Good drivers obey the rules of the road. Smart drivers do too, but they also pick up behaviors along the way that can help improve the performance of their vehicles. Instead of learning through trial and error, enroll in OnStar Smart Driver service1 to discover new ways to drive smart and save.
This real-time analysis gives you a clear picture of your driving patterns and offers tips for improvement. Your personalized report shows you how often you hit the brakes too hard, if you tend to accelerate too quickly, had high-speed occurrences, and more. You can even use your driving information to anonymously check for insurance discounts with participating carriers. It’s risk-free and full of potential rewards.
But you can take steps starting today to help you become a more aware and efficient driver. We’ve listed 10 driving tips below that you can master in no time.
1: Stash away distractions 1 / 10
Being preoccupied with eating, music playlists or talking on the phone is a dangerous way to drive. If you can’t give the road ahead your undivided attention, make a pit stop or ride as the passenger. Stashing your phone in the glove box is a good way to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road at all times.
2: Coast 2 / 10
Instead of accelerating up to a red light, take your foot off the gas and coast for a few seconds before braking. This simple action can help prolong the life of your brake pads and improve gas mileage. Your real-time OnStar Smart Driver report details how often you “hard brake” and what you can do to eliminate the behavior.
3: Utilize daylight 3 / 10
Driving in the dark is a top cause of car crashes due to limited visibility and drowsy drivers. Your OnStar Smart Driver report can show you what percentage of your trips are between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. to make you aware of how often you travel at potentially dangerous hours.
4: Go gradually 4 / 10
Stretching before a run gets your muscles warmed up and reduces strain. The same theory is true for your vehicle’s engine. If the temperature gauge is resting on cool, lubricants may have drained to the bottom of the engine. Avoid hitting the gas pedal too quickly to protect your engine. Hard accelerating events are detailed on your OnStar Smart Driver report, showing you the number of instances and where they took place.
5: Eliminate the idle 5 / 10
When you’re in park, turn the engine off. Idling takes a serious toll on your gas mileage. Your custom OnStar Smart Driver report can give you additional ways to improve your gas mileage based on your personal driving habits.
6: Keep hands on the outside of the wheel 6 / 10
Do you place your hand on the inside of the steering wheel as you turn? Consider this: If you got in a crash with your hand in that position the airbags could cause your fist to hit your face at 100–200 mph.2 Ouch. Keep your hands at the recommended 9 and 3 o’clock position.
7: Try usage-based insurance 7 / 10
Insurance carriers are starting to offer discounts to drivers based on the way they actually drive. OnStar Smart Driver has an optional feature that lets you anonymously check whether you qualify for a discount based on your driving. It's a great chance to explore savings while keeping your identity completely secret from insurance carriers.
8: Always look right 8 / 10
When making a right-hand turn, many people only look left. But if you’re turning right onto a two-lane road, you should also look right and make sure a car is not using your lane to pass. This extra second could help avoid a head-on collision.
9: Slow it down 9 / 10
There are many complicated algorithms that all find one simple truth: Speeding doesn’t save significant time. But it can eat up your MPG and increase your hard-braking instances. The OnStar Smart Driver report shows you what percentage of your drive time is spent above 80mph and includes tips for taking it a little slower.
10: Check the weather 10 / 10
Poor driving conditions can clog up the roadways and make for a more dangerous trip. Before you leave, check the forecast and see if inclement weather is headed your way. Leaving a bit earlier or later could make a big difference.