Practicing defensive driving and obeying Portland’s traffic laws can help protect drivers and their passengers from car accidents and injuries. Even in situations where the reckless driving of another is to blame, taking a few simple safety precautions such as refraining from using your cell phone behind the wheel, lowering speeds in wet and rainy conditions, and allowing other drivers plenty of space can help decrease the likelihood of suffering injuries that can be severe and even fatal. While how you operate your vehicle is vitally important in avoiding car accidents and protecting your safety, making sure your vehicle is properly maintained is another key element that many overlook.
Car Accidents Caused By Poor Vehicle Maintenance
According to crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicle-related problems were listed as a contributing factor in as many as a quarter of all car accidents that occur on U.S. roads. The following are among the most common types of car malfunctions listed by the NHTSA as critical reasons in crashes and collisions:
- Tire and wheel related issues;
- Problems with the car’s braking system;
- Steering and suspension related malfunctions;
- Engine or transmission problems;
- Issues resulting in poor driver visibility.
Most of these problems are preventable and can be fixed by performing routine maintenance tasks on your vehicle.
Tips on Maintaining Your Vehicle
In order to protect you and your passengers safety and avoid potentially serious car accidents and injuries, the American Association of Retired People (AARP) recommends taking the necessary steps to ensure your car is running properly. Get into the habit of taking your car to an experienced mechanic for regular tune ups and oil changes, while checking periodically for any routine upkeep your car need to ensure it operates smoothly and safely. Keeping your owner’s manual handy as a quick reference, follow these tips on maintaining your vehicle:
- Check the battery and electrical system: An improperly charging battery or poor wiring could make you susceptible to breakdowns. Address any wiring malfunctions, and make sure your battery’s connections are clean and secure.
- Check your antifreeze: Low coolant can cause engine overheating and affect your car’s heating and defrosting.
- Check engine and transmission fluid levels: Low fluid levels could affect pick up or cause your car to stall suddenly.
- Check your air filter: Poor airflow could cause hesitation in your engine.
- Check your brake fluid: Without fluid, your brakes will be ineffective if you need to stop suddenly to avoid a collision. Have your brakes checked at the first signs of squeaking or squealing.
- Check your tires: Look for uneven wear or cracks and check tire pressure avoid blowouts and skidding.
- Check windshield wipers and fluid: To increase visibility, make sure your wiper blades are in good shape, and that you have plenty of washer fluid.
- Clean your headlights: You need a clear view of the road ahead when driving at night:
- Check brake lights and indicators: Alerting other drivers to your movements helps to prevent rear end collisions.
Obviously, accidents can and do happen when you least expect them. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, attorney Marc Johnston provides the aggressive legal representation you need to get the maximum possible compensation for your case. Here at Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we serve Portland, OR and surrounding areas. Call or contact our office online for a Free case evaluation. We pledge to thoroughly examine the facts of your case and carefully recommend your best personal injury option. Stay safe!