Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by John Robinson
When we think about getting into a car crash, we often think about causes such as weather, driving under the influence or aggressive driving. If you’re looking to avoid a car crash though, there’s one thing that often gets overlooked that is very important to making sure you don’t end up in a collision – the condition of your vehicle. That’s right, many people every year wind up in accidents due to faulty parts or poor maintenance. After all, there are certain components of our vehicle that are responsible for how much control over the car we have when we are on the road.
Today we are going to discuss proper vehicle maintenance and how keeping your vehicle maintained can make you less likely to get into an accident than if you let all those repairs slide. We’ll go over some basic maintenance needs that every vehicle has and how neglecting these can lead to a crash.
Start With Fluids
We all know about how we’re supposed to change our oil every so many thousand miles, but why is this important? It’s pretty simple, oil reduces friction in the engine which occurs when the engine is running as the pistons pump gas through the cylinders in order to make the car go forward.
When we run low on oil the engine begins to heat up due to increased friction and eventually this heat results in parts of the engine warping or pistons cracking. At that point the engine might as well be a giant paperweight.
Another important fluid is transmission fluid. This liquid helps the gears shift smoothly in the transmission so that the car can change gears. When the fluid runs low, the gears in the transmission seize up or stop moving and you can no longer drive your vehicle.
Even something as seemingly unimportant as windshield wiper fluid can be vital when needed, such as when you have a spill on your windshield and you need a way to clean it quickly.
One of the most crucial components on your vehicle is the brakes. Brakes are what allow your vehicle to stop while in motion. The better your brakes are, the more quickly you can stop when traveling at a high rate of speed. As your brakes wear down, they become less effective at stopping your vehicle and this can be dangerous at high rates of speed. Once the brakes become completely worn, it is nearly impossible to stop your vehicle when you need to and if you face inclement weather like rain or snow, you put yourself at high risk of an accident.
Last on our list of regular maintenance items is the tires. The tires are what your vehicle rides on when you travel down the road. They are responsible for not only how comfortable you are when driving your car, but also how well your vehicle grips the road, where it displaces water when traveling through puddles, and how well it holds traction in rough or loose terrain.
All of these factors are important when determining how likely you are to crash. For instance, driving through water with tires that are almost bald may cause you to hydroplane and lose control of your vehicle. Hydroplaning can cause even an experienced driver to spin out and wreck their car. Low traction from bad tires can make it difficult to control your vehicle even under normal conditions, so it’s important to always check your tires and replace them once the tread starts to become low.
It’s easy to overlook problems with your vehicle so long as it’s still running, but keeping your vehicle in good shape may save you from an accident in the long run. You should always have your vehicle inspected by a reputable mechanic on a regular basis, to prevent any expensive repairs and reduce your risk of a collision.