If people did proper car repairs there would most likely not be 38,000 people die every year in the U.S. due to car accidents, and 4.4 million people are injured enough to need medical treatment. In addition to human casualties and injuries, it’s estimated that over 200 billion dollars in property damages are sustained due to car wrecks.
Many of these accidents occur in major cities, like Chicago, where there was a total of 98,859 car accidents in 2018. 121 people were killed and over 17,000 were injured in those accidents. The city also saw accidents increase by 11% in the early months of 2020, despite the Covid-19 outbreak.
The concentration of accidents in cities is mainly due to population. More people equal more cars, which equals more accidents. Some accidents can’t be prevented, but they’re in the minority compared to the amount that is caused by human error and other preventable causes.
So, what can you do to avoid becoming a driving statistic? One of the easiest steps you can take is ensuring that your car is properly cared for. Here are some common car repairs and maintenance that can help save you from an accident.
Get Your Brakes Checked Regularly
Your brakes are one of the most used parts of your car. They are responsible for keeping you safe daily, but they can only do that if they’re properly maintained. As a rule, you should have your brakes checked every six months, but you should also have them checked if:
- Your brake pads look less than a quarter of an inch thick.
- You hear a high-pitched squeal when you use your brakes or a grinding sound.
- You feel the car pull to the left or right when driving without you being responsible for it.
- You feel a vibration when using your brakes.
- You notice that you are having to push your brake down farther to make it work.
If you notice any of these signs, you should have your brakes checked right away. The last thing you want is for them to not work properly when you need them.
Change Your Tires Before They’re in Dire Need of Replacing
Tires can last anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 miles before they need to be replaced. The owner’s manual of your car will be able to give you a more specific estimate. It’s also a good idea to have your tires checked before winter comes if you live in a cold state like Illinois, to ensure they’ll be safe if you encounter snow or ice.
Signs that it may be time to have your tires check include noticing cracks in the sidewalls, uneven wear patterns or bulges on the tire, or feeling a vibration when driving your car. Vibrations can indicate several problems, so a mechanic will need to determine if your tires are what is causing it.
Determine the Cause Of Your Engine Light Coming On
Your engine light can come on for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, another light on your dashboard may come on with it to explain the issue. It could be that you just need an oil change, or you’re low on coolant. In some cars, it could even mean that you didn’t tighten your gas cap down all the way.
If you determine that one of these common issues is the problem and you’re able to fix it, you’re good to go. If you can’t establish what the problem is, or if you can’t fix it yourself, you should sit tight. If the check engine light is trying to warn you about a major issue, it may not be safe to drive.
If your check engine light goes on and off repeatedly, you can have it checked by a mechanic to diagnose the issue. This will usually cost somewhere between $80 and $200, depending on where you go.
You can have the car towed to a mechanic or call for roadside assistance if you are out and about. It may not be convenient, but it is better that you be cautious than have an accident.
What To Do If Someone Else Causes An Accident
Even if you take the time to do everything right, that does not eliminate your chances of being involved in an accident. Unfortunately, other people are not always as safety minded as you.
If you’re currently suffering due to a car accident in a major city like Chicago, there may be legal options you can pursue. Compensation may be available to pay for any injuries, emotional suffering, or car repairs.
To find out if this is the right path for you, contact a local attorney. They can help answer questions and determine if you have a case under state law.
Take care of your car so it can help take care of you. Regular repairs and maintenance can help give your car, and you, a long life.