Secure all loose items in your car, including pets. If a vehicle is traveling at 55 mph and comes to an abrupt stop, anything loose will continue at the same speed inside the vehicle, becoming a dangerous projectile.
Steer clear of flooded roads and intersections. You can lose control of your vehicle in several inches of water, and your vehicle can be swept away in less than a foot of water. Flash floods often cause fatalities when motorists try to drive on flooded sections of roads. If you can't see the markings on the road, don't drive through the water.
Always wear a seat belt. It’s the law. Seat belts save lives and reduce injuries. Airbags are designed to work with your seat belt. Otherwise, the airbag could hit your chest with the force of a baseball bat.
Prevent neck injuries. Set your vehicle’s head restraints too. Set them as high as the top of the ears and as close to the head as possible.
Do not drive drowsy. Prepare yourself to drive on the road. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep for two consecutive nights before a trip. You should take a break every two hours or 100 miles to help stay alert.
Watch out for drunk drivers. Look for drivers who straddle the center line, make wide turns, drift in and out of lanes, are driving too slow or too fast, run red lights or drive at night without headlights.
Be hands-free. Avoid distractions by utilizing technology built into the vehicle or purchase an inexpensive phone cradle. Let another passenger serve as a co-pilot and help navigate the roads. As of December 2019, North Carolina law prohibits the use of cell phones for those under the age of 18 and if operating a school bus and to text while driving.
Don't rubberneck. "Rubbernecking" is slowly driving by an accident and looking/staring at it. Drive by an accident scene at a safe speed and keep your eyes on the road – not the accident.