keep. Each one is a small change to make. Together, they will make a big difference in your safety on the road and spending on transportation this year.
Go Hands-Free—For Real
We all know that we can’t keep our full attention on the road ahead while our eyes are glued to our smart phones (although some of us have tried!). Your state may even have been one that made handheld devices illegal in 2013. So, in order to avoid breaking the law (or anything else for that matter), resolve to truly go hands-free this year. Invest in a Bluetooth headset if you must take phone calls while you’re on the road. If not, simply resolve to keep your phone out of reach while driving. It’s just not worth the risk.
Keep it Clean
Do you love that feeling you get when you leave the car wash? Opening the shiny exterior to step in to a freshly-vacuumed, fresh-scented interior, you vow to keep it that way. But no matter what, it seems that a few weeks later the outside of your car is covered in grime and the inside is littered with “souvenirs” picked up along your travels (read: trash + junk). This year, resolve to clean out all that junk from your car and keep it that way by throwing things out every time you fill up the tank. Keep the exterior looking good by making the car wash a stop during your weekend errands; or do-it-yourself as part of your regular household chores or “honey-do” list.
Put it on the Calendar
We know you got a brand-spanking new calendar to help keep yourself organized for some of your other resolutions. Put it to work by marking down the dates throughout the year when your car will need to be serviced. Include everything from your regular oil changes to any mileage milestones you expect to hit this year. Consult your car’s manual to make sure you include all of the manufacturer’s recommendations for service. Regular, routine maintenance will keep your car running better, longer.
If you’ve ever been pulled over for speeding, you’ve probably told yourself that you’d never do that again. This year, make it happen! Vow to drive at or below the speed limit—not only to avoid speeding tickets, but because it is the safe thing to do. Reducing your speed is one of the easiest ways to make your drive safer for you, your passengers and other drivers. With reduced speed, you actually increase the amount of time you have to react to changing road conditions and other motorists. If it helps, try to leave your house five minutes earlier than you normally do to give yourself enough time to get where you’re going. Without having to rush, you’ll be calmer and therefore a better, safer driver.
When the new year rolls around, many people look to clear out their closets or organize their basements in an effort to consolidate and streamline their home. Most people don’t consider the fact that by consolidating your driving, you can score some big savings. Plan ahead to combine errands into one trip instead of several short ones. Consider carpooling to school or work, or take advantage of ride-sharing programs and public transportation in your area. Fewer trips in the car means less money spent on gas, and less wear and tear on your vehicle.
Protect & Save
This year, resolve to protect yourself from unexpected car repair costs. Finding the right extended auto warranty for your vehicle and your budget can provide the peace of mind that you’ll be covered should your car be damaged or in need of unplanned repairs. To learn more, visit https://www.carchex.com.