While we’ve seen huge improvements to car safety over the years, driving from one place to another is still one of the most dangerous things we do each day. The number of motor vehicle accidents in Australia and claims relating to them remain at very high levels.

The safety of your car and your ability to avoid an accident depends on a variety of factors. This includes the safety features and quality of the vehicle itself, how well you maintain the car and your driving habits.

1. Check and Maintain Your Tyres

Tyres are a major source of safety issues and one many people neglect. Check yours regularly and ensure you have at least a match head’s worth of grip on them.

You should also check that the tyres you have are appropriate for your car. This means the right type and size as well as ensuring they are properly aligned and balanced. If your car shudders, pulls to one side or simply handles poorly, the tyres might be to blame.

2. Be Aware of Car Performance and Handling

The ability to listen to the car when it’s telling you something is wrong is essential for car safety. Always look out for changes in the general handling and performance of your car. If you notice any odd noises, smells, shuddering, pulling, or other differences, have it checked by a mechanic.

3. Maintain Safe Braking Distance

Remember to leave at least a two-second gap between the car ahead and your own. Leave a four-second gap when driving at night, in wet weather or in low visibility. This distance can be the difference between a near miss and a crash.

4. Be Aware of Fatigue

Fatigue is still one of the biggest safety risks on our roads, particularly during long trips. Before making a long drive, make sure you have a good night’s sleep and plan regular rest and refreshment breaks during the journey. Avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep.

5. Tidy Up Gadgets

Many of us enjoy playing our own music off our phone while driving. However, if you find yourself tangled up in wires or having to plug in and pull out a bunch of different cords, it’s a safety risk.

Tidy up and update your car gadgets and cables so playing music or using navigation apps is less distracting. This includes getting retractable aux/USB cables and a smartphone dock.

6. Use Daytime Running Lights

These make it easier for your car to be seen by other drivers in low visibility situations. It’s particularly handy for older drivers whose eyesight and reaction time isn’t quite what it used to be.

7. Use Kangaroo Scarers for Rural Driving

Wildlife is another prevalent danger during long drives or in rural areas. A kangaroo scarer is a small, inexpensive device that creates a whistling noise on your car which warns wildlife to stay away.

8. Consider Safety Features When Purchasing a New Car

If you’re considering getting a new car, look at the safety features available. Features that were once reserved for luxury vehicles, such as reversing cameras and blind-spot warning systems are a now available more widely.

Quality safety features can make a huge difference in the severity of an accident or your ability to avoid one altogether.

Have You Been in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident and want to make a claim for compensation, you should seek advice from an experienced compensation lawyer as soon as possible. The team at Stacks Goudkamp can assess the case, determine the most likely outcome and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us on 1800 25 1800, contact us online or visit one of our offices in Sydney, Newcastle and Liverpool.