Whether it’s following a regular maintenance plan or making sure you’re prepared for an emergency, we’ve pulled together five driving and car maintenance resolutions for the New Year.
Procrastinating on regular maintenance. If you skimp on basic maintenance, your car can eventually quit or malfunction. If you’re on the road when it happens, you could lose control of your car, putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation. So, if it’s been awhile, get your car into the shop for an oil change. A mechanic can also check your vehicle’s filters, fluids, hoses and other key components. Also, ask about your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. Find out if any parts are wearing out before they break.
Neglecting your tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, not only does it add life to your tires, but they’re much safer on the roads, too. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nine percent of automobile crashes are related to tire failure. Don’t ignore the alerts from your vehicle’s tire pressure monitoring system. If you have an older vehicle, get into the habit of eyeing the tires whenever you approach the vehicle.
Preparation is key. Breakdowns happen, but it’s being prepared that’s important. You may be able to add Road Service coverage to your policy for as little as $5 per covered vehicle. It’s having that peace of mind, knowing that if you’re stranded, you’ll have help. It’s also important to put together an emergency car kit. Include the basics like a cell phone charger, blanket and small first aid kit, and extras like granola or energy bars and bottled water.
Add extra time, not speed. If you have the need for speed, now’s a good time to rethink this habit. In 2015, nearly 10,000 people died in crashes where speed was a factor. (That’s 27 percent of all fatal crashes that year, according to the NHTSA.) Try leaving a few minutes early, and if traffic isn’t cooperating with your plans, just take a deep breath and back off the gas pedal. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and there’s no prize for arriving first.
Safe keeping. Take a look at your parking habits. Even if you’re parked in your driveway, garage or street, an unlocked vehicle is an open invitation for burglars. An unlocked vehicle invites easy access to your house, especially if your garage door opener is easily accessible. Also make sure you remove all bags, purses and valuables from your vehicle. Don’t make these an easy target for burglars.
Ready for a bonus tip? Make sure your vehicle has the proper coverages for your specific needs. Talk to Melendez Insurance to make sure you’re on the right path from the start in 2018.