How to Prevent Accidents by Maintaining your Vehicle

Your vehicle is a machine, it has many moving parts and to keep everything running to perfection, it requires regular maintenance. When you maintain your car properly it can help you avoid accidents as your car's systems will work more efficiently.

The safety systems on a vehicle, especially for modern cars, rely heavily on sensors that can easily get blocked up with dirt and grime and then they may start to give false readings, or not work at all.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things to look out for and give corrective regular maintenance to keep everything running as it should. Here is a shortlist of what you should look out for in your car to keep your ride as safe as possible.

Car Tires

The tires on your car are how the car connects with the road. If the tires are not functioning properly they won’t be able to help you in dangerous road conditions.

Regularly check the tread on your tires, a quick method is to run your finger along the tracks, you shouldn’t be able to feel the bottom of the groove. If you can then they probably need to be replaced. For a better guide purchase a cheap tire gauge from an auto parts store.

Bald tires are a major issue with a car, it can result in hydroplaning in wet weather. This is where the car travels on a layer of water instead of displacing it. It can easily see your car losing traction and making it near impossible to steer.

Seatbelts

In 1973 the use of seatbelts in cars was made mandatory for all car occupants in Australia. They are the main source of protection from injury and death in your car. But they can become damaged or worn if not cared for.

Check them for any spots where the material may have frayed or is torn, this can happen especially with the retraction seatbelt, as it rubs on the housing.

Windshield Wipers

Studies have been completed that dirty or poor functioning wipers, mixed with bad weather, have caused around 15% of road accident deaths. Check your wipers, they should be soft and pliable, if they are hard and inflexible, they should be replaced. Most automotive parts stores can fit them for a small fee.

Head Lights, Indicators and Brake Lights

Regularly check that your lights are all working. If you have a blown headlight, you should get it fixed immediately. In many cars, this can be done yourself, and your cars manual will often tell you how it is completed.

One of the easiest ways to check your other lights is to park the car in a garage, turn the lights off and operate the brakes and indicators. You should be able to see the lights working from the driver's seat. If one light is not working, it’s most likely the bulb that needs replacing. If all of them are not working (all four indicators, or both brake lights) then it is probably the fuse. In both cases these are easy fixes, talk to your auto parts store and they will help you find the right replacements.

Visible Panel Damage

Panel damage on a car can affect the effectiveness of the crumple zones on a car. Crumple zones are designed to absorb impacts if they are damaged - such as a minor incident - then they may not work as effectively.

Depending on the age of your car, getting any visible damage repaired can help in protecting the occupants. And it makes your car look better, so why not?

Active Safety Systems

If your car is fitted with electronic safety systems, make sure you know how to operate them. Especially when it comes to turning them on or off, if for some reason (it may have been accidental) you have switched off a system, you’ll need to know how to turn it back on.

Cleaning the exterior sensors can help keep them functioning properly. Most of the sensors are visible, and you should check your car’s manual for the appropriate care. Reversing cameras are probably the most common safety system to become dirty. You can wipe the camera down with a damp rag to clean it.