NASCAR Driver Jimmie Johnson Offers Driving Tips for Anyone
News NASCAR superstar Jimmie Johnson explains how you can be an expert driver — even if it's not on the track.
How have you seen vehicle technology evolve since you first started your career at NASCAR?
I think that smart technology in all vehicles doesn’t matter if its race or street is very impressive. That technology has led to more efficient vehicles, safer vehicles, more driver awareness and better driver safety. I don’t see that changing. I see it continuing to evolve.
What steps do you take to properly maintain your own vehicle?
Do a visual inspection on tires and make sure they're inflated. If you see any drips or leaks, you obviously have something going on with the transmission or rear end or engine. Pay attention to the dash, especially if any warning lights go on.
Where do you see the future of mobility and transportation going into the next decade?
It’s moving quickly and certainly the driverless car and driverless transportation seem to be the hot topic. I just hope it doesn’t work into driverless race cars.
How do you see the electrification of vehicles affecting the future of mobility as well?
Electrification is massive. Formula One is using it in their race cars. I own an electric car and enjoy driving it. It's an affordable, renewable energy, and the technology seems like a very logical thing to pursue. I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.
What's one crucial auto care tip that you can provide to readers?
Awareness. We take for granted what our vehicles are actually doing. Be aware of what surrounds you and of your vehicle when you climb into it — the creeks and noises or sensations that you might feel. That stuff is all telling you something.
What steps can drivers take to ensure their own safety?
We are so busy and trying to multitask nowadays. I think from a safety standpoint, it's about committing to driving from point A to point B — being in control of your car and your surroundings and putting down the phone. Focus on your windshield and on your mirrors.
How do you transition from being a race car driver to a safe driver on the road?
The worlds are so different. I don’t find myself being very aggressive on public roads. I certainly have that outlet to race the car and satisfy that aspect of my life. I’ve also been in some very serious racing crashes. But I know what my vehicle is designed to do, and I know we have restraint systems to protect us, from helmets to walls that contain the vehicles in a crash. I’m generally a pretty respectful safe driver on the streets. I do know that my wife thinks I do drive a little close to other cars but I’m so used to hitting those tight environments.