Automobiles are an integral part of our daily lives. They bring us to work, take our children to school, and they are often the source of leisure and pride for countless people. It is easy to forget and ignore how dangerous riding in a motor vehicle can be since we do it so many times a day. Most of us have been in or know someone who has been in an accident, and the statistics show just how important it is to make sure our cars are as safe as possible.
In recent news, there have been many car recalls, involving the world’s top automobile manufacturers like Toyota and Honda. These cars were recalled because the manufacturers discovered or received multiple complaints of the cars having faulty features and suddenly engaging in dangerous, erratic behavior.
If you are buying a used car, it is important to check and see if there have been any recalls on the model. You can find information on recalls on the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s web site (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/). When deciding to buy a car that is either new or used, there are available documented ratings on the car’s quality, and it is important to read them first.
When a consumer purchases an automobile, it is important to make sure that it meets proper safety standards and is in good running condition. All new cars manufactured and sold in the U.S. must have an airbag built in. Problems arise when the airbag does not go off, so it is important to check that you are buying a car with good ratings on the airbag’s performance.
All cars come with seatbelts and it is against the law not to use one. Many people who are in fatal accidents do not use seatbelts. Common, law-abiding sense when either driving or riding in a car is the most important component in automobile safety. Drivers should also take their cars to an auto mechanic annually for service and inspection. It is important to ensure that the car’s brakes and tires are working properly along with the engine and other features that need to be reliable.
Distracted drivers cause the majority of accidents, more so than any cars with design and production defects. When you take a car onto the road you need to make sure that you keep your eyes and mind on the road and your hands on the wheel. While occasional distractions may come up, it is important not to yield to them. Drivers must avoid things and activities that cause distraction, especially factors that cause more than one kind of distraction for the driver. Eating or drinking allows the driver to still see the road, but by taking a hand off the wheel as well as thinking about another activity consists of two distractions that the driver has just created.
Entering a car in a state in which you are unprepared to fully take on the responsibilities of a driver is the worst kind of driver distraction. This kind of distraction consists of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is against the law in every state to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Before going to a bar or party where alcohol is present, make sure that there is a designated driver with you who will remain sober, or if this is not possible take a bus or taxi. It is also illegal in many places for people to talk on their cell phones while driving. Studies are showing that driving while talking on a cell phone is even more dangerous than driving drunk. If you find that you must take a call while you are driving, the best thing to do for everyone’s safety is to pull over.
If you have further uncertainties of what to do when driving a car, it’s a good idea to take a licensed driver’s education course. Even if you have been driving for years, people are prone to forget and laws do change. As we all know, it is better to be safe than sorry.