SUVs are built to survive punishing roads, reckless drivers, and family road trips. Therefore, you should do everything you can to keep your SUV safe. That way it can withstand the biggest challenge: time itself! Below is a guide to keeping your sport utility vehicle as safe as possible, without locking it in your garage for the rest of eternity.

Be wary of road conditions

You don’t want to be caught off guard when you encounter strange and unusual road conditions. Whether it’s ice on a bridge or construction detours, always be cautious of the roads you drive on. Also, never underestimate the relentless, destructive power of a single pot hole.

Check your brakes

Brakes are – arguably – one of the most important features of an SUV. They can prevent you from driving through your garage or plunging off the side of a cliff. Routinely check your brakes and replace them if they’re bad. Knowing your SUV is safe will give your conscious a much-needed break.

Know the weather forecast

You don’t need to be a meteorologist to drive your SUV. But, it couldn’t hurt! Checking the forecast for storms, snow, acid rain, or fog, before you leave your home can mentally prepare you to drive in extreme weather conditions. The last thing you want is to be caught outside in acid rain without an umbrella!

Keep a spare tire

Always keep a spare tire in your SUV. In the instance you blow out a tire on the road, you will always have a back-up to keep you from being stranded. Also, something you should add to your repertoire: learn how to change a tire!

Lock your SUV

Locking your SUV is a quick and simple way to ensure its safety when parked. Just like your front door, keeping it locked-up will keep people locked-out. It’s hard to steal an SUV from the outside.

Use a turn signal

You may know this from acing your online traffic school course, but using turn signals is the best means of communication with fellow drivers. However, turn signals often are the car’s most underutilized feature. They’re the most important way two drivers can communicate – outside of giving each other the middle finger.

Don’t Rage

While driving, never let yourself fall into a fury that makes Mad Max jealous. Staying cool behind the wheel is just as important to your SUV’s safety as it is to other’s safety. It could feel cathartic to rear-end the person who just cut you off, but the ones that suffer will be your SUV and your driving record.

Know where you’re going

Always know where you’re going. You can drive the same route to work every day or map your road trip in advance with a GPS. When you know where you’re going, you will have a better idea of what to expect. This is also helpful advice for living your life.

Headlights and brake lights are important

Double check those headlights and brake lights with a friend before long road trips. Broken lights make it difficult for other drivers to see you. More importantly, it’s a reason to get pulled over by the police. Driving without lights isn’t a bright decision.

Keep an emergency kit

First aid kit, flashlight, road flares, blanket, and a gallon of water is a recommendation of what to include in your emergency kit. Being prepared for the worst is always the smart decision. Accidents are unpredictable and can happen anytime and anywhere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for them.