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Make these New Year's safety resolutions in 2016

January 4, 2016
Be sure to think about personal safety when making your New Year's resolutions.

Every January, as the end of the year holiday frenzy dies down and we celebrate a new year, many of us will start to think about how we can improve ourselves and our lives. New Year's resolutions are one of our most time-honored traditions, though they can often be difficult to bring to fruition.

While you may spend the early days of 2016 resolving to eat better or exercise more, you should also give some thought to your personal safety. Making the resolution to follow a few key safety goals, both at home and on to go, can make for a more secure and happier 2016 for you and your family.

Car safety

Start your safety resolutions by thinking about your road behavior. Taking the initiative to practice better automobile safety in the new year can ensure safer travels for you and your passengers and even lower your auto insurance rates.

"Start by taking the pledge to avoid the fast lane.”

You can start by taking the pledge to avoid the fast lane. Sticking to the right hand lane and adhering to the speed limit can help reduce the risk of accidents and speeding tickets. Lowering the rate of speed at which you're traveling can help to reduce the severity of accidents if they do occur.

As the DMV recommends, you can also make a resolution to increase your defensive driving. Defensive driving includes avoiding distractions, such as mobile phones and text messaging, keeping your hands firmly on the wheel and never driving if you're drowsy or sleepy. It's also worth noting, some insurance providers offer discounted rates for drivers who take defensive driving courses.

Another safety practice you can take on in 2016 is courteous driving. On-the-road courtesy includes allowing other motorists to merge into traffic and not following too closely behind other cars. In fact, trailing other vehicles without maintaining proper distance is one of the most frequent causes of accidents, the DMV reports. Practicing courteous behavior can make your car ride less stressful and help avoid unnecessary fender benders.

Home safety

Being a homeowner means staying on top of your home maintenance. If you slacked off on home repairs in 2015, use the new year as an excuse to get caught up on critical home safety items, such as inspecting your roof, having your heating and cooling system serviced or replacing any aging appliances like older water heaters.

Another key factor in protecting your home is understanding your insurance policy. If you haven't already become an expert in your own home insurance coverage, make this the year to start. Know your policy in and out, including what is and isn't covered.

As the Insurance Information Institute advised, you may discover your home isn't covered for certain natural disasters. Adding premiums that cover events such as floods before they occur will help you and your family recover quickly if something does happen. Shopping around and comparing insurance rates as you evaluate your policy can also help to save you money.