For a lot of families, the car is an essential part of everyday life. From holidays to the school run, the family car gets us where we need to go, and keeps us comfortable and safe. 

While car accidents do happen, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many things that you can do to make your car safer and reduce the chances of being involved in one. 

Foto de Zac Harris en Unsplash

Insurance 

It is a legal requirement to have insurance for your vehicle. The costs will change depending on what level of insurance you have, the type of car you drive and the additional features of the policy. When buying your policy look for features such as a courtesy car and legal cover should you have an accident and need car accident lawyers to represent you. It should also cover your legal expenses should someone make a claim against you. 

Driving Skills

Being a safe and experienced driver means you are less likely to be involved in an accident, especially one that is your fault. Good driving skills can help you assess road situations, avoid accidents and move the car safely. Yet it can be easy to fall into bad habits as time goes on, or not feel confident behind the wheel as we’d like to. In this case, it’s a good idea to brush up on your driving skills. Maybe a few refresher lessons with a driving instructor or even an advanced driving course. 

Rest When You’re Tired

It’s well known that driving after drinking or taking drugs (either legal medications or illegal substances) is very dangerous and against the law. But one of the biggest causes of accidents is driver tiredness. Excessive fatigue can cause you to be less alert, slow your reflexes and in extreme cases, fall asleep at the wheel. 

On long journeys, you should plan rest breaks, and keep yourself hydrated and with a good supply of fresh air. If you need to, park somewhere safe and have a nap. 

Repairs & Maintenance 

A car that is in good condition and well looked after is safer. Regular maintenance is essential to keep everything running smoothly as well as spot any small problems before they become big expensive ones. Checking that your tires have sufficient tread left on them and that the brakes are working well are two of the safest things you can do. 

Having your car serviced regularly is one of the best things you can do to extend the life of your vehicle and keep it driving smoothly and safely. 

Dash Cam

Many cars now have cameras mounted to the front that record the car and the road in front of the driver, and behind too if you have one facing the rear of the car. They are a very good idea for a number of reasons. Firstly, they can keep a record if you’re involved in an accident, being able to protect you against fraudulent claims against your insurance. It can also deter people from stealing your car or breaking into it for fear that they’re being recorded. 

Some models of dashcam store recordings in the cloud so that even if the car is stolen or the camera is damaged, the footage is still available to view.

Roadside Assistance 

Breaking down when you’re travelling can be hugely worrying, especially if you’re travelling with kids or in a location that’s remote or unfamiliar. Having access to a roadside assistance service can give your piece of mind.

There are many ways to get roadside assistance coverage. Some insurance policies include it as part of your cover. It is also sometimes a perk of a bank account fee provided by your employer. 

The technology used by these companies is now very sophisticated and even if your break down in an unfamiliar area, they can use your phone or a specialist tracker in your car to find you when you’ve broken down. 

Emergency Kit 

Every driver should have some essential items in their car in case of an emergency. These may change slightly depending on the time of year. In general, you should carry a first aid kit, a safety triangle, a spare tire and tools to change it, non-perishable snacks, water, a torch, a wind-up phone charger and a blanket. 

At different times of the year, you might also need other items. In the winter, this can include a fold-up shovel to help dig you out of snow drifts, a de-icer and a scraper to keep visibility through the windows and warm emergency clothing in case you are stranded. 

Child Seats

The safest way for babies and younger children to travel is in a specialist car seat. Most countries require these by law and have different regulations which govern the safety features and length of time they need to be used. 

When choosing a child seat, research first so that you are buying a safe seat from a reputable brand. Install it correctly in line with the manufactures instructions. It’s also vital that you learn how to secure your children into the seat properly, so that if you’re involved in a car accident, then the seats will perform as they should in order to keep the child as safe as possible. 

Planning Your Journeys

If you’re heading off on a trip to somewhere you’ve never been before, then the best thing to do is to plan your journey well in advance. By doing this, you’re less likely to get lost or distracted and upset trying to read a map or find your way around. 

Takeaways

Not all accidents on the road or foreseeable or avoidable. Yet there are many things that you can do in order to reduce the chance of some of these accidents. Most of them are inexpensive and can give your piece of mind that if you do break down or have an accident, then you have some of the necessary equipment with you to get help and keep yourself comfortable until help arrives. 

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