Upgrades and Best Practices to Employ that Mitigate Your Risk on the Road
We’ve all been in this situation at one point or another. You’re going about your daily commute when you notice that traffic is significantly slower than normal. Cars are now creeping along bumper-to-bumper as the interstate steadily congests. The minutes slowly tick by as you progress at a snail’s pace to the cause of the issue – a car wreck.
You don’t know how it happened, who’s at fault, or if everyone involved is okay. Instead, you roll by along with everyone else, breathing a small sigh of relief that this didn’t happen to you.
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, approximately 43,000 Americans were involved in vehicle-related incidents that resulted in fatality in 2021. It’s also worth noting that vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the country.
Naturally, this begs the question: “How many of these car wrecks are preventable?”
Poor road infrastructure, unenforced traffic laws, and inadequate post-crash care are some of the main reasons that increase the likelihood of a car wreck happening. Unsafe driving behaviors and using vehicles that aren’t roadworthy are two other common causes of wrecks that fall squarely on the driver.
The good news is that there are numerous things drivers can do to make their cars safer. Once we’ve offered our top five tips, we’ll provide you with info on how to find new cars for sale in Houston that prioritize driver safety.
#1 – Use Safe Driving Best Practices
You can own the safest car in the world, but it all amounts to nothing if the person behind the wheel drives with reckless abandon. Safe driving starts with you. Your driving behavior ultimately determines how much risk you put yourself and those around you in, so make sure to use safe driving best practices. The top ones include:
- Always fasten your seatbelt
- Follow the posted speed limit
- Always use signals during turns and lane changes
- Always keep your eyes on the road
- Always be mindful of the cars around you
- Avoid smartphone usage while driving (ex: texting and driving)
- Never drive while intoxicated or impaired
#2 – Be Mindful of Your Tires
Considering that they are the only part of the car that’s making contact with the road, the argument can be made that your tires are the most important part of the vehicle. You can be the most defensive driver in the world but driving on chapped about-to-pop tires is an incredibly risky endeavor.
Trust us, you do not want to be the person going 70 mph when one of your tires finally bursts. Always be mindful about the state of your tires. If you don’t know how to check the tread yourself, get them inspected by a friend who’s competent with cars or your local auto shop.
#3 – Inspect the Car for Potential Issues
Most modern cars have a notification center where vehicle issues are displayed, which is super convenient when the air in your tires is low or you need to replenish your brake fluid. However, if you want to be more proactive about vehicle safety, we recommend inspecting the car on a regular basis. The following list will help you remember the main things to check:
- Headlights, taillights, and blinkers should all be in working order
- The vehicle should not be leaking any fluids such as oil or antifreeze
- Belts and hoses should not show signs of wear
- The battery should not show signs of corrosion
- The car should not screech or squeal when applying the brakes
- The engine area should not make strange noises while driving
If you’re not confident in your own ability to check your vehicle, once again, you can take the vehicle to your local auto shop. In the event they find issues or potential issues with your vehicle, you can get a quote from the auto shop on how much it will cost. Although car repairs are never convenient, it’s best to address them proactively rather than after something has fully broken.
#4 – Always Carry a First Aid Kit
If you have the misfortune of being in a car wreck, it’s possible that you or someone involved incurs an injury. Of course, first responders are quick to respond to car wrecks in cities with dense populations. However, some areas – rural areas, specifically – may not have the same type of emergency resources. Whatever the case may be, it’s never a bad idea to have a first aid kit in your trunk for these types of situations. You can buy pre-assembled first aid kits online or build one out yourself by visiting your local drug store.
#5 – Buy a Late Model Vehicle
If there’s one thing that you can consistently count on when it comes to new vehicles, it’s that they will come loaded with the latest in safety features and driver assistance technology. If you need assistance finding the safest late model vehicles, check out the winners of the IIHS Top Safety Pick. The established reputation of the IIHS carries a lot of weight in the auto world, so you can feel comfortable taking their recommendations on what constitutes a safe vehicle.
Finding Vehicles Near You That Prioritize Safety
Fortunately, shopping for vehicles that prioritize safety is easy with the power of the internet at your fingertips. You can search phases such as “safest cars of 2023” or “IIHS top safety pick winners.” That should bring up several different makes and models of vehicles for you to peruse. Once you find one or two vehicles that meet your safety needs and budget constraints, you can reach out to your local auto dealership about setting up a test drive.