Auto safety begins with proper maintenance. Be sure to get regular oil changes at your Chippewa Valley dealer, or a full-service shop that will also check and top up all fluids. At the same time, have your tires rotated, and your spare tire checked for damage. Between maintenance checkups, if your check engine light happens to come on, don’t ignore it! Bring your car to your trusted mechanic.
- Follow the traffic laws. Wisconsin traffic laws can be found here. One important law to follow is to restrain all passengers. Children under 12 should be in the back seat, and child safety seats should be used as required. Pets should also be restrained while driving, whether in a carrier or a specialized pet seat belt.
- Don’t drive when you are tired. If you start thinking it would be logical and safe to close your eyes for the count of 2, or 3, or anything, pull over, and rest before continuing. If you have taken medication that says “Don’t operate heavy machinery,” do not drive a vehicle.
- Try not to drive in bad weather. If you absolutely must, leave in plenty of spare time, and drive as slow as you need to in order to feel safe. If a sudden burst of even WORSE weather comes up, pull over and wait it out, leaving your lights on so other drivers can see you.
- Be careful when changing lanes. Look in the rearview mirror, side mirror, and blind spot, while signaling that you are going to change lanes. If a driver rudely speeds up to close your spot, allow them to pass before changing lanes. Never act on road rage—your own or someone else’s.
- Obey the speed limit, unless the traffic around you is driving significantly faster. It can be safer to go 5 mph over the speed limit than to drive too slow.
In Case of Accident
If, despite all your best efforts, you get into an accident, think safety first. Be very careful where you meet the other driver. Keep your temper. Exchange insurance information and take as many pictures as you can. If there are injuries, call 911 immediately. Your next call (or first call if no injuries) needs to be to your Baldwin Woodville agent. Your agent will tell you exactly what to do, and help you through the entire process of dealing with the results of the accident, no matter who was at fault.