Monday, 17 June 2013

Auto Safety: Getting Up To Speed

According to the Atlantic, the average American spends 90 minutes per day in their car. Whether you’re simply using your car to get from work to home and back, or you’re using your car to chauffeur family members and kids around almost all day, auto safety is important.

While keeping yourself and your family safe in the car is essential, so is protecting your car. After all, chances are you had to save to pay for it or you still owe money, and without it, you could have some serious problems on your hands.

Follow these basic tips to keep your family and vehicle safe.

Regular Maintenance Matters

For many people, taking your car to the mechanic is like going to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning— you know you’re supposed to go every six months, but if you don’t have a toothache, it’s not pressing. Unfortunately, with your car, you’re not going to know if you have minor problems that could be easily fixed until it’s too late. While not all car problems will lead to an unsafe vehicle, some definitely can. Problems that could have been fixed for very little money could easily cost you hundreds of dollars or more as well.

Install a Car Alarm

If your car doesn’t have a working alarm, installing one should be on the top of your list of priorities. More than anything else, a car alarm will help deter thieves from trying to access or steal your car, especially in crowded areas. When browsing for a car alarm, be sure to read the reviews on a variety of alarm systems. You might even want to search for an app that will alert you when your vehicle’s alarm is activated.  

Get Hi-Tech

Hi-tech security features in cars are becoming more and more affordable, and along with a car alarm, they can help protect your vehicle from theft. For example, GPS tracking is fairly standard in 2013, and features like license plate recognition can help police spot your vehicle if it does go missing. In California, hi-tech devices have led to a 15-percent drop in vehicle thefts, and cars with security features like GPS trackers are more likely to be recovered if they are stolen.

Avoid Dangerous Weather

You may not be able to avoid driving to work just because of the weather, but driving when it isn’t necessary in very heavy rain, snow, sleet or hail could result in bodily injury and damage to your vehicle. You should also consider moving your vehicle inside if you usually park it outdoors during particularly hot and cold seasons, as extreme weather can do damage to your car.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

You don’t expect to be stranded in your car when you head out onto the road, but it can happen, even if you aren’t going on a long trip in your vehicle. That’s why it’s important to have an emergency vehicle kit in your trunk or backseat at all times.

Your emergency kit should include a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares, water, road atlas and a blanket. Remember to swap your water out every few months.

Driving is a part of many Americans’ lives, and for the most part, it makes our days much more convenient and easier. Many Americans can’t even imagine running errands without a personal vehicle.

While driving is beneficial for most, it can be dangerous as well. Take these basic precautions to keep yourself, your family and your vehicle safe.  

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Southern California whose writing covers several industries, including travel, technology, marketing and health. When driving, she is always sure to keep her family as safe as possible. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter today!