You probably think about how to stay safe behind the wheel all the time, but have you ever considered how you can prevent safety issues before you even get in the car? Taking preventative measures can help stop accidents before they happen. Here are a few things you can do to stay safe before you drive.

Keep your car well maintained.

Many car safety issues happen because the car’s routine maintenance checks have been neglected. You should be changing the oil in your car regularly; many cars nowadays will even alert you when your oil levels get low. If your car doesn’t tell you when to change the oil, check your manual for the recommended interval, which is usually at least every 7,000 miles. You should also check regularly to make sure that all of your car parts are functioning properly, especially the wheels, engine, lights, horn, and mirrors, and seatbelts. Having any one of these items not functioning properly can seriously increase your chances of getting into an accident.

Install a car alarm.

Car alarms can help to prevent a number of things from happening to your vehicle. Most importantly, they will deter potential thieves from trying to break into or steal your car, but it can also help to protect against vandals who want to do damage to your car. There are car alarm systems available for a variety of budgets, so you can stay safe no matter how much money you make. You can also hire someone to help you install one if you are intimidated by the installation process.

Plan ahead.

Before you start driving, plan exactly what route you are going to take so you don’t get lost. Take some time to look at a map if you need to. You should also give yourself more time than you need to get to your destination – you are much less likely to get into an accident if you aren’t speeding, and that way if you encounter obstacles like road construction, you can still get to your destination on time.

Check the weather forecast.

Knowing if it is supposed to rain or snow before you leave the house can help you be prepared. Make sure you give yourself extra time to get to your destination if there is inclement weather forecasted. If you live in an area where it snows, rains, or hails often, learn how to deal with those situations when you are on the road. You should also make sure that you have chains on your car if you drive in ice often.

Keep an emergency kit in the car.

You never know when an emergency is going to happen, so it’s best to be prepared. Keep a kit in your car with a flashlight, first aid kit, blanket, comprehensive road atlas, batteries (both normal batteries and an extra phone battery), extra water, and winter items like boots and a thick jacket. You never know when these items may come in handy!