Two Common Car Rules You Should Definitely Break

Houston traffic is legendary. Braving the roads on a daily basis will force you to learn more about safety and car care. Otherwise, you might find yourself looking for a Houston car crash attorney. While you’re searching for useful information, these tips can help. These are two commonly held beliefs that are actually bad for driving.

Never Drink and Drive

No, we’re not saying that it is ok to imbibe alcohol while driving. That’s among the most dangerous things you can do. But, modern safety tips have gone so far as to say you should never eat or drink anything in the car for fear of distracting you from the road. Avoiding distraction is important, but on a long trip, avoiding drinks is actually more dangerous. Dehydration is common when travelling, and it can cause fatigue and slow reaction times. Additionally, the act of drinking stimulates the senses and break up the monotony of a long drive. As long as the drink is easily accessible and doesn’t require you to pull your eyes from the road, it’s perfectly safe.

When choosing your beverage, keep a few things in mind. Caffeine in small doses is fine, but if you’re counting on it to keep yourself awake, you’re really just postponing fatigue. Caffeine crashes are a real thing. Also, warm beverages in cold weather and cold beverages in warm weather help your body fight those adverse temperatures, and they can save energy and prevent drowsiness. Most importantly, many drivers avoid staying hydrated to take fewer bathroom breaks during the trip. While it may seem annoying, those breaks force you to walk around and promote general alertness, so they’re good for safe driving.

Use Better Fuel

This is a myth that has somehow survived for decades. Many drivers believe that higher octane ratings and fuel additives can improve gas mileage and make cars last longer. The truth is that octane ratings are simply telling you how much compression the fuel can withstand before it ignites. Most vehicles are optimized to use fuels between 85 and 88 octane ratings. Some premium engines are optimized around 91 octane, but it’s pretty uncommon. Unless your owner’s manual recommends a high octane, buying the premium gas doesn’t just waste money; it also decreases your engine’s efficiency.

As for additives, they claim to clean the fuel. The idea is that this reduces emissions and prevents residues from building up on parts like fuel injectors. While that was fairly true in the days of leaded gasoline, current regulations already force gas at the pump to include certain detergents. These serve the purpose of mitigating those emissions, and the byproduct is that the gas is cleaner and produces less buildup. Because of this, additional additives are at best going to get you diminishing returns, and they’re mostly a waste of money.



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