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Most people think it’s pretty easy to spot a safe driver. They’re driving the speed limit, breaking easily and early, and being respectful of those around them. There isn’t any texting going on, and they’re not talking on the phone while cruising down the highway. Overall, this looks like a recipe for success from the outside. But it should be noted that safety on the highway is about more than just the outside view of things. Indeed, a great deal of arriving safely to a destination depends on proper vehicle care and maintenance to make sure that no unexpected events cause an accident or even a fender bender.

That’s probably why major national organizations, like the American Automobile Association, maintain plenty of online information about how to maintain a car over time. Whether it’s the wheels, the wipers, or any number of things in between, a vehicle that is properly maintained is simply more likely to result in a safe driving experience than one that has been routinely neglected.

Consider the Basics: Safe Driving in Inclement Weather

One of the main events that can trip up even the safest of drivers is a harsh rainstorm or a few flakes of snow. Driving is certainly more challenging during these events, even for those vehicles that are expertly maintained and piloted by a safe and skilled driver. Without the right maintenance, however, even safe drivers can find themselves put directly into harm’s way.

One of the key pieces of maintenance in any vehicles is a regular inspection and replacement of windshield wipers. These often-overlooked pieces of equipment can literally make the difference between seeing out of the windshield and being completely blinded by rain, snow, or even particularly dense fog. And, in an ironic twist, they tend to be as delicate as they are essential. Wipers are known for easily wearing down, becoming uneven, and leaving streaks of un-wiped rain on the windshield. Every streak is a hit to visibility, and reduced visibility can lead straight to accidents.

A Key Component of Safety is Communication

While most people tend to think that “communication” when driving involves talking on a cellphone or texting friend, that’s not actually the case. Communication has to be done between drivers to ensure a safe and informed driving experience. That’s why cars include things like turn signals and brake lights. If those turn signals or brake lights blow out, due to a dead bulb or blown fuse, it will make communication extremely difficult. When drivers don’t know if a car is slowing down, they won’t be inclined to slow down until it’s too late. And if they don’t know a car is turning, or switching lanes, they can’t make the proper accommodations.

Without good vehicle maintenance, blown out lights can cause a number of major headaches on the road. Regular inspections of a car’s brake lights, turn signals, headlights, and even backup lights, should be conducted by the driver. Of course, these are also tested during vehicle inspections in many states.

Regular Oil Changes are the Key to Safety

Another key thing that some drivers seem to ignore is an oil change. Although it’s probably the most well-known car maintenance routine, a good number of drivers figure they can ignore the oil change and go a few extra miles before they manage to fit such an inconvenience into their schedule. All too often, that turns into hundreds of miles — or even thousands of miles — before the problem is taken care of. In the most extreme cases, poor oil maintenance can lead to engine fires that place the driver, as well as fellow motorists, directly into danger. The car’s engine itself can be ruined, and the car may be unable to be driven.

The same is true of transmission fluid, which is an essential part of being able to accelerate on the highway. Without it, a stuck transmission will slow the car down, stall the car, and force it to be parked alongside the highway. Fellow motorists will be put into harm’s way as a result.

Tires Should Not be Ignored

Highway safety depends on good maintenance, and tires are a key thing to monitor when ensuring the vehicle is safe to be driven. Tires with shallow and worn treads are more dangerous in inclement weather and they can make it impossible to control the vehicle during a severe storm. Worn tires also have a lesser overall grip of the driving surface, which can make the vehicle hard to handle even on sunnier days.

Tires should be regularly inspected, periodically rotated, and replaced when the need arises, in order to maintain a safe experience on the road. Without such maintenance, they can cause the vehicle’s very presence on the road to spin out of control and endanger the life of the driver and fellow motorists.

Good Driving is About Good Maintenance

Sure, it’s good to pay full attention to the road and ignore electronic devices. And driving the speed limit greatly reduces the risk of an accident. Amid it all, though, vehicle maintenance is a key way to ensure a full commitment to safe driving. By preventing many common causes of accidents, regular maintenance ensures that the car’s driver and passengers, as well as fellow motorists, remain safe on the road.

Cecil & Geiser are dedicated to protecting the state of Ohio. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact them for a free consultation and have the best columbus car accident attorney in your corner.