As a car owner, you have a responsibility to keep your vehicle in good repair not only to protect its value and function, but also to protect your safety and the safety of others around you. While many car accidents are caused by negligent driving behaviors, there are a substantial number that are caused by poor maintenance habits and ignoring problems for too long.
Car Maintenance and Repair: Knowing the Basics
Good drivers not only have a firm grasp of safe driving techniques, but they also know the basics of maintaining their vehicles and routinely inspect them for damage and necessary repairs. The Smyrna car accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law put together this list of things you should check and repair on your vehicle on a regular basis to keep it safe on the roadway.
Know your recommended tire pressure and maintain it.
Driving a vehicle with tires that over or underinflated is a serious risk factor for tire blowouts, which are among the biggest causes of life-threatening accidents—especially for top-heavy vehicles like trucks and SUVs. To reduce your risk of experiencing a tire blowout or being involved in a rollover accident, regularly inspect your tires for any damage and check the air pressure.
The recommended air pressure for your front and rear tires is often different, and that information can usually be found near you fuel cap or on the driver’s side door. Make sure that your tires stay within a safe PSI range and never overinflate them when using an air compressor or air pump.
Check all lights on your vehicle and replace any burned out bulbs.
Your vehicle’s lights are one of its most important safety features when driving during periods of low visibility, including in fog, rain, or at night. But over time, lights can burn out, and many vehicles have no way of alerting drivers that their lights no longer work. Make it a point to inspect your vehicle’s headlights, brake lights, and front and rear turn signals at least once a week before you head out on the roadway. Not only will this help you avoid getting a ticket, but it could also save your life.
Check and change your oil on a regular basis.
Oil is the lubricant that makes every part in your engine run smoothly. Over time, it gets filled with dirt, debris, and even small particles from the engine itself. Those contaminants are why oil needs to be changed on a regular basis. Whether you change your oil yourself or take it to a mechanic is up to you, but pay attention to your mileage and driving habits to know when to replace the oil in your engine. You should check your oil level—especially if your vehicle has a tendency to leak—as low oil levels can cause serious engine problems that can even lead to accidents on the road.
Know your vehicle’s maximum weight limit.
All vehicles are designed and manufactured to carry a certain amount of weight, which is classified as the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Exceeding this rating can cause your vehicle to become unstable and unreliable in even ordinary driving situations. To avoid potential rollover accidents or increased braking times, make sure your vehicle never exceeds its GVWR rating and that you never tow anything that weighs more than your vehicle can handle.
These are just a few of the important things all car owners should know about their vehicles before hitting the road. To get a better understanding of your vehicle, take the time to read the manual, as it may contain important information about maintenance schedules, repair tips, and warnings that may be specific to your vehicle.
If you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence—including their failure to maintain or repair their vehicle—you may be eligible for compensation for your accident-related expenses. The Smyrna car accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law can help you get the money you deserve to move forward with your life. Contact us today by dialing fill out a free online form.