Now, you make think your old jalopy is a beauty, and maybe you have kept it maintained and pristine. There comes a time, however, when a smart driver must consider the potential safety concerns of tooling around town in a vehicle that’s several years old.
Vehicle safety is a BIG deal. Crashes are the leading cause of debilitating injuries in the United States. Drivers need to make certain their vehicles provide as many safety measures as possible.
Here are 4 thoughts to ponder if you are trying to decide if your current vehicle is still reliable and safe, if it needs safety updates, or if it’s time to start shopping around for a new ride.
#1: How equipped is your vehicle for a crash?
Big advances have happened in the last few years in regards to vehicle safety. Newer models are better equipped to handle crashes with minimal injuries. Better air bags, higher performing brakes, and more technologically advanced seat belts result in higher safety standards in newer vehicles. If you want to check out how safe your current vehicle is considered, check out this interactive website.
If your older vehicle is lacking in the safety feature department, for the well-being of you and your passengers, you must think seriously about shopping for a newer one. However, if making a purchase is not in the budget, you must consider how to make your current vehicle as safe as possible by…
#2: Determining whether or not your vehicle’s current safety equipment functions properly.
Issues such as the wrong type of tires and cheap windshield wipers contribute to a large number of auto accident injuries. Make certain to equip your vehicle with good quality tires that can handle the type of weather in your area, and invest in high performance windshield wipers that will keep your view unobstructed.
#3: Have you installed safety features on your current vehicle?
Talk to your mechanic about inspecting your vehicle and recommending options you can add to your vehicle to make it a safer ride. He may be able to offer low cost suggestions that you can implement to make your vehicle as safe as possible.
It’s also a good idea to stay abreast of any safety recalls issued on your particular vehicle. Drivers can enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and see the current safety recalls for their vehicle’s make and model. It’s critical to get these repaired as quickly as possible.
#4: Is it time to think about a roadside assistance service?
Even if you take every available precaution, older model vehicles are still more likely to break down and leave you stranded on the roadside than newer models. It’s advisable, if you haven’t already, to look into roadside assistance services to protect you if you ever find yourself in this situation. Enrolling in a reputable roadside assistance program will offer you piece of mind, especially on longer trips.
And one more point. I know we said 4, but this is important!
Remember, safety on the road begins with YOU. The driver of a vehicle can often circumvent being involved in an accident by driving at a safe speed and keeping his or her eyes on the road. Always practice defensive driving behind the wheel. Maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you, use your turn signals, and avoid talking on your cell phone or other distractions.
New vehicle or old jalopy, it’s important you bear in mind safe driving is a top priority. Make certain your vehicle and your attitude are ready for the road.