“…….Fast away the old year passes, Fa la la la la la la la la.

Hail the new, ye lads and lasses! Fa la la la la la la la la!”

Deck The Halls traditional carol



And fast away 2014 did pass! Here at Specialty Paint & Body we hope that the past year has found you happy, healthy and looking forward to what 2015 will bring.We have been blessed to have had a record setting year and are looking forward to even bigger things in 2015.

The New Year is a good time to reflect on the past and consider the future. This often includes those well-meaning resolutions which are mostly a memory by the time the last of the decorations are put away. This year as you make those resolutions consider evaluating your driving habits. These overlooked behaviors are often a danger to yourself, those you love and other drivers. Here are 15 of the most dangerous bad habits associated with driving:

  1. The cell phone/other electronic devices– They are estimated by the National Highway Safety Administration to cause twenty-five percent of all crashes. Resolve to put the cell phone down!
  2. Speeding- Simply put speed kills, it is a contributing factor in thirty-percent of all traffic fatalities. We all speed from time to time, but try to become more aware of your behavior. Slow down.
  3. Drinking and driving- everyone knows the dire consequences of this habit. It’s a horrible practice!
  4. Tailgating- This is one of the most dangerous habits you can develop. Being impatient with a slow driver in front of you just creates tensions which can lead to vindictive actions like brake checking and accidents. Remember the two-second rule: A driver should ideally stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle that is directly in front of the driver’s vehicle.
  5. Failing to Buckle Up- It’s your responsibility as the driver to ensure that your passengers as well as you are safely buckled in. Make sure that child seats are properly installed and are used correctly.
  6. Drowsy or Tired driving- Not getting enough sleep and/or burning the candle at both ends may cause you to drive drowsy. If you find yourself too tired or sleepy don’t drive, pull over and rest. Fresh air and stretching your legs can help or grab some coffee.
  7. Cutting other cars off-Not only do other drivers detest this practice, you could be putting yourself in a very precarious position. Cutting others off can easily cause you to either be hit from behind or slam into a stopping vehicle in front of you.
  8. Ignoring Traffic Signs- Failing to yield or running stop signs are no-no’s. Those signs are there for a reason! Cars, pedestrians and police have a way of appearing out of nowhere.
  9. Improperly merging- People, it is not hard! Learn how to merge. Don’t be that person who impedes the flow of traffic or the impatient one who zooms past others!
  10. Blind spots- Using your mirrors when changing lanes of course is necessary, but don’t trust them completely. In addition to checking the appropriate mirror glance over your shoulder to confirm the coast is clear.
  11. Accelerating at yellow lights- This habit can lead to a major collision. Slow down at traffic lights, and if you have room to stop, do so. It isn’t worth the risk of a couple minutes saved.
  12. Failing to maintain proper tire pressure- Ignoring checking your tire pressure can cause major problems or accidents. Taking the time to make sure your tires are filled to the appropriate PSI levels and replacing worn tires can prevent a blowout and a possible accident.
  13. Eating while driving- Just say “No” to the burger. In our fast paced lives we often eat on the run, but this still constitutes distracted driving.
  14. Failure to use turn signals- Although a very simple thing, using your turn signals when changing lanes as well as at turns can help you avoid accidents. Other drivers are not mind readers!
  15. Being distracted by others in the car- Whether it is your children, a pet or others passengers, keep your focus on the road and off of distractions. Save the discipline, arguments or attention for another time.

As you think on these bad driving practices, consider a resolution in the New Year to correct them. A few simple changes could save a life.

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Specialty Paint And Body!