Whether you use your vehicle for local trips such as the grocery store or mall, you need it to get you to work, or it’s how you make long trips or travel on holidays, it’s important that your vehicle gets regular maintenance. This helps ensure the safety of those who drive on the road with you by reducing the risk of an accident due to a poorly maintained car. A vehicle in disrepair is a severe safety risk for you, your passengers, and other drivers, so it’s important to know how to perform an adequate safety check on your own vehicle and how a lawyer can provide assistance in the event of a crash.
Safety Checks Put Safety First
Although you most likely take your vehicle in for tune-ups and fluid changes, it’s also important that you do your own vehicle check. This should include:
- Tires. Both pressure and tread quality are important because both could contribute to a tire blowout, especially in poor weather conditions. A staggering number of accidents occur after vehicles experience tire-related safety issues. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, have no leaks, and do not have substantial tread wear.
- Brakes. Drivers trust their brakes, and a safe trip depends on them. To do a simple braking check, turn the engine off and pump the brake pedal until it becomes firm. You should be able to keep solid pressure on the pedal for at least 10 seconds without feeling any movement. If you feel movement or that the pedal is soft, you may need new brakes.
- Oil. Your car needs oil to run properly and stay well-lubricated. Without it, friction with moving parts and proximity to combustible fluids increase the risk for a fire.
- Windshield wipers. Visibility is key to good driving, and streaky or otherwise ineffective windshield wipers will not do in poor weather conditions.
- Wiper fluid. If you hit a dusty road or even wet weather, especially snow, it can be difficult to keep your windshield clean, so it’s important to keep your fluid filled.
- Radiator level and coolant. Your car operates quickly. Significant amounts of heat and friction are involved in making the engine function, and without proper lubrication the engine could overheat.
- All lights. Not only is your visibility crucial, but you can help others see you by making sure your lights are always in working order. This includes headlights, front and rear signals or blinkers, and brake lights.
- Electrical. It’s important to make sure your safety features also work, which are usually connected through the electrical system. Ensure your hazard lights are blinking when you engage the switch.
Again, while it’s important to develop the habit of checking these items every few weeks and before long trips, it’s just as important to keep taking your vehicle to a professional mechanic for a more thorough inspection. A well-maintained vehicle avoids preventable car crashes and the liability for others’ injuries.
If You've Been in an Accident, Obtain Trusted Legal Assistance Today
While you may do everything possible to avoid an accident, other drivers may not always do the same. If you’ve been involved in an accident with another vehicle, it’s important to speak with an attorney who can help you understand what comes next. The team at Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi invites you to request a free initial case review and consultation. We can look at the details of your accident and work with you to build a case. To get started, fill out the contact form on our website today.