Vehicle Maintenance Protects Against Summer Car Accidents
Summer is the season when many of us take road trips. In the hot weather and under the pressure of driving additional miles, your chances of experiencing automotive mishaps are bound to increase. Aside from being an inconvenience, breakdowns on the road can put you at an increased risk for car accidents and injuries. The following provides some handy tips for helping to ensure your vehicle is road ready, along with precautions to take in the event a breakdown does occur.
Preventing Maintenance Issues on Summer Road Trips
The summer sun and high temperatures can take a heavy toll on your car, particularly when driving extended miles. In general, there are some simple maintenance checks you can do to ensure it keeps running properly over the warm weather months, which are particularly important if you intend on heading out for a road trip. The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends the following:
- Check your battery. The summer heat can have a negative effect on your battery, leading to internal breakdowns that eventually cause the battery to fail. Have your battery tested regularly if it is more than three years old. Evaporation causes corrosive acid to build up on the outside which can also interfere with function, so clean the terminals as well.
- Check engine fluids. Again, evaporation is often the culprit for engine or transmission fluid levels that run low over the summer and on extended trips. Pay attention to engine indicator lights and check your coolant levels regularly.
- Check tire levels. Driving on blacktop and hot pavement puts additional strain on your tires, as does the sun and humid temperatures. To minimize your risks of a blow out, check for worn treads regularly and make sure tires are always properly inflated.
In addition to the above, check windshield wipers, washer fluid levels, and make sure all head, tail, and brake lights are clean and in working order. While these will not cause your car to breakdown, they do impact visibility, making car accidents more likely to occur.
What to Do in the Event of a Breakdown
Despite your precautions, automotive breakdowns can still occur. Be alert to subtle signs of a breakdown, such as a sudden loss of power or smoke from the engine, so you have time to pull over and follow these tips from StateofFlorida.com:
- Aim at getting all four tires off the roadway.
- If possible, park where your vehicle can be seen at least 200 feet in either direction.
- Make sure you and your passengers get out on the side away from traffic.
- Do not attempt repairs on the side of the road. Have your car towed to a safer location instead.
Contact Us Today for Help
When car accidents and injuries do occur, the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III provides legal guidance to help you get the compensation you need to recover. Contact our Fort Pierce car accident attorney today and request a consultation to see how we can help you.