Unsafe drive is the most expensive drive. So what could you do today to improve your own safety?
Preparing your vehicle to be safe for driving is the most important pre-driving activity. Minimizing the possible threats to your security makes you calm and less tense for driving. When you know that you checked everything that should be checked and that your vehicle is technically immaculate improves your general driving skills because you can commit yourself to driving only.
High-flyers always check the tires
According to some researches, tires are often overlooked by the owners of motor vehicles. Due to the lack of knowledge or preoccupation with everyday duties, people seem to often forget to check the pressure and the overall condition of tires. The pressure in tires is of great importance, since tires are the foundations of a vehicle. Beside that, you have to know what your vehicle’s load limit is in order to avoid overloading it.
Having a tire well balanced is another important feature and it really adds to the overall safety of the car. The safercar.gov site explains why the balance is crucial.
“To avoid vibration or shaking of the vehicle when a tire rotates, the tire must be properly balanced. This balance is achieved by positioning weights on the wheel to counterbalance heavy spots on the wheel-and-tire assembly. A wheel alignment adjusts the angles of the wheels so that they are positioned correctly relative to the vehicle’s frame. This adjustment maximizes the life of your tires and prevents your car from veering to the right or left when driving on a straight, level road. These adjustments require special equipment and should be performed by a qualified technician.”safercar.gov
Change tires as seasons do
Furthermore, it is essential that you change the tires as the seasons change. It is highly unrecommendable keeping the same tires all year long because that way you increase significantly the risk of having a tire blow during the drive and limit the scope of action during breaking or sudden movements. Summer tires are more stretchable and thus more proper for high temperatures.
Winter tires, on the other hand, have different features, the most important being deeper treads, which are meant for winter conditions of low temperatures and icy roads. The fact is that tires get wasted faster if the climate is warmer, even the ones meant for the summer season. In addition, you always have to adapt your driving to weather conditions.
Driving too fast when it is hot outside can lead to a tire blow and if that happens during a fast drive, it can be fatal. Overinflation, underinflation or damage on a tire can be extremely dangerous and every driver must pay attention to these safety measures in order to avoid unwanted perils. If you do not know what tire pressure is adequate for your car, you have to check in the user’s manual or contact the tire manufacturer.
The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) offers drivers a tire rating list, where you can choose a manufacturer, a tire and check how tires behave in particular conditions. The criteria they give are the treadwear grade, the temperature grade and the traction grade. They also offer a free concise pdf-brochure about the tire safety.
Even if you did everything according to our tips, there is always a possibility that your tire blows. In that case, be calm and simply replace it with the spare one. However, the spare tire has to be pre-checked to be sure you can drive when it is on your vehicle.
Check if there’s oil on the soil
While some may be surprised by the notion of oil when talking about safety measures, engine oil is one of the most important safety features of a vehicle. Engine oil serves as a lubricant for the engine and that way makes your car last longer, your drives more comfortable and your safety on a higher level. You should also be very careful what oil type is suitable for your car. Inappropriate oil type can harm both your engine and your safety. The site castrol.com describes in more details what engine oil does for your engine.
“Motor oil’s prime function is to lubricate every moving part of your engine with a protective film that reduces friction. It also:
- Cleans your engine. Oil collects soot, ash, acids and other moisture that eventually forms deposits. Deposits, if accumulated on critical engine parts, accelerates wear. Oil helps prevent this by keeping particulates suspended until they’re drained away when you change your oil.
- Creates a seal around piston rings and cylinder walls. Without proper sealing action, you lose power and waste fuel.
- Protects your engine against rust and corrosion.
- Cools vital engine parts your radiator coolant can’t reach. In fact, as much as 40% of the cooling job in your engine is performed by oil.”
So what happens if you run out of engine oil? Well, the first thing to be said here is that you have to be extremely careless to be left with no oil. There are many lights on the car dashboard and one of them is the one indicating that you do not have enough oil. If something is wrong with the oil level, the light will first go orange and if you still ignore the light, it will turn red, you will run out of oil and the damage on your motor will be enormous.
Save your engine and stay safe
That is why checking the oil level is of greatest importance. Even if the warning light does not give you any sign of danger, always check the oil level before you set off for a trip. In case you have only a little oil on an open road, especially at high speeds, pistons and cylinders in the engine might start grinding one another, which could lead to the total eclipse of the engine. That way you can easily lose control over the vehicle and expose yourself, your passengers and all other participants in traffic to great danger.
In addition, if you are are an inexperienced or a panicking driver, the metal sound of grinding coming from your engine can additionally frighten you and lead to further mistakes and perils. Just be careful and ensure that the engine oil level is sufficient and your drive will be safe and sound.
Care about your health – use the seat belt
Many people from my surrounding like to pretend they are greater and more powerful than life and that boasting trait of theirs is particularly visible when we talk about advantages and disadvantages of a seat belt. The seat belt is one of those things that cut people into two approximately equal halves. Those who do not consider fastening the seat belt an important safety feature claim that driving unfastened leaves you more space for maneuvering in case of danger than driving fastened.
The other side, or the fastened, support and approve of the campaign for the use of seat belts in vehicles. Vehicle manufacturers make their models equipped with numerous reminder features to keep drivers aware how important seat belts are. Alerting systems vary from red blinking lights on the dashboard indicating an unfastened driver, over the sound of beeping when you start the engine unfastened, to voice commands to fasten your belt and the most cutting-edge method – blocking the car from moving until all the belts are fastened.
According to the National Occupant Protection Survey (NOPUS) conducted by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the NHTSA, the seat belt use rate in 2007 was 82% while in 1994 it was just below 60%. It is clear from their survey that the fatality rate has gone down radically since 1994, just as the seat belt use rate has been on the increase since. What is even more important is that the seat belt rate is higher in those states that have stricter seat belt use law than in the ones with the less strict law. The results of the survey can be seen here.
Although there will always be people who are opposed to using the seat belt, it is one of the most important safety measures in driving.
Safety measure’s worth like treasure
Although too many people telling you how to do something might get you to become a little bit upset, they are right in one single thing: driving in risky way or driving unsafely is the least economical drive. If you do not check your vehicle’s parts and fluids regularly, it can cost you more money and time when it breaks down for good than it would if you checked it regularly. Not to mention the safety hazards you face if you ignore the advice that you really have to pay attention to safety details for cautious driving.
We all often think that nothing can do us any harm on the road, but that stubbornness and excessive self-confidence can not only harm you but also cause a lot of damage to your family, friends or people who you regularly drive. Not all the tips you are shelled with are the smartest and most useful ones, but there are some things you really have to do if you want to minimize all the possible dangers that lurk behind the next bend. We decided to put the accent on most important technical safety features in this article and how to make them work for you and your vehicle.
Safety is something that should always come first when it comes to driving. No matter how experienced, old or self-confident you are, you always have to make your driving as safe as you can and be ready to face a challenging situation if you have already undertaken all the necessary safety measures. Don’t chase speed records, do listen (occasionally) to more experienced drivers, check the tires, check the oil, fasten the seat belt and enjoy your ride.