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Gems of Consumer Wisdom
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  Safe Driving  

Traffic Safety Checklist
Here's what the CFA learned from its crusade to improve automotive safety through devices such as LiveDrive:
1. Drive clear-headed. 15% of habitual drunk drivers eventually die in a traffic accident; many more end up in jail.
2. Drive cool-headed. Two-thirds of fatal accidents involve risky driving maneuvers that are often done in an impulsive or negatively emotional state of mind.
3. Eyes on the road. About half of all auto accidents involve distracted drivers.  Don't fiddle with anything else while driving:  if you let this slide, eventually something will distract you enough to kill or maim you.
4. Buckle up. It halves your chance of death or serious injury.
5. Beware of the Dark Side. At night you are three times as likely to get into an accident.
6. Know your limits. Driver fatigue or drowsiness is a factor in about 25% of accidents.  If you're tired, don't take a chance:  pull over and rest.
7. Youth needs guidance. 16-year-old drivers are 45 times more accident-prone than mature adults.  18-year-olds are still 15 times more likely to get into an accident.
8. Navigate intersections carefully. In urban areas, 65% of accidents occur at intersections.
9. Keep looking ahead. Don't just concentrate on the car in front of you, watch the traffic in front of that car too.  This improves your chance of seeing a problem soon enough to save you from an accident.
10. Maintain a safe distance. Don't tailgate, and try to stay three seconds behind other cars to allow enough room to stop.  Get away from any cars that appear to be driven unsteadily.  Be aware when passing cars that their drivers might change lanes without looking back.
11. Avoid the "fast lane." Most fatal crashes occur at higher than average speeds.  The left lane of highways is where most highway accidents occur, and staying off it will give you more ways to escape danger if you encounter a problem ahead of you.  And remember, you're more likely to be noticed by police patrols in the "fast lane."
12. Maintain your car well. Follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule to ensure that your car doesn't break down.  Inflate your tires to the correct pressure once every few months.  This will help prevent a tire blowout or a rollover accident, and it can also improve gas mileage dramatically.
(For more tips covering safety equipment and adverse weather, see

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