How Proper Car Maintenance Can Prevent Accidents and Keep You Safe on the Road in the UK
Maintaining your vehicle and understanding the importance of regular vehicle maintenance is a key factor to good road safety that is more often than not overlooked by UK drivers. Ensuring that your car, van or motorcycle is in tip-top condition both on the outside and the inside (IE engine) can help to prevent accidents as well as keep you safe on UK roads. Certainly, in the United Kingdom, where the weather can be more than unpredictable, often with four seasons in one day, this can have an impact on how your car handles on the road depending on the road conditions and traffic conditions too. For instance, poorly maintained tyres are a hazard on wet and icy roads, just as sunny weather can cause issues with visibility with a grimy windscreen, we cover the basics on how to keep your vehicle in good condition and healthy for our roads.
There are several reasons for keeping your vehicle in good condition by carrying out regular vehicle maintenance, here are some of the key points:
The Importance of Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Vehicle Safety: By ensuring that your vehicle is in good working order will statistically reduce the risk of accidents that are mainly caused by defective or worn-out parts or mechanical failure or breakdown.
Improved Fuel Efficiency: By having a well-maintained vehicle, it is much more likely to have a much better fuel efficiency, this not only saves you money, which is key in today’s economic climate but also reduces the carbon footprint on the planet too.
Resale Value: If you maintain your vehicle, it will most likely retain its book value over time, this means that when you come to sell it, or even trade it in, you are going to get more money for it.
Reduced Repair Costs: It is said, prevention is always better than the cure, and certainly more cost-effective when it comes to identifying any potential issues before they become a major fault. By regular maintenance you can act, before it becomes more serious and costly.
Complying With The Law: As part of the UK transport law, all vehicles are subject to an annual MOT Test to ensure that not only that they are roadworthy, but safe to be on the UK roads, this not only includes the mechanical aspects, but also things such as windscreen wipers, safe seatbelts, and such. By regular maintenance, you can reduce the risk of your vehicle failing the MOT as well as not getting hit in the pocket to put everything right before a retest.
How To Prevent Accidents By Regular Vehicle Maintenance.
There are numerous ways that you can help prevent accidents through regular maintenance and carrying these out will help towards keeping you safe on the road. Here are the key examples:
Regular Tyre Maintenance: By ensuring that your tyres are at the correct air pressure, meets the tread standards as well as checked regularly for any damage and wear and tear will reduce the chances of having a blowout or losing control through lack of grip which can lead to both minor and serious accidents.
Brake Maintenance: By making sure your brakes are in good condition and fully working order, including replacing brake pads and brake fluid on a regular basis ensures that you can carry out an emergency stop safely as well as preventing brake failure which both can lead to an unnecessary accident if regular maintenance has been carried out.
Steering and Suspension: Making sure that these two components are in tip-top condition is key to better control and handling, whereas when in a poor condition, or even worse, failure, can lead to an accident that could’ve easily be avoided through regular maintenance.
Lights and Indicators: Regularly checking that these are in full working order is not only key for yourself, but also for other drivers, for instance if your indicator is not working, another vehicle may run into you not being able to anticipate your intentions. So regularly checking the bulbs and ensuring the wiring is in good condition is important.
Windscreen Wipers and Screen Wash: It’s vital that you have clear visibility on the road, not only to see where you are going but also to anticipate any up-and-coming hazards, a nasty turn in the weather or having your windscreen sprayed with dirt from a passing vehicle. Always make sure that you top the fluid up and that your wipers are free of debris and in good working order.
Five Top Tips for Vehicle Maintenance.
To ensure that your vehicle is in the best condition it can be and to prevent unnecessary accidents we have compiled five top tips to help you with regular vehicle maintenance. Here they are:
- Be sure to adhere to the maintenance schedule of your vehicle by consulting the owner’s manual and following the manufacturer’s instructions on recommended maintenance as closely as possible, including mileage checks and age.
- Carry out regular check on all your vehicle’s fluids from engine oil to coolant, brake fluid as well as washer fluid, making sure that they are topped up to the correct levels.
- Check your tyres on a regular basis, examine each one for damage, carry out an air pressure check as well as checking the tread levels, and should you find any damage or severe wear and tear address it promptly.
- Ensure your vehicle is kept clean, protecting the outside is vital to stop rust, and equally important make sure the inside is clean, especially in the drivers’ side where loose trash can impact the operation of the pedals or controls.
- Use a trusted mechanic that you can rely on to carrying out the maintenance that you can’t. This can be a local garage, a friend (if they are reliable as well as qualified!) or even the dealership where you purchased the car. Whatever you do, be sure that all maintenance is carried out to the highest possible standards and on a regular basis.
So, there you have it, by carrying out regular vehicle maintenance you are ensuring better road safety and ultimately preventing accidents on the UK road. So be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and schedules, regularly check your fluids, tyres and lights as well as addressing any potential issues you spot as soon as possible, and don’t forget to keep your vehicle clean, inside and out. By having a well-maintained vehicle, you’re not only protecting your own safety and those travelling with you, but also are contributing to the road safety of everyone.