If you’ve ever been in a car accident or broken down on the side of the road, vehicle safety is probably top-of-mind. This is especially true if you’re transporting precious cargo, like your little ones. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your car safe and secure for your family.
Inspect your car seats
As parents, we hear about car seat safety so often that we start thinking it’s overkill. Its not. Car seat safety is worth all the discussions and Facebook posts you see. It’s true that we grew up with car seats that weren’t nearly as safe as what we have now, but cars were also built differently back then. And if we can be safer, why shouldn’t we?
Read your car seat’s manual and your car’s instruction manual for installing car seats. Then install the seat properly. If you’re unsure at all, you can take your car to be inspected by someone trained on car seat safety. Usually, you can find someone at your local police or fire station.
When you buckle your children into their seats, be sure to remove any bulky coats or jackets. And be sure the chest clip remains at chest level.
Keep up on oil changes
If your oil light goes on, you’ve already waited too long to get an oil change and are probably doing irreparable damage to your car. When your oil gets that low, it’s likely to be less viscous, which means it’s more like sludge. Oil’s purpose in your car’s engine is to keep things lubricated and remove debris. When the oil gets low, you’ll get a higher concentration of debris, which makes it goopy. At this point, your oil cannot lubricate the engine as well as it should. Try to get oil changes at intervals recommended by your mechanic or auto manual.
Get regular auto maintenance
It’s not just oil changes that are important. You’ll want to keep all fluid levels adequate. This includes, coolant, anti-freeze and even windshield wiper fluid. Anti-freeze and coolant both help you avoid breakdowns by keeping your car within the proper temperature range. And if you’ve ever been in a snowstorm or a windy drizzle without wiper fluid, you know that this can be dangerous. If you’re going to keep your family safe, you’ll need to be able to see the road.
With regular maintenance, you should also be sure to get your tire pressure and brakes checked. These are both crucial for road safety.
Avoid distractions while driving
Now more than ever, it’s easy to become distracted while driving. You get a text or a phone call and look away for five seconds to see who is reaching out. When you’re driving, five seconds is actually a long time to have your eyes off the road. Someone could slam on their brakes or swerve into your lane in less time than it takes to check your phone. Always connect your Bluetooth to help eliminate distracted driving. Remember, nothing is more important than your family’s safety.
Remain calm at all times
Are you guilty of having road rage? You’re not alone, but that doesn’t make it okay. When people let themselves get angry while driving, they’re more likely to make poor and unsafe decisions. Someone with road rage may tailgate someone else who cut them off. If that person also has road rage, they may tap their brakes. This type of aggressive driving has no purpose and it only puts your family in danger. What if you’re too close to the car in front of you when they tap their brakes. It instantly becomes an accident that could cost you money and injure your family. All because you were angry. Before you get behind the wheel, practice healthy stress relief methods. Maybe breathing exercises or soothing music helps. Do whatever it takes to keep your blood pressure down and your family out of harm’s way.
If you take a moment to think about it, you’ll realize that the car is an amazing invention. It gets us from point A to B, and it usually does so safely. But this isn’t something we should take for granted. We should all try to do our part to help ensure our families are always safe in the car.
Of course, to keep your family safe you should also ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy. This means full inspectors have ensured that your car is safe to drive on the roads for both your family and others road users.
Regular auto maintenance is important. Things like oil changes and good brakes and tires are always important, as are seasonal things like antifreeze and air conditioning coolant.