While some major causes of car accidents include distracted or negligent driving, overlooking routine car maintenance is also a significant factor in wrecks.
Poor vehicle upkeep can have serious consequences, from costly repairs to bodily harm, no matter how defensively you drive.
With the following tips, you can not only keep yourself and your passengers safe from any harm, but others sharing the road with you too.
Keep reading to learn more about how routine car maintenance can mitigate the risk of being involved in a car accident that could have been prevented with proper maintenance.
Inspect Tires Regularly
Properly maintained tires affect your car's performance by improving fuel mileage and handling of the vehicle.
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration report from 2019, 612 people died in car accidents due to tire-related issues, including low tire pressure, poor balance and alignment, tread separation, and blowouts.
It comes as no surprise then that performing routine tire maintenance is an essential aspect of overall vehicle maintenance and the safety of the passengers, especially during slippery conditions.
Check the tire pressure for underinflation each month. You can find the manufacturer's PSI recommendations mentioned on the sidewall, the side door edge, or in the owner's manual.
It's good to keep a pressure gauge in your vehicle to double-check that you haven't added too much or too little air.
While doing this, examine them for any cracks in the sidewalls and check the tire's tread with a quarter test.
Likewise, it is also crucial to get the tires checked by an experienced technician to ensure proper balance and alignment and extend their life.
Lastly, rotating your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles will prevent irregular wear, helping you avoid repairs or replacements while maintaining fuel efficiency.
Inspect the Brakes
To avoid a brake-related car maintenance accident, drivers should check the braking system for excessive brake pad wear and tear, fluid leaks, and rotor damage annually.
It is also essential to recognize some warning signs of possible brake problems because as the brake pads erode, they become less effective at stopping your vehicle in a safe and timely manner.
If you see any of the following signs, it's time to schedule a checkup with a professional mechanic to prevent brake failure:
- Creaking or squealing
- Burning smells
- Changes in the resistance when you press down on the brake pedal
- A shaky steering wheel
- Leaking fluid
You should also maintain your brake fluid levels by checking for a clear reservoir with an obvious fill line under the hood. If you notice a significant drop, there's likely a leak in the line, or your brake pads have extensive damage.
Maintain Your Lights
Maintaining your lights and testing them to ensure they are functioning correctly is another essential component of diminishing the risk of a car maintenance accident.
Lights help you see what is ahead of you and avoid hazards while allowing other motorists to see you. That is particularly important during reduced visibility situations, like driving at night, on poorly lit roads, and in inclement weather conditions like fog.
Turn on the taillights, headlights, turn signals, and brake lights, and walk around your car once a month to check if they are all operational.
Because they are prone to sun damage, vehicle lights can develop a yellowed, cloudy appearance that limits the brightness of your bulbs.
We suggest cleaning your lights with a headlight restoration kit to remove the filmy buildup and optimize visibility.
Check Fluids and Engine Oil
Fluids and oils contribute to a smooth drive and keep everything in good working order. Fluid leakages can lead to a mechanical failure or cause the engine to heat up, perhaps leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Regularly check and refill the car's brake fluid, steering fluid, coolant, and transmission fluid for the best engine performance.
According to the American Automobile Association, it is best to replace the motor oil every 5000 to 7000 miles. Double-check your owner's manual for a more precise number.
Check Wiper Blades
Lack of visibility is one of the leading causes of car accidents, and damaged windshield wipers pose a significant danger to you and others on the road.
Properly functioning wipers are at the core of clear visibility during bad weather conditions, so perform regular checks for cracking and damage.
Additionally, be mindful if you notice that the wiper blades skip or squeal when in use.
Performing simple car maintenance checks will lead to optimal car performance, saving you thousands of dollars in costly repairs and extending the vehicle's life.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
By adhering to road safety rules and keeping your car in the best running condition, you can significantly reduce the risk of a car accident.
In the event you find yourself injured in a car accident, consult with an experienced New Jersey car accident attorney, like Brandon J. Broderick. Our firm can give you advice as to where to seek help after a car accident, as well as help you build a compelling claim to damages.
If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident, you deserve to fully recover for any physical, emotional, and mental injuries you suffered. At Brandon J. Broderick, with our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can get you the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.