Many individuals living across the globe rely on the use of an automobile to travel between their homes, schools, and places of employment. In fact, according to some research, as many as 750 million vehicles are used each day. To avoid personal injury or property damage, drivers are often encouraged to assess the functionality and safety of their car on a regular basis. Evaluating the driving skills of both new and experienced operators is also essential to ensure a safe road for all motorists. Those who have questions or concerns about their driving ability or the adequacy of their vehicle may want to consult with professionals at their local Department of Transportation for further recommendations.
General Car Safety and Maintenance
When it comes to avoiding car accidents or property damage, vehicle maintenance is essential. Maintaining appropriate tire pressure and alignment cannot only be an effective way to maximize fuel usage rates, but can also aid in the prevention of blow-outs and bent rims. Regularly changing vehicle oil levels, brakes, coolant levels, and even windshield wipers can help prevent future disaster. While some people may feel comfortable performing these tasks at home, others may require the assistance of a skilled professional. Most mechanics agree that for best results, cars should receive regular maintenance at least every six months to ensure satisfactory results.
- Injury Prevention and Control: Motor Vehicle Safety—Teen Drivers
- 10 Vision Safety Tips for Older Drivers
Driver Safety and Laws
While vehicles that are damaged or which require repair pose a significant risk to motorist safety, drivers who do not obey safety and traffic laws are also exceptionally dangerous. In most countries, drivers must pass and maintain a federal driving test before they are allowed on the road. Individuals are tested on their use of mirrors, turn signals, and gas/brake pedals. In addition, people who attempt a driving test must demonstrate an ability to maintain appropriate speeds and interpret traffic signs and/or lights. Individuals who are interested in the obtainment of a motorists’ license may want to enroll in a driving school to obtain additional instruction in driver safety.
While vehicle passengers are unlikely to cause an accident, they can undergo substantial injury when basic precautions are not followed. Adult vehicle passengers should always wear a seatbelt when riding in a car to avoid severe injury or even death. Children are also exposed to significant risks while riding in a vehicle—in fact, some research suggests that motor vehicle crashes are one of the most common causes of death for children between the ages of three and 14. For best results, most professionals agree that during car trips, children should be placed in rear-facing car seats in the backseat of the vehicle until they are at least 35 pounds or two years of age. Older children can be moved to a booster seat and eventually a regular seatbelt when they reach 80 pounds or eight years of age.
- Car Seat Safety by Age: The Videos and Info you Need
- Child Passenger Safety: Child Passenger Safety Law
Responding appropriately to fellow drivers is also an important part of maintaining a safe roadway. Merging, maintaining safe driving distances, and responding appropriately to the flow of traffic is essential in the prevention of accidents or crashes. Driving techniques and tendencies often vary dramatically from region to region around the world. Those who wish to learn more about the traffic in a particular location should consult with traffic experts in the immediate area.
Other Important Auto Safety Resources
View the following auto safety resources to learn more about keeping yourself and others safe on the road.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Teen Drivers
- Safe Driving for Seniors
- Child Passenger Safety Information
- Pedestrian Safety Tips
- Road Rage: A Symptom of Much More than Bad Traffic?