When you think of being safe behind the wheel, what comes to mind? Chances are, you probably think of things like putting your cell phone down, making sure you get oil changes, and making repairs as they come up. These are great ways to stay safe on the road, but they aren’t the only ways you can stay safe!
There are also quick and easy ways to make your car safer without spending a bunch of money or time at your local mechanic.
Don’t Put Anything on the Roof
If you plan on spending an afternoon with the family or you’re going on a road trip, you may decide to put items on the roof of your car. You might strap things to the top of your car because you have run out of room in the trunk, but you may also secure large items like canoes, bikes, and skis to the top too.
Although it’s convenient to put items on the roof of your vehicle, it’s much better to put items in a trailer behind your vehicle. By putting items on top, you make your vehicle more top heavy, which can make your car more prone to rollovers. With nearly 35 percent of passenger fatalities due to vehicle rollovers, it’s important to follow this tip, especially if you’re planning a long road trip.
Keep the Inside of Your Car Clean and Tidy
How clean is the inside of your car? If you spend hours each week in your car, it’s easy for it to feel like a second home, which means things can get messy. Do yourself a favor and keep the inside of your car clean.
That means taking care of garbage, but it also means knowing where to put items that you bring into the car with you. Items like cell phones, water bottles, and purses can become projectiles that can injure others if you have to slam on the brakes or you’re in an accident.
Don’t forget about pets! It’s important to secure your pooch in the backseat so he doesn’t go flying through the windshield if you have to slam on the brakes or you get hit from behind.
Wash Your Car
If keeping the inside of your car tidy as a way to keep your car safer surprised you, it may also surprise you to learn that keeping the outside of your car clean can keep you safer on the road too.
Dirty windows can make it difficult to see clearly, dirty headlights can make driving at night difficult, and dirty tail lights can increase your chances of getting rear-ended. However, if you have a newer car with certain safety features, it’s even more important to keep the outside of your car clean.
If cameras and sensors get covered with dirt and grime, they are unable to alert you to danger, and they are unable to function properly. A dirty backup camera could cause you to miss something in the parking lot while dirty sensors can disable features like cruise control. Do yourself a favor and drive through the car wash when your car starts to get dirty.
Replace the Windshield Wipers
Of all the things to keep clean, your windshield is the most important, and yet, so many of us drive around with ineffective windshield wipers.
Having functional windshield wipers ensures you can see the road clearly. If you’re dealing with streaking while it rains or foggy windows when it’s cold, you could put yourself at risk of experiencing an accident.
At the first sign of streaking, get those windshield wipers replaced. If cost is a concern, replace the wipers yourself instead of asking your mechanic to do it.
Check Your Tires
The quality of your tires is important. If the tread is worn, it’s a good idea to have them replaced, but that isn’t the only thing you should look for.
Check the air in your tires frequently, and pay attention every time your tire light shows up on your dashboard. Having properly inflated tires is important because having too little pressure means less responsive steering and handling, which can make sudden stops and evasive maneuvers difficult. Low tires can also generate heat, putting you at a higher risk of a blowout.
You can find the required PSI on each tire. If you’re having a hard time finding the number, ask the next time you get your oil changed.
Warm up the Car
If you hop in the car and take off as fast as you can in the winter, you could be putting yourself at risk. A cold car is a more dangerous car.
Fluids in the car are thicker when they’re cold, which makes operating the vehicle more difficult. Warming up the car for just a minute or two can warm up the oil and make sure it flows properly.
No only is warming up your car better for your car, it’s better for you too. Driving can be difficult if you’re feeling very cold. Warming up the car can make you more comfortable so you’re better able to focus on the road.
Make Sure Your Trunk Has the Right Tools
No matter how safe of a driver you try to be, or how good of a job you do taking care of your car, accidents can happen and things can break. Make sure you’re prepared with the right tools.
Make sure you assemble a toolbox of items that stay in your car so they are there whenever you need them. A few tools to include in your car toolbox include:
- Socket wrenches
- Spider wrench
- Tire pressure gauge
- Car jack
Keeping your car safe can take a lot of time and cost a lot of money, but this list proves it doesn’t have to! By doing things like checking your tire pressure, cleaning your car, and using a trailer instead of putting items on the roof, you can boost your car’s safety quickly and easily.