Here are a few tips about preventative measures every driver should take with his/her vehicle to avoid accidents.
It is always good to perform regular inspection of your vehicle. You never know when a defective mechanical element may lead to death. The road stability of the car is primordial, that is why you should check if the suspension is good, the wheels are perfectly aligned and balanced. The brakes and the wheels should have a good road grip. Imagine a driver speeding at 100km/hr on the highway, and because of a bent alloy wheel or a damaged valve, the tire just burst out!
Alloy wheels and bulge tires
Have you noticed any bulge on your tire? Hard impacts, like when the wheels hit potholes, can bend the alloys. This can also bring bulge on the tire sidewall, a sign the steel belts and nylon in the tread have separated. This has the effect to leak air from the tire which leads to poor handling. The stability of the car especially at highway speeds is at risk if the tire happens to blow out.
Failing Steering Rack/Gearbox
The steering rack in modern cars or steering gearbox in older cars helps the front wheels to change direction. A sudden defective steering rack/gearbox can diminish the traction of the rear tires and send the car into dangerous spin. Now, imagine a car moving at 120km/hr and the steering system just fails!
The fuel pump and exhaust pipe
An exhaust pipe with many leakages is dangerous to your fuel pump. If you drive at high speed in watery conditions, each spot of water under the car pours water in the exhaust pipe. This affects the capacity of the car to push out air through the exhaust pipe and at the same time, it puts a lot of stress on the fuel pump. This can result in a sudden shut down of the fuel pump, which will result in a sudden shut down of the engine as there will be no more fuel supply. Consequently, the car will not have the same smooth handling capacity through the steering and the brakes. This can lead to an accident if you are riding at high speed through a curved road.
Power Distribution Unit and coolant
Very often the coolant may evaporate because of leakages in the radiator unit. Lack of water or coolant will overheat the engine. The heat may also damage the PDU (power distribution unit). The engine may suddenly catch fire. A sudden stoppage of the PDU may bring havoc at over 80km/hr.
A faulty air conditioner in rainy weather
During rainy conditions when all the windows are closed, the windshield may all of a sudden be filled up with fog if the air conditioner is not working. If you are driving slowly, you will be able to reduce speed to avoid an accident and save lives.
The quality of the car floor mat
This one may have never come to your mind! The car floor mat is usually down there and we don’t care too much about it apart from cleaning it. This is yet another aspect that can save your life. In the event that you are speeding, the car accelerator pedal is fully pressed and you are nearly reaching a roundabout where you need to shift lane. You are unable to slow down the car despite shifting in a lower gear because the accelerator pedal is locked deep inside a used and cracked car floor mat. (Here, the reflex would be to shift the gear in neutral and press the brakes. You will be able to reduce speed consequently if you have good break discs).
Driving slower allows a driver good reaction time and ability to avoid accidents. A study by World Health Organization from the World report on road traffic injury prevention relates that pedestrians have been shown to have a 90% chance of survival when struck by a car travelling at 30 km/h or below, but less than 50% chance of surviving an impact at 45 km/h. Pedestrians have almost no chance of surviving an impact at 80 km/hr.
Drive well, drive safe
Though you may be a good driver, at times there are small things in the car that may go wrong. Driving at a reasonable speed when you can feel the car is under control will help you to avoid obstacles, save your life and your car. In April 2001, despite his car being fully monitored by engineers and mechanics, Formula 1 driver, Michele Alboreto was killed because of a tyre blow-out that caused his car to veer off track and crash into a wall. Unexpected mechanical issues can be imminent at any time during your ride.