Being in and around our cars has become such a critical part of our (and our family’s) lives that it is more important than ever to make sure we are not skipping important steps when it comes to our vehicles. Whether it’s a maintenance step we overlook or downgrading our children’s safety seats too soon, there are some easy ways to help us to remember and to keep everyone safe in the car.
Whether your car is on the road or in the garage, it is necessary to always treat it as a potential danger to your child. When not in use, in the driveway or the garage, make sure your emergency brake is engaged. This will help limit the chances of your vehicle rolling away. Locking your vehicle is another simple thing we can do to help keep the little ones safe. Kids like cars, it’s a part of their daily lives, and they’re cool, what’s not to like? So, making sure they can’t get into cars unsupervised is a way to help protect them.
Before getting on the road, ensuring that your children are in the correct seat and restraints is going to be an essential part of vehicle safety.
- Rear-facing car seats should be used from birth-3 years old
- Forward-facing car seats with a harness and tether should be used from 4-7 years old, but be sure to read information on weight limits
- Booster seats should be used for ages 8-12 years old
- Seatbelt only should be used only when they can fit properly in a seatbelt because seatbelts have been designed for a 175lbs man
- Keep children under 15 in the back seat
Even if you’re just going a block away, always make sure your children, no matter their age, are properly restrained in the vehicle.
Look around your car, how many loose items do you see? People aren’t the only things in cars that should be restrained! Loose items can quickly become a hazard in the event of hard braking or an accident. Groceries, emergency kits, and random items left behind in the car from previous trips are all things that should be on the floor or, preferably, in the trunk. Unrestrained people and objects can become projectiles in the event of a car crash, sending them flying towards/through the front, injuring those in the front.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are a leading cause for sending children to the hospital. Even after the fact, we can prevent further harm by having adequate car insurance. Getting new quotes each year can help to ensure you have the coverage that will protect your family in the event of a car accident. Sticking to the minimum coverage won’t guarantee you have the real coverage to be able to take care of your medical bills following an accident.
Finally, don’t forget the routine maintenance on your car! Making sure that your vehicle is working at its tip-top will help prevent accidents or car troubles from happening.
- Oil and oil filter: check it often, and replace between 5,000-10,000 miles
- Air filter: every 15,000-30,000 miles
- Brake fluid: every 20,000-45,000 miles, or if you’re brake pedal feels squishy, it’s time to get it checked/changed
- Brake pads: listen for screeching sounds, check them often, and generally they’ll last up to 50,000 miles
- Coolant: plan to replace every 60,000 miles
From the most simple to the most technical, keeping these things in mind will help protect you, your family, and your car. Your car is a part of your life and maintaining good practices will always be a benefit to you. Make an appointment to make sure everything is running smoothly with your vehicle before hitting the streets for some trick-or-treating or other Halloween fun! Stop by Brown Motor Works to get your car ready for tailgating. Schedule an appointment today to get your vehicle ready.