Summer is the time of year when people throughout Portland choose to go on road trips. Whether you are driving to destinations throughout the state or across the country, it is important to make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before you leave. Automotive breakdowns increase your car accident risks. Take the time now to make yourself aware of the dangers and the steps needed to keep you and your passengers safe.
How Common Car Problems Can Cause Car Accident Injuries
Motor vehicles tend to break down at the most inopportune times. It can be particularly annoying when it happens as you are headed out for a weekend outing or on summer vacation with family and friends. Unfortunately, it can also increase your risk of being involved in a car accident resulting in potentially serious personal injuries.
According to reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), mechanical failures are a common factor in crashes and collisions. Accidents due to automotive issues and vehicle breakdowns can occur on highways, interstates, or rural roads. Experiencing automotive issues at night or on weekends and holidays only increases your risks. Common problems that can end up causing car accidents include:
- Flat tires and blowouts, which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle;
- Brake failures, which can prevent you from stopping in traffic;
- Engine failures, which can cause you to suddenly break down in the middle of the road;
- Transmission issues, which can cause sudden acceleration;
- Steering wheel problems, which can cause you to collide with other motorists.
Once an automotive breakdown does occur, car accidents are even more or a concern. In addition to making you vulnerable to violent crimes, it increases the likelihood of being struck by passing vehicles.
Protecting Yourself Against Dangerous Automotive Failures
To protect yourself and your passengers, there are some simple steps you need to take before a road trip. In addition to having your vehicle checked by a mechanic and attending to any needed repairs, Popular Mechanics recommends performing a few simple tasks right before your road trip:
- Check the fluid levels. Add engine oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid as needed.
- Make sure your wipers are working. Change the blades and refill washer fluid.
- Check tire pressure. Add air as needed.
- Pump the brakes. Make note of uneven pressure or any squealing noises.
- Rev the engine. Listen for screeching sounds that could indicate a belt is loose.
- Check the radiator. Add coolant to prevent overheating.
Keep a simple repair kit in your trunk that includes a few tools, traffic flares, a flashlight, water, and other supplies. Make sure your cellphone is fully charged at all times. If you do notice any mechanical issues, pull over to the side of the road and remain in your vehicle until help arrives.
Let Us Help You Today
At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help car accident victims get the compensation they need to recover. To request a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online today.