Car wrecks happen way too often. But you can commit to trying to increase your safety by taking mindful steps both on and off the road.

Whether you’ve been involved in a car crash before, have had far too many near-accident experiences or just hope to prevent one in the future, there are several ways you can prepare. You can do this by keeping your car healthy and understanding how your own health or habits impact your skills and alertness behind the wheel.

Receive regular service

If you value your life, then you will make sure your car’s maintenance is always up to date. Having your tire pressure checked frequently can help you avoid a dangerous tire blowout. And not procrastinating on fixing your brakes or following up with a recall on one of your car’s functions is also important. Even running out of gas while in the middle of the freeway can be unsafe. This is because there isn’t always a sizable shoulder to park on and move away from traffic when you have car troubles.

Don’t drive while distracted or impaired

In addition to never taking the wheel after too many alcoholic beverages, you should know that there are other forms of impaired driving that you should steer clear from. Specifically, there are both recreational and prescription drugs that can impact your ability to stay in your lane and make sound judgements. Check with your doctor if you feel like a medication you are taking makes you feel drowsy or foggy, because this side effect or general sleepiness has no place behind the wheel. In fact, research shows that drivers who have missed out on sleep during a 20-hour period may drive as recklessly as someone who has had the legal limit of alcohol.

It’s also worth noting that multitasking behind the wheel may drive you closer to an accident too. Doing anything that takes your attention away from the road can be risky when you are travelling at a fast pace. This might include texting, talking, navigating your route or even eating a meal or snack.

Be a defensive driver

Making the act of driving your one and only priority once you put your keys in the ignition can help you be more aware of everything and everyone you drive past. Being in tune with your surroundings allows you more opportunity to prepare for the worst. This is because you might notice you are approaching what appears to be an accident scene or that someone weaving between lanes is getting awfully close before colliding with them.

Taking thoughtful measures may just save your life one day.