Among Americans 55 years of age or younger, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death, reports stats site Statista. Making your car as safe as possible can help decrease the odds of you and your family becoming part of those statistics or having to get a car accident lawyer involved to get compensated for injuries that could negatively affect the quality of your life.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Tires
Tires that are in poor shape can put you at risk for losing control of the car on wet pavement, getting a flat and/or skidding off the road. Check the air pressure in your tires at least once a month, making sure they’re properly inflated, and use a tread-depth gauge to measure how many inches of tread you have left once every couple of weeks. Not only does properly maintaining your tires assure road safety, but it improves fuel company and prolongs the life of the tires. Keep in mind that tires typically lose more pressure when the weather is cold, with every 10 degrees drop causing them to lose about a pound of pressure per square inch. Your car manual should have information on the recommended tire pressure.
Check the Fluids Frequently and Get Regular Maintenance Checks
It’s important to check fluids frequently too, including the engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant and windshield wiper fluid. Sticking to a regular maintenance schedule, getting basic maintenance by a qualified mechanic can prevent mechanical issues that could lead to a crash.
Carry a Car Safety Kit
You never know when you might end up needing to patch a tire, use warning signs for emergency help, or a shovel to dig your car out from the snow. Make sure your trunk has a car safety kit that contains basic tools and gear to help you out in an emergency. Having certain items in your car can make a significant difference to your safety, comfort and ability to cope with any type of car emergency the road brings your way. Items like a first aid kit, jack, spare tire, flares, jumper cables. reinflation canister, snow chains, tire patch kit, folding shovel, flash light and air horn are just some of the essentials.
Install a Rearview Backup Camera
While it’s now mandatory for new cars to have rearview backup cameras, if your vehicle is older and doesn’t have one, get one installed as they have been found to significantly reduce accidents. If you buy a used car, be sure and check to see if it has this safety feature that will allow you to see what’s happening behind and below your vehicle while backing out of a parking spot or garage to eliminate the risk of hitting a child, animal or something else. These items can also come with a car stereo with backup camera equipment as well.
Hands-Free Calls and Texts
In many states it’s illegal to drive while texting or talking using a hand-held cell phone. But even if it isn’t banned where you are, as it’s something that’s caused countless accidents, be sure you only use a phone with a Bluetooth connection for hands-free calling that allows you to speak-to-text.