Car accidents are a common occurrence but majority can be avoided if little steps are taken to ensure safety. The National Safety Council of the USA estimates that 38,300 people were killed and 4.4 million injured on U.S. roads in 2015.
There is a lot of talk about what to do when you have survived a car crash or incurred some personal injury or loss as a result of a car accident and these things are very important, but the more greater concern should be given to the little things that everybody assumes everybody knows, but the increased car accident rates suggest are relatively unknown; simple car checks.
Below are five vital checks that can be done before and while driving to reduce the likelihood of an accident.
1. Check your Brakes.
It is amazing that many people actually do not check their brakes regularly! Brakes are one of the most important things in your car and you want to make sure they are in perfect condition when you're driving. Your car's brake pads would mostly provide signs that it is getting worn out and would need a replacement.
Brake pads make screeching sounds like metals grating against each other when they are getting old; they also accumulate dust on the wheels of the car if they are damaged. If the brake pads are bad, then the brake rotors of your car are exposed and can be easily damaged. It is advisable to check your brake pads every six months to avoid unnecessary cost and also accidents.
2. Transmission Fluid
Transmission fluid acts as a lubricant for all the parts that constantly move i.e the gear. Now imagine if the fluid is not at the right level either too little or too much, the mental image is scary right? For this sole reason, the transmission fluid needs to be changed from time to time and also always at the right level.
To change your transmission fluid is quite easy as you do not need a professional to get it done. You just need to buy an automatic transmission fluid, pop the hood of your car, use a dipstick to check the level and colour and then replace if there is need to. But then, you can also get professional help if you don't understand what the fluid colours mean per time.
3. Tire Pressure/Tread
Checking your tire pressure saves you from having blown tires while in motion which can cause an accident or cause you to be stranded in a place you can't readily get help as a result of a flat tire.
You can use a tire pressure gauge to check if your tires are inflated, deflated or at the right pressure.
You can also check the tire placard or car manual for the right pressure.
The tire tread of your car is also important as this is what gives your tires the grip while driving. If the tire tread is worn out, there's a high chance your tires would be slippery in certain conditions like when driving along wet grounds or oily roads. It is imperative that you check your tires for bumps and worn out treads to avoid losing control of the car and in turn accidents.
Matter of fact, just change your tires occasionally and invest in original tires.
4. Wheel Alignment
Even though it's quite noticeable if your alignment isn't fixed properly, it is still better to have it checked from time to time. Bad wheel alignment or misalignment causes your car to veer left while driving, The steering wheel can also become a bit curved instead of straight. It also causes an uneven and quick wear of the tire tread.
It is advisable to do a proper wheel alignment with professionals to avoid driving a car that does not respond when it is needed to or as fast as it is needed. Also it is more cost effective to fix a bad wheel alignment than changing your tires if they become bad as a result of the faulty alignment.
The antifreeze liquid, also known as coolant helps to keep your car radiator from freezing and over-heating. It is a green/yellow liquid that fuses with the water in your car's radiator to keep the temperature of the engine normal which causes it to run smoothly and thereby avoid accidents.
Weather conditions can inadvertently affect the responsiveness of a car. For instance if the weather is too hot and your car doesn't have enough antifreeze liquid, your radiator can overheat which can affect the engine. Just the same way the radiator can freeze is the weather is too cold.
It is advisable to check your antifreeze liquid every three to six months. When doing routine checks and maintenance of your car, you can call the attention of a professional as well.
These vital checks are necessary and take little time; they also save you the stress of having an unreliable car. Yes accidents are unplanned but then some are avoidable and making sure your car is in good working form helps to avoid unnecessary cost, helps to save money, time and ultimately lives.
You can avoid potential accidents by doing these routine checks and making it a habit. You can also teach those around you how to carry out these checks thereby making a safe community.