If you commute car safety is very important. You have more chance of getting into a car accident than dying of lung cancer, or being attacked. The accident may be a fender bender or it may be major, either way there are things you can do that will increase your chances of walking away whole. To begin with let's look at aspects of the car:
Getting the oil changed regularly is one of the cheapest things you can do to help ensure your car continues to run properly. Keep the gas tank more than half full, especially if you live remote, commute in heavy traffic or live in an area with inclement weather. It can be very dangerous to run out of gas at an inopportune time. Keep the wiper blades and tires up to date. Tires are expensive, yet buying the best set you can afford at the time will safe you money overall when they last longer. If you live in a very cold climate get your car winterized at the beginning of the season. Switch to snow studded tires, and put antifreeze in. If you live near the ocean be vigilant about checking for rust. Rust eats away at the body of the car and can compromise the structure.
Secondly, consider car safety within the vehicle. Don't store heavy objects in your back seat, or anywhere in the cabin where they could go flying in a collision. Put them in the trunk. Strap children and animals in with appropriate gear. If your dog or cat won't wear a modified animal seat belt, travel with them in a pet carrier. Always wear a seat belt. Always strap a child in correctly, in the manner their car seat was designed. Lock all doors when inside a vehicle to maintain rigidness in the event of a crash. Don't block your view or mirrors. Many states have made talking on cell phones illegal while driving, and drivers have turned to texting instead. For maximum safety don't be distracted by anything, i.e. don't drive when you're mad or arguing with a spouse, don't drive under the influence, don't drive tired or stressed or in a hurry. You can take a corner too slow a thousand times, but you'll only take it too fast once.
Thirdly consider car safety from a driving perspective. If you see a motorcycle rider near you, give them a wide berth, as much or more space as you would give another car. Use your blinkers if you want to turn or change lanes. Turn on your headlights in the rain, the fog, and from twilight into dark. Twilight is when visibility is at its worst as compared to day or night. Look carefully, and look again. If you live in a rural area beware of deer and other wild animals out and about close to sunrise and sunset. Deer are strangely unpredictable. They flare left when you think they're headed right, or the leap forward unexpectedly. They weigh more than you would think and do tremendous damage when they hit a car.
Do what you can to keep your car running in good working order. Change air filters on schedule or buy the lifetime reusable ones from K & N. Visit their website to get the correct manufacturer's part number for your make and model. That way you aren't stuck buying one at a quick lube stop when they attempt to upsell you. You can even search on Amazon.com and on Ebay for car and motorcycle air filters by K & N.
Keep your safety belts in working order. IF you have an older car consider having belts with the shoulder strap installed in the back seat for your passengers' safety. Always insist that passengers buckle up before you start driving. Even if they are the ones not buckled in, you are the one who will get the ticket.