You probably know how important it is to get your oil changed, check tire pressure and bring your car into a mechanic for periodical tune-ups. However, some busy people may overlook all the basics of car maintenance if their vehicles seem to be running fine. The wellbeing of a car is not the only reason to keep up with periodic maintenance, though.
Paying attention to specific mechanical issues can help ensure a car is not a danger on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation survey, mechanical failure was the main factor in 44,000 of the crashes studied in the survey. How does this happen? Here are three common mechanical causes of such accidents.
1. Wheel misalignment
If you have ever noticed squealing tires as a car turns, it is likely an indicator that the alignment needs correcting. This might seem like no big deal, but ignoring the issue can actually make driving dangerous. Misaligned wheels can cause a car to drift out of its lane or make hydroplaning more likely in wet weather.
2. Worn brakes
A mechanic should check the brakes on a vehicle twice a year, and they may need replacing between 25,000 and 50,000 miles. Signs that brakes need replacing include a burning smell, grinding or squeaking noises, and leaking brake fluid. It is vital for the driver to address the problem as soon as possible if any of these signs are present. Failure to do so could result in brakes that malfunction and cause an accident, injury or worse.
3. Unaddressed repairs
Brakes and alignment are just two of the many things that can potentially malfunction with a vehicle. Countless other mechanical issues can arise at any given moment and affect the safe operation of an automobile. Drivers of personal and commercial vehicles have a responsibility to stay on top of vehicle maintenance to reduce the likelihood of an accident and keep everyone safer on the road.