Our cars are the heart and soul of our daily lives. It gets the kids to school and practice. It gets you to work, happy hour, and the gym. And at the end of a long day, it gets you home. On average we spend about 10 hours a week in our cars. That’s almost half a day!
Even though car manufacturers are cycling out new models annually, the average age of vehicles on the road today is 11.4 years old. In car years, that’s pretty old! And many of us are unknowingly driving our cars under hazardous conditions.
Here are 4 signs your car has become more of a safety hazard than a reliable tool to get you from point A to point B (and how you can fix it!).
Tire Troubles – Tires play a key role in getting you to your next destination, and it only takes a penny to know if they are treading water. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head by placing a penny downward into the tread, it’s time to get a new set of wheels. Also, misaligned, improperly balanced, and under-inflated tires can deflate your steering’s effectiveness, causing hazardous conditions. By taking your car in for regular maintenance, you can determine if your car falls short in any of these categories.
Windshield Wiper Woes – Windshield wipers are vital to transparent visibility in rainy and snowy weather! Squeaky, skipping, smearing, and streaking wipers could mean the rubber squeegee has cracks, tears or missing pieces. This can cause blurred vision while driving and make for hazardous situations. With a short lifespan, especially in desert areas, it’s important to replace your wipers every 6 months.
Headlights and Taillights – Headlights and taillights are paramount to your safety – they alert other drivers of your presence. Cloudy, tarnished, and discolored headlights greatly reduce the brightness of your headlights, making it difficult for other drivers to notice you on the road and, likewise, preventing you from having proper visibility. Also, faulty brake lights make it difficult for other drivers to judge when you are slowing down. You can perform simple brake light checks by backing up to a window and looking at the reflection or asking a friend to watch from the side.
Brakes – Putting the pedal to the metal is not an ideal situation when it comes to your brakes! Screeching brakes are a good indicator that your brake pads have been worn down, causing your brake pedal to travel farther than it used to. Don’t lose your stopping ability when you need it most. Pay attention to any pulling to one side, increased breaking distances, or grinding noises when coming to a stop. Those are all issues that your trusted mechanic should know about sooner rather than later.
We all depend on our wheels to get us to our next stop safely, but when they fail, you can count on Madison Mutual for all of your auto insurance needs. Call us at 1-800-766-MMIC or find us online at www.madisonmutual.com!