By: Andy Newbound
It’s that time of year again. Out with the old, in with the new. Welcome to 2017, and our latest set of New Year’s resolutions.
If you’re like the majority of Brits, you probably made a stack of well-intentioned resolutions at the beginning of 2016. By the end of January however, most had been abandoned. If you managed to stick to yours, well done!
To give you a helping hand this year, we’ve come up with a Top 10 list of driving resolutions that won’t take too much effort, deliver great benefits and are easy to stick to. Try these for 2017.
This potential driving resolution is perhaps the easiest of our ten and once you get the hang of this, it’s so simple to make part of your regular driving habits. Here’s a list of straightforward changes you can make:
- Reduce speed and drive carefully in bad weather conditions.
- Make a conscious effort to leave more space between you and the car in front.
- Keep your attention on the road and look out for potential hazards.
- Remember, other drivers and pedestrians can be unpredictable – watching out for these can help you avoid incidents.
- Stick to speed limits; they’re there to keep you safe, after all.
Our roads can be dangerous enough without road rage causing even more problems. To help you stay calm behind the wheel and get you from A to B incident free, check our a few of our handy stress-busting tips.
- Try not to view driving as a competitive sport. No points are awarded for being fastest to a junction. Success is getting to your destination safely, not in first place.
- If you’re worried about being late or encountering delays, you’re more likely to lose control. So give each journey more time, or plan your route thoroughly to keep your anxiety in check.
- Sometimes, it’s ok to be wrong. We all make mistakes, so if you’re driving is less than perfect, admit it and apologise. Other drivers will appreciate this and it can quickly diffuse otherwise potentially explosive situations.
This is perhaps the biggest, and safest change you can make. Turn your mobile phones off whilst driving. This is becoming a major problem on UK roads and police will be giving it increased focus during 2017.
More importantly though, using your phone at the wheel is extremely dangerous – even if you go ‘hands-free’. So stay safe. Don’t take calls. Don’t read or send a text. And never check social media.
We love cars and we love driving. But in 2017, less is definitely more. Think quality, not quantity and ask yourself if every journey you make is necessary. Cutting back on those ‘lazy’ drives to the shops or even into work could save you money, help the environment and even increase your wellbeing.
- Can you walk or cycle instead? The exercise will do you good and you’ll save money on fuel and maybe parking costs.
- Ease congestion by taking public transport. If it’s practical, get the bus or train two days each week. Letting somebody else do the driving is good for your stress levels too.
- Car share with a colleague or friend. Take it in turns to use your cars. It will ease the costs, limit wear and tear on your vehicle, plus save you some expenses.
Here’s another easy fix; stick to the legal speed limits for safer and perhaps even more economical driving. Dropping your mph can increase your fuel economy, saving you money. In addition to making the roads safer for you and other drivers, following the speed limit is a sure-fired, guaranteed way never to pick up an expensive speeding fine.
Remember, speeding on UK roads is still one of the biggest causes of driver death; thousands of people are killed or seriously injured every year. By sticking to the limits and driving with more care, you could help save your own or somebody else’s life in 2017. What could be more worthwhile than that?
This might strike you as quite an unusual New Year’s driving resolution, but why not ease your own driving stresses by demanding ‘less’ from your fellow road users?
Expecting poor driving from those you share the roads with can be an effective way to ease your own frustrations. After all, if you assume you’ll encounter bad driving during your journey, you won’t be shocked or angry when it occurs.
What’s more, you can watch out for it and learn to spot the warning signs, helping you avoid any mishaps before they occur. And of course, there’s the added bonus of being pleasantly surprised when other drivers drive well.
This could be a real money saver for you throughout 2017. Learning how to do basic maintenance, including changing bulbs, windscreen wipers, topping up your fluids and even safely fitting brake pads, can be really good for your pocket and your car confidence.
That’s not all. With the average cost of a car wash now creeping towards £10, switching to a weekly/monthly DIY car clean can see your annual savings quickly hit three figures.
Speaking of saving money, did you know that a few simple adjustments to the way you drive can be extremely kind to your pocket?
Cutting your cruising speed by a few mph, avoiding sudden and rapid acceleration, and reducing your revs by moving into high gears sooner can all help you use less fuel. Also, by regularly checking your tyres are correctly inflated, you can improve fuel economy and reduce unnecessary tyre wear and tear. Add in your DIY wash and basic maintenance, and you could easily save hundreds each year.
Saving pots of dosh isn’t the only advantage of a DIY car clean. It helps with your maintenance; keeping dirt and grime at bay can help prevent rust. You can also spot any minor damage early and fix it before it becomes a major problem.
Don’t forget your boot. Lots of us use this part of our car as an extra and sometimes permanent storage area, filling the space with all kinds of needless clutter. This adds extra weight to your car and can lead to a reduction in fuel economy. So cut the clutter and you could cut the cost.
You already know how important a regular service is for your car. It helps to keep it performing at its best, prevents or fixes problems, and makes sure your car is as reliable and safe to drive as it can be. But it’s still surprising how many of us overlook this. And how doing so can end up costing more in preventable repairs. Contact us to make sure you keep your servicing up to date in 2017.
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