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Be careful and be alive.

1. Avoid following too closely. Try this test: When the car ahead passes a landmark, slowly count, "one one-thousand, two two-thousand." You're too close if you pass the landmark before you stop counting.

2. Wear seat belts. Wear seat belts. Wear seat belts. Unless you prefer your face ramming into the windshield or steering wheel if you crash.

3. If you'll drink and be on the road, carpool with a designated driver who'll remain sober.

4. Lock all car doors when you drive. This may keep you or passengers from being thrown from the car in a crash.

5. Turn on your headlights at dusk. Other drivers can see you better, even though headlights may not help you see in the dusk.

6. When the light turns green, look both ways before entering the intersection. Another car may run the red light.

7. Slow down when you see pedestrians by the curb, even when you're away from the intersection. A pedestrian may try to bolt across the street ahead of your car.

8. Squeeze your brakes gently when stopping on slippery roads. Jamming your brakes may cause you to skid or spin out.

9. If you skid, turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the car to go. Straighten the wheel when the car begins returning to a straight path.

10. Stop at a yellow light instead of gunning through the intersection. A yellow light is intended to warn drivers of a red light before they enter an intersection.

11. Use your low beams when driving in fog or snow. High beams reflect light off the fog and snow, and back into your eyes.

12. Sit up straight instead of hunching if you're having trouble seeing in fog or rain. Hunching forces you to look more at the hood instead of down the road for oncoming cars.

13. When you leave a lighted building, wait a few minutes to let your eyes adjust to the dark before driving.

14. Wipe off your headlights often. A dirty film quickly builds on the lenses, which can lower the lighting efficiency of your headlights.

15. Avoid passing in the fog or on a bend. If someone tries to pass you, slow down so they can pass more easily. These driving safety tips courtesy of your professional insurance agent.

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