Dear Reader,

I have a question for you, and I want you to be honest…

Do you perform regular scheduled maintenance on your vehicle?

Do you change your oil regularly, rotate your tires, and check to ensure your rotors and brakes are in good working order?

If you found yourself nodding yes, recalling how just last week you had your vehicle in for its recommended 3,000-mile checkup, give yourself a pat on the back.  Your vehicle should be road-worthy so that it responds predictably and how you expect it to.

If, on the other hand, this blog gave you a palm-to-forehead moment…if your eyes drifted skyward in an effort to remember how many thousand miles it has been since the last time you had your car in for service, I urge you to pay close attention to the rest of today’s blog.

Did you know that the number one vehicle maintenance issue that causes accidents is tires?

Your tires are your vehicle’s only contact point with the road. Worn-out tires have less tread, which means less grip on the road surface.  Less grip means reduced traction, especially in wet or slippery conditions.  Less grip makes it harder to turn or accelerate when you need to…even worse, less tread makes it harder to stop.

This means if you need to brake quickly to avoid a collision, your tires won’t perform how you expect them to.  Blowouts are another common result of driving with old or damaged tires.  A blowout on the highway can be fatal. Lose control while driving 60+ down the freeway, and you’ll be lucky to survive without serious injuries.

Driving with bad brakes is another extremely hazardous and completely avoidable move.   If your brakes are worn, you can’t properly stop your car, you reduce your ability to maintain control, and you risk having your brakes fail entirely.  This is a recipe for disaster.

A lesser-known vehicle maintenance concern that can cause serious problems on the road is your suspension.  Your vehicle’s suspension keeps you stable on the road and absorbs shocks.  If your suspension is worn out, it can cause your vehicle to sway and bounce. This makes it more difficult to control.  This is especially dangerous when driving an SUV, truck, or larger vehicle.

Another lesser-known safety concern is the heart and soul of your vehicle, better known as your engine and transmission. When you think about safety, you likely don’t automatically think about your engine or transmission, but failing to perform basic maintenance, such as getting your oil changed every 3,000 miles, can compromise your engine and cause unexpected breakdowns and power loss, both of which create dangerous situations on the road.

Lastly, a more obvious point of concern is proper lighting and visibility.  Burnt-out headlights, brake lights, or turn signals reduce your visibility to other drivers, making it difficult for them to anticipate what you’re doing on the road.  This type of driver communication confusion can easily result in auto collisions.

Here’s the bottom line.  Keeping your vehicle well-maintained is part of being a safe and responsible driver.   So, get your car or truck regularly inspected, get your oil changed regularly, keep an eye out for leaks, make sure your tires are in good shape, and make sure all your lights are shining and blinking brightly.

Lastly, if you or someone you love is involved in an auto collision, please call my office at 703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515.

Until next time, please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow


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