Whether you are planning on going on a long road trip or you are simply driving around town to run errands, it is always important to make sure that your car is in good working order. Keeping tabs on maintenance for your vehicle is important for avoiding mechanical issues or failures that can lead to an accident. Here are seven components of your vehicle that you should regularly check to help avoid getting into an accident.
A failing or defective battery can leave you stranded on a road trip, or in rarer cases, fail while you are in the middle of the road, potentially exposing you to an accident if your car becomes disabled in the path of traffic. You should regularly check your battery’s ability to hold a charge and make sure that it has a good connection – many auto parts stores offer free battery testing. Car batteries usually last for several years, but you should replace your battery when it approaches the end of its service life.
Ensuring that your brakes are in good working order is critical to avoid getting into an accident. Many crashes are caused by a vehicle’s brakes failing. You should always have your brake pads regularly checked and replaced when they become worn, in addition to obtaining regular servicing of your brake system. You should also check your brakes before setting off; a functional brake system will mean that your brake pedal feels firm, whereas a loose brake pedal may be a sign of a mechanical issue.
Drivers should also regularly check their vehicle’s fluid levels, including motor oil, antifreeze, and engine coolant. Oil is needed to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your engine, while coolant keeps your engine in the proper operating temperature and antifreeze prevents coolant from freezing in cold temperatures. Motor oil should be replaced about every six months or after three to five thousand miles, depending on the type of oil.
Before setting off, you should always make sure that all your vehicle’s lights are working properly, including headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and reverse lights. A broken headlight will reduce your visibility during night driving, while other nonfunctional lights may cause an accident because you cannot communicate to other drivers what maneuvers you are making. Unfortunately, broken rear lights can often go unnoticed by a driver, but may end up getting you pulled over by law enforcement for a motor vehicle code violation.
Regular vehicle maintenance is also important for ensuring that your steering system is in good working order. Loss of power in the steering system of modern vehicles will make it incredibly difficult to control the vehicle. Lack of maintenance can also lead to a host of other steering problems, including a detachment of the steering wheel itself.
Tires and Wheels
Drivers should also keep an eye on the condition of their wheels and tires, as damaged or worn-out tires can lead to a catastrophic failure or to difficulty with properly controlling the vehicle. Damaged wheels can also cause a tire blowout or failure. Tire treads can be checked by inserting a penny upside down; tires should be replaced if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head. You should also check the sidewalls of your tires for any noticeable damage and replace any damaged tires.
Finally, you should also regularly replace windshield wipers when they become worn. Old wipers have a much harder time keeping rainwater off your windshield, which can reduce visibility in storms.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Law Office of Mark A. Smith represent clients injured because of car accidents in Pittsburgh, Homestead, Erie, Greensburg, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call 412-567-9598 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 707 Grant Street Suite 3250 Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.