January 18, 2022
7 Things You Should Check on Your Car to Avoid Accidents
Whether you are heading out-of-town or are going on a short drive to the supermarket, driving a car safely is a must. Canada tallies approximately 300,000 car accidents every year, of which more than 100,000 are serious enough to inflict personal injuries in 2019. Looking at the numbers makes it important to know how to avoid a car accident. While you have no control over how other drivers handle their vehicles, you can always ensure that yours is in good working order to avoid any issues while on the road. Anyone who wants peace of mind before traveling should have their vehicle inspected thoroughly.
What to Check in a Car before Driving
Vehicles need constant inspection and upkeep. Not only is it cost-effective in the long run, but it’s also necessary for your safety, as some maintenance concerns might lead to an accident or injuries if you ignore them. Here are 10 things you should check before driving your car:
A dead battery will prevent your automobile from starting. In worse cases, a defective battery can fizzle out while you’re in the middle of nowhere, leaving you stranded. It can alo get you stuck in the middle of the road, causing traffic or, worse, an accident. This is not a situation you want to be in, especially at night or when the weather is bad.
Make sure your battery has a strong charge, clean terminals, and a proper cable-to-terminal connection before getting into your automobile. Typically, car batteries last 3 to 4 years. If yours is nearing the end of its useful life, don’t forget to replace it.
The brakes are one component of your vehicle that you should never take for granted. A faulty brake is a disaster in the making. Brake-related issues are one of the most common contributing factors to car accidents. Don’t wait until the brake pads start to make a screeching sound before checking on them.
Reduce your chances of being involved in an automobile accident by making sure your brake system is in good working order before driving it out of the garage. The brake pedal should be pressed to the floor. It should feel firm and should have minimal resistance. Otherwise, your car may not be roadworthy.
3.Fluids (Oil, Antifreeze, and Coolant)
One of the most important problems that motorists should be aware of is fluid levels, which don’t get checked often enough. Your car’s oil keeps everything functioning smoothly, and it can’t run without the proper amount of oil. You can check your oil level by simply removing the dipstick and looking at the level.
Coolant is another crucial fluid to inspect in your vehicle. It helps in maintaining the engine’s optimal operating temperature range. In the winters in Canada, you’ll need enough antifreeze in your automobile to keep it running smoothly. The effects of cold weather on your vehicle are significant.
If you’ll be driving at night or in foggy conditions, make sure all of your car’s lights are operating properly — especially if you’re visiting an area you’re not familiar with. This is a basic yet necessary routine car check-up.
It’s risky if any of your car’s lights aren’t working properly. Regularly, check your turn signals, brake lights, reverse lights, and, of course, your headlights. Although you are more likely to detect a broken headlight, burned-out brake light or taillight may go unnoticed. These features are critical for informing other drivers of what you’re doing or going to do and avoiding collisions. If any of your vehicle’s lights are not working properly, you may also receive a penalty.
The steering wheel is designed to be simple for drivers to operate, yet the steering system can be quite complex. When a driver loses control of the steering wheel, serious accidents can occur. Even experienced drivers may find it hard to estimate how the car would react to steering wheel adjustments if they lose power steering, lose response from the steering wheel, or feel unanticipated vibrations. At high speeds, steering issues make it more difficult for drivers to drive safely or turn bends and escape an impending collision.
6.Tire And Wheels
Your vehicle’s tires are possibly the most vital component, and they must be in excellent condition if you are driving for long periods. Driving on worn-out tires can result in a tragic collision. So, before heading out on the road, take a few minutes to inspect your tires for bulges, bumps, tears, and other indicators of deterioration.
Even if they are not on a road trip, drivers should check their tire pressure regularly. If a tire is overinflated, the centre will wear out first, and if it is underinflated, the sides and edges will wear out first. Keep in mind that under-inflated tires might cause blowouts while driving, which can result in a crash.
When it comes to the causes of car accidents, windshield wipers are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. However, windshield wipers have such an important safety function on any vehicle. Any defects increase the odds of an accident increase.
When it fails, your visibility is likely to be reduced during inclement weather. As a result, you’re more likely to get involved in an automobile accident, especially if the weather is bad.
Car Maintenance Tips to Prevent Accidents
Fortunately, you may be able to avoid an accident if you stay on top of your car’s needs. Here’s a general car maintenance checklist before hitting the road:
- Inspect Your Tires
Check your tires for cracks, uneven wear, or other issues that may warrant tire rotation, replacement, or alignment. You should also check your tire pressure frequently, especially in cold weather because tires lose air. Keep your tires inflated as per the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid accidents.
- Check Your Wiper Blades
Check your wiper blades for tears, cracks, stiffness, and other indicators of wear. If you detect any of these, you may want to replace them to improve the visibility of your car. It’s also a good idea to check your wiper fluid often. You can remove bugs from your windshield and prevent streaking by keeping your fluid level up.
- Examine Your Lights
Your lights are especially important if you’re traveling at night or in bad weather. These reduce visibility. A quick way to test them is by simply turning on your lights and checking each as you walk around the car. You could also enlist the help of a relative or acquaintance to double-check your lights while you’re in the driver’s seat. Check your headlights, taillights, and turn signals for any issues and make a note of them.
- Inspect Your Fluids
Check your vehicle’s fluids, including the power steering, gearbox, oil, and brake fluids. Check your oil once every month and refer to your vehicle’s service manual for advice on how often you should change your oil and transmission fluid.
- Maintain Your Brakes
Brake failure can be caused by a variety of factors, including worn brake pads, fluid leakage, and other problems. Check your brakes to avoid a car accident, especially if you don’t drive your vehicle every day. Allowing your automobile to sit for a long time might lead to rust and reduce the effectiveness of your brakes.
Always check your vehicle before driving and be sure your vehicle is in good working order to keep you safe and in control on the road. In the event that you do get into an accident, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Michelle Linka Law is a car accident and personal injury lawyer, serving Whitby, Richmond Hill, and the Greater Toronto Area. Let us help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us at 416-477-7288!