Safe driving protects your life and the lives of everyone else on the road. This is especially true in a state like Michigan, where weather can make driving more dangerous. The following guidelines can help keep you safe.
- Always wear your seatbelt. It’s the law for the driver and all passengers.
- Keep your eyes on the road. Vehicles travel at a high rate of speed and circumstances on the road can rapidly change; therefore, looking away even for a second could be the difference between causing a crash and avoiding one.
- Turn off your phone. In Michigan, it is illegal to read or write text messages while driving. Avoid the civil infraction and a possible crash by shutting off your phone before you get in the car.
- Turn down your music. If the volume is too high, you will not be able to hear sirens from emergency vehicles or honking from other drivers. These auditory cues are meant to keep you safe. Make sure you can hear them.
- Do not multitask. Driving is the only thing you should be doing when you are behind the wheel. Otherwise you are taking your attention off the road, signs, other drivers, pedestrians and stoplights. That puts you and everybody around you at risk. (This means no applying makeup, no eating food, etc., while operating a vehicle.)
- Never drink and drive. Never operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol – it’s against the law. Both can impair your judgment, which could have deadly consequences for you, your passengers, other drivers and even pedestrians. It is never worth the risk.
In addition to following the year-round guidelines, when driving in the winter, you should:
- Brush or scrape away all ice and snow. Not just from your windows, but also your lights. Be sure also to remove any snow from the roof or hood of your car. It’s the law.
- Drive with your headlights on. This will make it easier for other drivers to see you in bad weather.
- Drive for the conditions. That means, if necessary, driving slower than the posted speed limits. (Remember that speed limits are intended for dry pavement.)
- Brake early. You may need more time and distance to stop.
- Increase the distance between you and other drivers. Like braking early, this reduces the chance of a crash by giving you more time to stop.
- Avoid slamming your brakes. This is true even if you have anti-lock brakes as your car may slide.
- Remember that bridges freeze before roads. Watch for ice when driving over them.
- Always check the weather before you start driving. If you feel uncomfortable driving in the forecasted conditions, seek out an alternative method of transportation.
The Logistics, Transportation & Parking Department at the University of Michigan has all the information you may need regarding parking on campus, including information about parking for students, faculty, staff, retirees, medical patients and visitors, along with information regarding parking violations, payments and appeals. You can find specific links and parking safety information below.
For more information about parking on campus, please click one of the following links:
Parking lots and structures can feel scary, especially at night or when you are walking to your vehicle alone. The following tips can help mitigate the risks:
- Only park in lots or structures that are well-lit. If parking on the street, the same rule applies. Look for streets with ample lighting.
- Get your keys out before you reach your vehicle. That way you do not have to stand there searching your purse, your pockets, your bag; instead you can immediately get into your car.
- Lock your doors and turn on your headlights. These should be the first things you do after entering your vehicle.
- Report suspicious activity. If you ever feel unsafe on campus, contact DPSS at (734) 763-1131. If it is an emergency, dial 911.