According to recent statistics, there are approximately six million car accidents in the US each and every year, with close to 100 daily deaths on average and countless injuries for drivers and passengers alike.
The worst part is that, in many cases, perfectly innocent and law-abiding drivers and road users can get involved in accidents due to the reckless and negligent actions of others.
There are many potential causes of accidents. One might be caused by a drunk driver swerving on the road or failing to stop at a stop sign, while the next could be caused by slippery road surfaces in rainy conditions making it harder for a driver to stop their vehicle in time when some traffic lights turn red. Then, there are also some accidents caused by a lack of car maintenance.
Yes, failing to look after your vehicle can increase your risk of accidents, and even if a lack of car care isn’t one of the top causes of accidents and injuries, it’s still a contributing factor in many of these kinds of situations, which is why car maintenance is so important for any driver who wants to stay say and keep their passengers safe as well.
In order to give yourself the best chances of avoiding accidents and not having to deal with the legal ramifications, medical fees, mental and physical trauma, insurance claims, and other issues associated with auto accidents, make sure you keep your car in great working order, carrying out the following checks and maintenance tasks on a regular basis.
Naturally, when it comes to staying safe on the roads, visibility is absolutely essential. You need to be able to see where you’re going at all times, and visibility can be affected by a range of factors such as the weather, the time of day, and the presence or absence of streetlights by the side of the roads you’re driving along.
If you can’t see where you’re going, you’re much more likely to end up in an accident and it can be so much harder to spot oncoming hazards or people stepping out into the road ahead. This is why you need to check your lights often. Ask a friend for help and get them to stand outside your vehicle and watch as you activate the various lights, including signals, brake lights, and reverse lights too, in order to make sure everything is working. Fix any broken or fading bulbs right away.
Following on from the point above, as well as your headlights and signal lights for visibility, you also need to rely on your windscreen wipers to help you see where you’re going, clearing away any rainwater, debris, dirt, mud, or other elements that find their way onto your windscreen and could impair your vision as you drive around.
Trying to drive with broken wipers can be immensely dangerous, especially when the rain starts to fall, so be sure to check your wipers for any problems regularly by simply turning them on and seeing how they function. Make use of your windscreen washer fluid to lubricate the window and let the wipers run for a minute to make sure they’re clearing all the liquid away. If they get stuck, fail to move, or simply aren’t cleaning effectively, a problem may be present.
Another one of the most vital parts of your car connected to safety and security is, of course, the brakes. The brakes are what allow you to control your speed, being able to slow down when a hazard presents itself or stop at traffic lights, intersections, stop signs, and so on. Without properly functioning brakes, a driver and their passengers can be in genuine life or death danger.
This is why you need to take the time to check that your brakes are working properly. Before setting out for a long trip, make sure to test your brakes as you leave your driveway or pull out into the road, making sure that it’s safe to do so and no other vehicles or pedestrians are nearby. You should be able to identify any brake issues very easily, and if you do feel that your brakes are spongy, unresponsive, or otherwise faulty, try to avoid driving altogether until the issue has been diagnosed and fixed.
Yet another of the most important parts of any car is the tires themselves, helping to propel you from one place to another along the roads. Tires can withstand a lot, being exposed to all kinds of rough surfaces, debris on the ground, and the changing weather and elements too, so it’s only natural that, as time goes by, they can start to suffer a little wear and tear.
The pressure in tires naturally goes down over time, so it’s vital to check your tire pressure often and visit a gas station or garage where you can pump the pressure back up to adequate levels as needed. Also be sure to inspect your tires for any tears, punctures, or other issues if you notice that the pressure seems to keep going down or if your vehicle tends to veer left or right on the road.
Along with all of the other components mentioned above, we can’t fail to think about the various fluids that play such a key role in keeping your car running smoothly from day to day as well. We’ve already spoken about windscreen washer fluid, and there are also oils, transmission fluid, and brake fluids too to take into account.
All of these fluids need to be topped up to sufficient levels and checked on regularly, which you can either do yourself if you know your way around your car or ask a professional to help out with. Low fluid levels can affect brake performance and more, so it really is important not to overlook or underestimate their importance.
Driving safely and following the rules of the road will help you stay safe behind the wheel, but it’s also important to make sure you’re keeping up with your car maintenance. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that your car is in perfect working order.