While the majority of car accidents are due to negligent or careless drivers, having a properly maintained car can keep it in good working condition and decrease the chance of a car accident due to mechanical failure.

If you put off routine maintenance and checkups, your vehicle repairs can end up being much more expensive down the road. So not only do you risk increasing your repair bill, but you risk increasing the chance of damaging another car and hurting pedestrians.

Perform Regular Car Maintenance to Prevent Accidents

The list below includes top mistakes people make that lead to extensive vehicle damage. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

  1. Not performing scheduled/recommended maintenance. Every once in a while you should get small check-ups from a qualified mechanic. They should look at your battery, fluids, oil, tire alignment, and brakes when necessary. These are very important factors of a car’s health, so it’s worth the expense.
  2. Ignoring the check-engine light. This is something no one should ever do, as the check-engine light is an indicator that something is wrong. It can be something simple like a loose gas cap, but it can also be something very serious such as the catalytic converter, which is very expensive.
  3. Not changing oil. Changing the oil in a car is very important because engines build up gunk over time and that can cause major problems. Engine problems can be extremely dangerous.
  4. Not checking tire pressure. Having tires that are properly filled provides better gas mileage and also has an impact on vehicle control. Tires that are deflated endanger travelers in poor weather conditions.
  5. Neglecting coolant, transmission, and other fluids. Coolant is used to protect the engine from overheating, but other fluids are also just as important to keep the car functioning properly. For instance, brake and transmission fluid can prevent car accidents because they help control the movement of the vehicle.
  6. Driving an overheated vehicle. This one is obvious, but an overheated engine can lead to fire and seriously injure passengers. If your car is overheating, pull over to the side of the road and turn the engine off. Expect costly repairs.
  7. Not changing fuel and air filters. Changing these can help gas mileage and emissions. This doesn’t really contribute to accident prevention, but your car’s health can only benefit from regular maintenance.
  8. Unqualified repair shops. Be careful when choosing a mechanic. Make sure they’re qualified and have a good reputation. A lot of shops are simply trying to get fast money, meaning they use cheap parts.
  9. Generic aftermarket parts. You get what you pay for, so make sure you use brand-name parts with warranties and safety inspections. You should be aware of the brands and reliability of parts installed.
  10. Servicing high-tech vehicles yourself. Many people prefer to perform maintenance on their car rather than taking it to a mechanic, and there’s nothing wrong with that if you know what you’re doing. If you are ever unsure, always go to a mechanic.

We hope this list has been helpful. Again, this list won't prevent driver-caused car accidents, but it will greatly extend the life of your vehicle and will address factors you can control before you step in your car.

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