Throughout the country, winter is a time for an increased number of auto accidents. Even in the warm climates known to St. Petersburg residents, there is always the risk of collision on the roads, which can be both costly and devastating. Proper car maintenance is one of the leading ways of reducing the risk of an accident. While many defects involving needed car repairs are obvious, there are others that are overlooked and that can be potentially disastrous if not caught soon enough.
Weak Bumper. Though they certainly play a big part in the cosmetic appeal of cars on the road today, bumpers are also a necessary safety element on vehicles and when they have been compromised, it can leave the passengers at risk. Though this repair won’t necessarily prevent an accident, it can help you survive one.
Anytime a car is involved in an accident, even a minor one, the bumpers should be evaluated by a trained mechanic. The same is true if you have invested in a used car and don’t know the accident history. Bumpers can be damaged enough to be deemed ineffective in an accident, while showing no outward signs of trouble. In other words, the car may look great, but a problematic crack or defect could be hiding behind the scenes.
Corroded Brake Lines. Just think about the beating the underside of your car takes as you speed down the highway, en route to work or while running an errand. Bouncing pebbles, salted roads, and even wet conditions can wreak havoc on the bottom of a vehicle and this is exactly where the brake lines run. Many of the substances used to treat, paint, or protect the roads can be corrosive, but even without such trouble-makers, rust can form as a result of moisture sitting on the metal. A sudden or unexpected leak in the brake line can make stopping problematic, so it is important to have your car inspected regularly and this is particularly true where car repairs are needed for the brake system.
Improperly Inflated Tires. One of the most commonly overlooked problems with cars on the road is under inflation of the tires. Not only does this increase the risk of a tire blowout, accident, and need for a Saint Petersburg personal injury attorney, it also reduces engine efficiency. It has been estimated that properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by up to a mile per gallon. Newer cars will have sensors alerting the driver that the air pressure is too low, but on older cars it is important to check regularly.
Poorly Sealed Headlights. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but decreased visibility at night or in a heavy rainstorm can result in a potentially fatal accident. Small cracks in the headlight cover or a broken seal can allow moisture to build up within and that means that the headlight is less effective. It also means that the expensive light bulb is at risk of being damaged.
Damaged Battery. Anyone who has been driving for any notable amount of time has likely experienced the effects of a dead battery. Though it is not likely to cause an accident, it certainly won’t be handy if you need to start the car after pulling over to the side of the road, parking on a busy main street, or running into the local convenience store. Weak batteries tend to die at the change of seasons, due to the fluctuations in temperature that occur during those times. This is why it is a good idea to have your battery checked before those transitions.
A poorly maintained vehicle can get you into big trouble on the road. Be safe, be prepared, and if you have an accident because of a faulty vehicle component, speak to a personal injury attorney about your rights.