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The rise in the number of vehicles on the streets today has led to an increasing need for traffic safety on roads. The emerging vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) are fast becoming a reality and will enable a variety of applications for safety, traffic efficiency, driver assistance, as well as infotainment. In order to provide stable communication linkages between vehicles, a good routing protocol is needed. Currently, there are several routing protocols for mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) which may be used to find the best route to the destination vehicle in VANETs. However, due to the difference in the characteristics of the two networks, mobility characteristics that are present in VANETs could be added into current MANET routing protocols, so as to allow the routing protocol to achieve a better routing performance by finding the best route to the destination vehicle. This paper presents the optimizations made to a MANET routing protocol and shows an increase in routing performance validated through simulations.