SUV Driving Safety Tips

Posted Posted by AAMCO Colorado in Colorado Automotive Advice, Total Car Care, Transmission     Comments No comments

SUV drivers may feel secure in their larger vehicles, but without proper SUV driving etiquette they may be putting themselves and others in danger.

12 percent of all vehicles on U.S. roads today are SUV’s, the SUV has become the poster-child for everything unsafe on the nation’s highways. From blowouts and rollovers to vision blockers and small-car crushers. Even as manufacturers strive to improve safety ratings, experts say, some simple steps can make SUV drivers and passengers much safer.

SUV problems are not limited to the hardware. Operator error also plays a significant role.

Some SUV drivers believe they can ignore common rules of caution because they’re protected by a bigger vehicle. What they seem to forget is that SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks have different handling characteristics and overconfidence on the part of drivers can lead to consequences.

Some would go as far as to say that SUVs are safer than cars. But the grim stats from crash studies indicate otherwise. When you compare SUVs with vehicles of a similar weight, SUVs tend to be less safe than cars.

Here are 10 safety tips for SUV drivers:

  • Learn to drive it. Just because your state allows you to drive SUVs without added training doesn’t mean you’re qualified. Practice driving in an empty parking lot or other open space under different conditions to get used to the brakes, steering and overall handling.
  • Avoid sudden or sharp steering changes. Recognize an SUV is not designed to make fast, sharp turns, and it handles differently than a low-slung sports car or the family sedan.
  • Consider other drivers. While your driver’s position may have been improved, allowing you to see farther ahead, drivers behind and alongside you can see much less. Drivers behind you cannot see ‘through’ your windshield. They are driving blind to a certain extent and have much less warning that you’re going to stop, making you more likely to be hit in the rear. Be aware of all the vehicles around you in traffic, especially the smaller ones.
  • Recognize visual limitations. Many SUVs are equipped with dark-tinted windows, making it difficult for an SUV driver to know what’s traveling alongside or behind. Check your SUV’s mirrors to make sure they minimize your blind spots on either side. Because of the SUV’s width, the mirrors may require a more outward adjustment. The adjustment may also help to spot smaller vehicles more readily.
  • Brake better. SUVs often require greater braking distance than automobiles, especially in bad weather. Choose a vehicle with anti-lock brakes and use them properly. Maintain firm and constant pressure on the brake pedal, not the ‘pumping’ technique for older vehicles. If your breaks are making grinding, squealing, or other noises, contact your local AAMCO for immediate service.
  • Buckle up. It’s clear that with the rollover issue, SUV drivers should be especially careful to wear seatbelts.
  • Slow down. Most people, not just those who own SUVS, drive too fast. Drive defensively. It gives you more time to react in an emergency.
  • Avoid overloads. Remember that cargo or even passengers further raise the center of gravity, so slow down even more when the vehicle is full.
  • Don’t carry too much weight. Overloading also causes wear and tear to brakes, and can overheat tires, increasing the risk of a blowout.
  • Maintain regularly. Have the vehicle serviced periodically by your local AAMCO, we will pay close attention to your tires and tire pressure. Under-inflated tires can contribute to blowouts.


Schedule an appointment at your local AAMCO Colorado location today.

  • *Please note that we do our best to serve each and every customer. Appointments booked less than 24-36 hours in advance might not be available. A manager will contact you directly.

AAMCO Denver

187 W. Alameda Ave. | Denver, CO, 80223

AAMCO Colorado Springs

432 W. Garden of the Gods Rd. | Colorado Springs, CO, 80907

AAMCO Brighton

10500 Havana Ct. Unit A | Brighton, CO, 80601

Call: (303) 287-5181
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 8:00am - 5:00pm

When you bring your car to AAMCO of Brighton, Colorado you'll see firsthand how much we care about giving you the best service possible for all your transmission and auto repair needs. We offer a full range of automotive maintenance and repair services, including transmission rebuilds, oil and filter changes, air conditioning repair, engine cooling system and radiator service, brake repairs and service, fluid service, suspensions, tune-ups, exhaust systems, and more.

AAMCO Aurora (Hampden & Tower)

18355-A E. Girard Avenue | Aurora, CO, 80013

AAMCO Aurora, E Colfax Ave

14871 E Colfax Avenue | Aurora, CO, 80011

AAMCO Arvada

6437 Miller Street | Arvada, Colorado, 80004

Call: (303) 431-1991

AAMCO Littleton

10168 W. Chatfield Ave. | Littleton, CO, 80127

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AAMCO Pueblo

1910 W US Hwy 50 | Pueblo, Colorado, 81008

AAMCO Northglenn

11450 Huron Street | Northglenn, Colorado, 80234

AAMCO Longmont

1611 Vista View Dr | Longmont, Colorado, 80504

AAMCO Greeley

2445 West 29th St. | Greeley, Colorado, 80631

AAMCO Lakewood

8808 W Colfax Avenue | Lakewood, Colorado, 80215

AAMCO Fort Collins

3737 S. Mason Street | Ft. Collins, Colorado, 80525

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