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Here are some handy driving tips

The following is very important: the way you drive your vehicle impacts the health of your tires and, well, your vehicle. Tire and vehicle maintenance are undoubtedly important, but you also need to be aware of how you drive.

This article offers ten driving tips that will help extend the life of your tires and your vehicle.

Driving Tip #1: Avoid Potholes

Avoiding potholes will do wonders for your vehicle. Potholes can damage your tires, wheels, your vehicle’s suspension and steering. So, remember: avoid potholes altogether or slowly drive through them if you must.

Driving Tip #2: Watch Where You’re Going

Sure, this one sounds obvious, but it’s essential to stay alert when behind the wheel. That means looking down the road, looking both ways, watching out for pedestrians and objects, and, most importantly, staying off your phone. Distracted driving is a leading cause for accidents.

Driving Tip #3: Slow Down for Train Tracks

Crossing train tracks too fast can be problematic. They’re bumpy and can be uneven with the pavement, creating even more impact on your tires, wheels, suspension and steering. Our advice? Slow down when crossing train tracks and remember to look both ways.

Driving Tip #4: Don’t Follow Too Close to Trucks

Getting stuck behind a truck is inevitable. But that doesn’t mean you have to get frustrated and start tailgating. Truck drivers have limited visibility, so they might not even know you’re there. The best thing to do is make sure you can see the rearview mirrors on the tractor cab. This helps make sure the truck driver can see you. Also, staying back from trucks will significantly reduce the chance of rocks or other debris hitting your car. Bonus!

Driving Tip #5: Take It Easy at First

Your vehicle’s engine needs time to warm up. You don’t have to idle for long when you start up your car, truck or SUV. Just take it easy for the first few miles while your engine reaches its optimal temperature. Doing so will save wear and tear on your engine as well as preserve fuel.

Driving Tip #6: Smooth Is Better

Like many situations in life, keeping it smooth behind the wheel is best. Driving at a smooth and steady pace will help with your vehicle's stability and the durability of its parts. Try braking sooner and more gradually than usual to prevent abruptly stopping or skidding. The same thing applies to changing lanes and merging into traffic and always use your turn signals.

Driving Tip #7: Go Easy on the Gas

Contrary to popular belief, your engine does not need to be “wound up” or “pushed” sometimes. Hitting the gas too hard will spin/burnout your tires, leaving a black scuff on the pavement. That scuff means you just shortened the tread life of your tires. Always be sure to maintain a steady pace as you drive.

Driving Tip #8: Come to a Full Stop Before Reversing

Early transmission failure can happen if you throw your car into reverse before it comes to a full stop. So, take your time. Shifting a vehicle with an automatic transmission before a full stop can also hurt your transmission because it takes the brunt of the momentum while shifting. The same thing goes when you put your vehicle in park.

Driving Tip #9: Steer While Moving

Whenever possible, try to steer only when the car is moving. Turning the wheel while standing still puts severe stress on the whole steering system because it has to fight the tire, ground friction, and your vehicle's entire weight. Even when parallel parking, make sure your vehicle is rolling slightly before you begin turning the wheel. Doing so will help prevent strain on the steering rack and components, a significant cause for steering rack failure.

Driving Tip #10: Plan Your Trips

Try to be as efficient as possible when planning your drives. Planning your errands ahead and organizing your trips will not only save you time but will also improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. On longer trips try to plan the most direct route to your destination and avoid construction zones when possible.