Becoming a Better Driver
Warm weather is finally here! There will be more people traveling to visit friends, family or taking day trips to the beach. We believe that smarter drivers make safer roads, so we have compiled tips, tools and resources to help you drive smart and make NJ’s roads a safer place for everyone. Find out how you can:
People are injured in distracted driving crashes
of survey respondents age 16-65 say they engage in smartphone activities while driving
states have laws banning texting while driving
Expect more people
Warm weather brings more people walking, riding bikes, scooters, and skateboards. Use caution when driving and pay extra attention to crosswalks.
With warm weather, we might be tempted to go faster. Slow down and watch your speed especially when it is raining, it could save a life.
Watch out for motorcycles
Keep a safe distance when driving behind motorcycles, and always check for blind spots especially at intersections.
Give yourself extra time
Be prepared for unpredictable tourist traffic. Give yourself extra time to avoid tailgating and rushing to your destination.
Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash. Always double check that all your passengers are secure.
Watch for animals on the road
Be aware that animal activity increases in warmer months. You are likely to see animals crossing the roadways, especially at dawn and dusk.
Driving while impaired by any substance—legal or illegal—puts you and others in harm’s way. If you feel different you drive different.
Impaired driving continues to be a safety issue on our roadways across the country. Many substances can impair driving, including alcohol, some over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and illegal drugs. Impaired drivers aren’t just putting themselves at risk: they are a danger to everyone else on the road. Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes—that’s one person every 48 minutes. With numbers this high, we must spread the word about the dangers of impaired driving. Below are tips to help keep you safe.
Safety Tips for Driving
- Plan before you go: if you know you will be drinking, plan your ride home ahead of time, either through a designated driver or car share service.
- Volunteer as Designated Driver: rotate being designated drivers with your friends. Pick them up at home so they will not be tempted to drive later.
- Set an example: if you’re hosting a party with alcohol, remind guests to designate a sober ride home, and offer non-alcoholic beverages.
- Protect others: don’t let friends get behind the wheel if they’re under the influence. If you know someone has been drinking don’t be afraid to report them to the police – it could save a life.
- Know the facts: many substances are dangerous when driving- alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs slow coordination, judgment, and reaction times.
Taking a Road Trip
Have You Done Your Safety Checkup?
Getting the family ready for a summer road trip or vacation takes a lot of planning. While we get ourselves ready, we must not forget to check that our vehicle is also prepared. Below are tips to ensure that you and your family arrive to your destination safely.
- Check your tires – high temperatures can cause your tires to lose pressure which tends to lower your gas mileage and can lead to a tire blowout.
- Check all fluids – to avoid overheating, check your fluids (especially coolant) every few weeks. Also check motor oil, transmission, brake and washer fluids.
- Replace wiper blades – summer is known for thunderstorms, make sure your wiper blades aren’t showing signs of wear.
- Have your AC unit checked – if it’s not blowing cold air, you may have a leak.
- Test your battery – Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which can lead to corrosion.
- Build a good emergency kit – with a flashlight, jumper cables, reflective triangles, a first-aid kit, sealed snacks and a multi-tool.
Pledge to Share the Road
Each day you’re on the road with thousands of other parents, teachers, mothers, fathers, and kids in all types of vehicles. From cars and trucks to buses and motorcycles – we’re all sharing the road. Join us in becoming a smarter, safer driver.
There’s Always More to Learn.
New Jersey has a variety of special initiatives to help improve the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians on our roads. Check out these sites for more great info:
- Click It or Ticket – a statewide initiative to improve seat belt use
- Share the Road – safety facts and resources for motorcyclists and how to share the road
- Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is a national campaign committed to reducing deaths from impaired driving. Includes impaired driving facts and statistic
- A Guide to Understanding Blood Alcohol Levels from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Move Over – It’s the law in NJ to move over when you see flashing lights for police, fire and ambulances
- Improve Your Driving – a list of MVC-approved defensive driving courses in NJ that can help you avoid crashes