Car accidents are the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the NHTSA, around 42,915 died in vehicle crashes in 2021. This was a sharp increase from the reported 38,824 deaths in 2020.
The sad fact about these figures is that most motor vehicle crashes -and the resulting fatalities – can be avoided. As a car owner, you can take several preventative measures that reduce the likelihood of an accident or its severity if it occurs. Below are the top accident resources you can use to protect your car and yourself from crashes.
Follow a Routine Maintenance Schedule
According to a report by Fox13, many car accidents occur due to a malfunction – often resulting from poor malfunction. Therefore, regular maintenance is one of the top accident resources, which can help to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a crash. In addition, proper maintenance can help you detect and rectify various issues with your car, thus helping to keep you safe on the road.
When looking to accident-proof your car, there are several car maintenance services you should consider. One of the top services is tire maintenance – checking the tire pressure, rotating tires, and replacing worn-out tires. Other critical maintenance services include brake inspection, changing the oil and brake fluid, and cleaning the headlights. You should also schedule regular inspections for other parts of your car, such as the suspension, transmission, engine, electrical system, etc.
You must service your car regularly to reap the benefits of car maintenance services. Car maintenance schedules vary between different makes and models, with most manufacturers advising you to service your car after about every 5,000 to 12,000 miles. However, you should read your car owner’s manual for the proper maintenance schedule.
Lastly, you can accident-proof your car by conducting routine maintenance at home. Some of the maintenance you can do at home include checking the engine oil, refilling the coolant, checking the tire pressure, replacing faulty light bulbs, checking battery health, etc.
Of course, you’ll need several tools like screwdrivers, sockets, battery testers, a pressure gauge checker, an air compressor, a tire repair kit, a jack, an oil drain pan, etc. You can buy the tools for your home garage kit or hire them from tool rental services when doing DIY maintenance.
Upgrade Your Car with Safety Features
Safety upgrades are other top accident resources you can use to protect your car from the likelihood of a crash. Most modern cars come with several features that make them safer to drive. However, you can add more features, giving your car maximum protection when you are on the road.
Several car upgrades can help make your car more durable and safer. For example, you should consider a reverse camera, blind-spot alert system, adaptive headlights, night vision, emergency braking, and lane departure warning. These features can help warn you of various accident hazards when operating your vehicle, reducing the likelihood of getting into a crash.
You can also make your car safer by upgrading your tires. For example, installing run-flat tires can help ensure that you maintain control of your vehicle even when the tire is flat, preventing an accident. Other upgrades include installing an after-market braking system, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars, performance suspension, etc.
Lastly, you can add safety features that help protect the car occupants in case of an accident. For example, safety belts and airbags are vital features that can reduce the severity of injuries during an accident. Of course, most modern cars already have these safety features, but you should check yours for peace of mind.
You can also make your car safer by installing a harder window. For example, laminate glass is more rigid and won’t shatter easily in case of a crash – which can protect you from broken glass injuries. It also remains intact, thus reducing the likelihood of ejection – which can cause severe injuries or even death.
Upgrade Your Car Body Features
Car body issues are one of the most common types of damage during an accident. They can be extensive and expensive to fix, even in minor crashes. For example, a simple collision can lead to damaged body panels, dented doors, and broken headlights, which can be expensive to fix.
Unfortunately, your car’s body panel can still be damaged even if you’re not in an accident. For example, your vehicle’s doors can get dinged against the walls and other cars when the occupants are exiting. It’s also possible for your vehicle to be scratched by other drivers in a parking lot. Therefore, vehicle body upgrades are other top accident resources to protect your vehicle during crashes
A bumper guard is one of the top upgrades for your car’s body
You can install bumper guards in your vehicles’ front and rear sections. This can help to absorb most impact during fender-benders or if another driver backs into your vehicle in the parking lot. As a result, you can avoid expensive damages to your vehicle, saving money on repairs.
It would help if you also considered auto paint protection for your vehicle, which can help protect you from paint job damage. Most auto repair shops offer protective paint solutions, which can reduce the severity of paint damage during crashes. It can also protect your car from scratches caused by rocks, road debris, garage parking lot walls, or other cars.
Fix Your Faulty Garage Door
Car crashes aren’t limited to the road or the parking lot; they can also happen at home. One of the most common home-related crashes is where a faulty garage door closes on your car. This can cause extensive damage to your car. Therefore, fixing your faulty garage door is one of the best accident resources that can help you protect your vehicle.
Faulty garage doors are not just a safety hazard to your vehicle – they can also cause other serious injuries or death. Therefore, you should immediately call a garage repair contractor if your garage door is not closing or opening correctly. Alternatively, you can look into new garage doors for a replacement option, making your garage safer for your vehicle and family.
Apart from the garage door closing on your car, you can also accidentally back into your door when you are reversing out of the garage. This can also cause extensive damage to your car, which can be expensive. To avoid such an incident, consider looking at various screen options garage door screen manufacturers offer.
Installing a garage door screen can reduce impact during a collision, saving you money on repairs. As a bonus, the screen can improve the aesthetic appeal of your home, prevent pests and animals from entering your garage, and improve your house’s energy efficiency.
Prepare Yourself For Emergencies
Even after taking all the preventative measures, you can still be involved in a road accident. For example, another driver can hit your car, or you could crash due to other unavoidable hazards, such as poor weather conditions. Therefore, the best you can do is to prepare yourself for these road emergencies.
An emergency kit is one of the top accident resources that can help you prepare for an emergency on the road. Your kit should include first aid supplies, which can help you treat minor injuries or prevent the more serious ones from worsening as you wait for help. Orange warning cones are another vital component that can help you in an accident by warning incoming traffic.
You can also include several other essentials in your kit that can bail you out of emergencies besides an accident. For example, having a jumpstart kit is a good idea, as it can help you fix a dead battery issue that could otherwise leave you stranded. In addition, tools such as a jack, wrench, flashlight, and a tire repair kit can help you change and repair your tire after getting a flat.
Besides the emergency kit, consider subscribing to a road assistance plan. These plans often come with features like a crash response, which can help alert emergency services of your accident. They can also help you if you crash during bad weather, for example, snow or a storm. Besides being excellent accident resources, roadside assistance plans can also assist you with towing your vehicle or other non-accident issues such as a dead battery, flat tire, lost keys, etc.
Visit a Repair Shop Immediately
Once you get into a car accident, your vehicle is likely to sustain damage. Therefore, you should take it to your local auto repair shop, even if the crash was minor. Doing this will fix the damage, preventing it from worsening. It can also uncover other hidden safety issues – making your mechanic one of the top accident resources to protect your car against future collisions.
Body damage is a top issue your car will likely sustain in an accident. This can include damage to the paint job or the car’s body panel. Depending on the damage, repainting your car can cost between $1,000 to $3,500. On the other hand, fixing the body panel damage can cost between $50 and $1,500 for minor damages and several thousand dollars for more extension issues.
Besides the body, your car tires and wheels are also likely to be damaged during a car crash. Therefore, you’ll likely need tire repairs for minor crashes or a tire replacement for more severe collisions. You can expect to pay around $50 per tire for repairs and between $50 to $1,000 for replacements.
Other common issues you can experience during an accident include wheel alignment, suspension, and transmission damage. For wheel alignment service, you can expect to pay between $50 and $200. On the other hand, suspension repair will cost you between $1,000 and $5,000, while you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $7,000 for a transmission replacement.
Lastly, your vehicle can suffer hidden damages after a crash. For example, the car’s radiator and air conditioner might sustain impact, which damages various components. For these damages, you can expect to pay between $150 to $500 for the air conditioner repair and around $900 to fix the radiator. If your windshield has some cracks or chips, you may need an auto glass repair service,
Update Your Car Insurance
Your vehicle’s insurance is one of the best accident resources to help you prepare for a car crash. Without insurance, you would have to pay for any repairs out of your pocket, leaving you in a financial hole.
Besides helping you cover repairs, car insurance has many other benefits. For example, it can cover your medical expenses in case of an injury. Additionally, having your car insured can protect you from liability for injured third parties if you’re at fault in an accident.
Therefore, whenever you take your vehicle on the road, you should always ensure that your insurance is up-to-date. This can help protect you from any eventualities that occur after you get into a crash.
Additionally, it would help if you informed your car insurance provider of your accident immediately after it occurs. This will help to kickstart the claims process for any damages and injuries suffered – and those of other involved third parties. It’s also a good idea to inform your insurance company even if there are no vehicle damages or bodily injuries. This will help protect you from any hidden issues that might emerge later due to the accident.
Hire an Accident Attorney
After a car crash, you may find yourself involved in various legal processes. Unfortunately, navigating these processes alone can be a nightmare, making it necessary to have a legal representative fighting in your corner. Therefore, car accident attorneys are other vital accident resources you can turn to if you’re involved in a car crash.
A car accident lawyer can help you out in several situations after being involved in a crash. The first is helping you file for compensation against your insurance company to cover damages sustained to your vehicle. They can also help you with a personal injury claim against your insurance provider or the other driver involved in the accident (if they were at fault).
You may also need to hire a car accident attorney if you were at fault in a car crash. In such a situation, you may face a civil suit from other involved parties. You might also find yourself as the subject of a criminal investigation after an accident. Having a lawyer in these situations can protect your interest and help to diminish or eliminate any liability you might incur.
It’s also a good idea to retain the services of an attorney, even if you were involved in a minor crash. This is especially important if another vehicle or third parties (pedestrians, passengers, etc.) were involved in the crash, as they can file a claim against you even if you weren’t at fault. Thus, speaking to an attorney helps protect your interests should a legal dispute arise from the accident.
Car accidents can occur at any time, and they have the potential to significantly disrupt your life through expensive vehicle damages or severe bodily injuries. However, with the above accident tips, you can accident-proof your car, reducing the likelihood of an accident. And should you find yourself involved in a crash, you’ll have several accident resources to help you navigate the aftermath.