When you hear the term “severe driver,” what images come to mind? You may envision a driver speeding down the highway, recklessly veering in and out of traffic. However, that’s not how the Care Care Council defines it. According to this well-respected nonprofit industry group, severe driving refers to the conditions you drive in, not your driving style. In other words, even if you are a careful, safe driver who abides by all traffic rules, odds are good that you fit into the severe driver category.
Characteristics of a Normal Driver versus a Severe Driver
When you consider the following criteria for what constitutes a severe driver, you may wonder if there are any “normal” drivers on the road these days. According to the Car Care Council, severe drivers:
- Often drive in stop-and-go traffic
- Tend to have shorter commutes
- Carry more weight in their vehicles (due to towing a trailer, hauling cargo or carrying multiple passengers)
- Travel on rough, hilly roads and through salty, dusty environments
- Drive in extreme heat or cold
The reason why most motorists today are classified as severe drivers is that they can’t avoid that distinction due to their lifestyles and the locations where they live. But severe driving is not synonymous with reckless driving. From stay-at-home moms to busy working professionals, the vast majority of drivers who read this checklist of severe-driving habits will probably conclude they fit this definition.
Steps Severe Drivers Can Take to Reduce Vehicle Wear and Tear
Fortunately, once you determine you’re a severe driver there are steps you can take to prevent your driving habits from taking a toll on your vehicle. The Car Care Council recommends the following actions to increase the longevity of your vehicle and boost its fuel efficiency:
- Become familiar with your owner’s manual. Most manuals include a “severe” service schedule. Follow those recommendations.
- Have your oil replaced every 3,000 miles. Even if there appears to be a sufficient quantity of oil in your vehicle, the quality drops off after 3,000 miles because the additives that protect the engine become depleted.
- Have your oil filters, brakes, and shock absorbers inspected frequently.
- Don’t exceed the posted speed limit.
- Avoid aggressive-driving patterns such as sudden stops and starts.
- Remove unnecessary weight from your vehicle. The more weight you are carrying, the lower your fuel efficiency will be.
- Take your car to a reputable service center for regular tune-ups
The More You Know, the Better Prepared You’ll Be
If you, like most drivers, fit into the severe driver category, regular preventive maintenance and vehicle checkups are more important than ever. If it has been a while since you’ve had your vehicle serviced, contact us at Swedish Motors. We’ll make sure your car is road-ready for even the most severe driving conditions. Not only will regular maintenance increase fuel efficiency and handling, it also allows our skilled technicians to detect potential problems before they arise.