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Car Maintenance Checklist to Reduce Risk of Accident

Car Maintenance Checklist to Reduce Risk of Accident

When it comes to reducing your risk of being involved in a car accident, proper vehicle maintenance can go a long way. This is because a vehicle that is not functioning at 100% will not perform the way you need, when you need it the most. For instance, if you fail to replace brake lights, a driver behind you may crash into the rear end of your vehicle. Or, if you are driving on worn tire tread you may not be able to brake fast enough to avoid danger.

Keeping your vehicle in optimal condition will help to reduce risks and help you to avoid being a victim in a car accident. However, if you have been injured in an accident, your best course of action moving forward is to speak with an experienced car accident attorney.

Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers has spent decades fighting for justice for her clients. She provides no-cost, no-obligation consultations for those who have been involved in a car accident. Reach out to our team to learn more about how we can help you navigate this difficult time.

What parts of the vehicle should be properly maintained?

Virtually all of your vehicle’s mechanical systems can affect fuel efficiency if not properly maintained. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for checking the engine, cooling and ignition system, brakes, drive train and emission-control system. You should consider your vehicle from front to back, bottom to top.

Lights

Make sure that all of your lights work and that your light lenses are clean. Check headlights, taillights, directional signals, and interior lights.

Windshield

Windshields are made out of laminated safety glass which reduces transmission of high frequency sound and blocks 97 percent of ultraviolet radiation. A thin layer of flexible clear plastic film (PVB) is sandwiched between two or more pieces of glass. This plastic film serves to hold the glass in place. If the glass breaks, the film helps lessen injuries which could be caused by flying glass. This structure also affords protection for those inside the vehicle by obstructing possible projectiles from entering the vehicle through the windshield.

If your vehicle has tinted windows, check with your local law enforcement agency to make sure it is in compliance with state sunshading specifications.

It may surprise you to know that the first windshield wipers invented were operated manually. The driver had to physically move a lever back and forth inside the car. Today, of course, windshield wipers work electrically. Some vehicles (especially SUV types) have windshield wipers on the rear window as well. Some vehicles even have windshield wipers on the headlights.

Wiper blades work like squeegees. A thin rubber strip is attached to the blade arm which is swept across the windshield to wipe away the water. The rubber on new blades is clean and smooth so that water can be wiped away. As blades age and become worn, the seal against the window lessens due to nicks or cracks in the rubber or from becoming brittle with age. Worn blades can leave streaks on the windshield that interferes with driver visibility. It is important to clean wiper blades to remove any dirt buildup. Your vehicle’s windshield washer system will help keep the windshield and the wipers clean. Wiping the rubber edge with window cleaner until clean may prolong the blade’s life. When you notice any change in visibility due to the wiper’s performance, replace them with new.

It is important to keep your windshield clean on the inside as well as on the outside. Dirt builds up on the inside that can affect visibility as well.

Mirrors

All vehicles should be equipped with one rearview mirror mounted inside the vehicle that allows a view to the rear of at least 200 feet. A rearview mirror should also be placed on each side of the vehicle mounted on the outside of the vehicle’s front doorframes. Make sure that your mirrors are clean and pointed in the correct direction. The mirrors are designed to assist drivers in keeping track of traffic around their vehicles.

Tires

Tires are designed to grip the road and give the driver directional control. Bald, excessively worn, or improperly inflated tires decrease the ability of the driver to control the vehicle. Rotating your tires helps prolong their life and improve fuel economy. On most vehicles, tires should be rotated about twice a year; however, you should consult your owner’s manual for the recommended rotation pattern and frequency for your vehicle.

Rolling resistance is a key factor that affects a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated and not worn away. The best way to reduce rolling resistance is to maintain correct tire pressure. Rolling resistance results in premature tread wear when your tires are under-inflated, increasing fuel consumption. Operating a vehicle with just one tire under-inflated by 6 pounds per square inch (PSI) can substantially reduce the life of the tire and increase the vehicle’s fuel consumption by three percent. Tire pressure needs special attention in cold weather. It can be expected to drop by about 1 PSI for every 10oC drop in temperature. Tires also lose a certain amount of pressure due to their permeability (by some estimates, as much as 2 PSI per month). Tire pressure should be checked when the tires are cold (for instance, when the vehicle has been stationary for at least three hours).

Wheel alignment should be checked once a year. Misaligned tires will drag and will not roll freely as they are intended to do. This will increase fuel consumption, reduce tire life, and cause problems with the vehicle’s handling and ride. While driving, you can perform a self-check on your wheel alignment. On a straight, flat and traffic-free stretch of road, rest your hands lightly on the steering wheel and drive at an even speed. If the vehicle pulls to one side, the wheels may be misaligned.

Wheels should also be balanced. If they are out of balance, the driver will feel a pounding or shaking through the steering wheel. This pounding will shorten the life of other suspension components and will produce uneven tire wear, which will increase fuel consumption. Tires that are not balanced exhibit a wear pattern that looks like a series of bald spots.

Remember, don’t neglect the spare tire. Make sure the necessary tools for replacing a tire are appropriately accessible.

You should check tire pressure and look for signs of uneven wear or embedded objects that can cause air leaks. In winter, check tire pressure whenever there is a sharp change in temperature.

Oil

Car engines run particularly well when they are regularly lubricated. Oil lubricates the moving parts of the engine, minimizing metal-to-metal contact, thereby reducing friction and carrying away excess heat. Oil also captures dirt, metal shavings and other impurities from the engine enabling the transfer of these injurious substances into the vehicle’s oil filter. For best engine performance, fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, use only the oil recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Regular engine oil changes cost between $10 and $30 — a far cry from the expense of replacing or rebuilding an engine!

Check around the car and under the engine for fluid leaks. Generally, you can often identify the type of fluid that is leaking by its color. Oil is black, coolant is a bright greenish yellow, automatic transmission fluid is pink, and power steering and brake fluids are clear, with a slight brown tinge. All of these fluids are oily to the touch.

Belts, hoses, regular tune-ups

Have your belts and hoses checked at the regularly scheduled time periods mentioned in your owner’s manual. Also, get a tune-up at the scheduled maintenance time. Check under the hood for cracked or split spark plug wires, cracked radiator hoses or loose clamps and corrosion around the battery terminals.

Emission-control systems

Modern vehicles are equipped to treat exhaust emissions before they are released into the atmosphere. The emission-control system must be inspected and maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you experience problems such as stalling or poor acceleration, or if your exhaust produces black or blue smoke, your vehicle is probably polluting the air and needs servicing.

Ignition systems

Proper maintenance of your vehicle’s ignition system is critical. Spark plugs ignite the air-fuel mixture. If one or more of the plugs is worn or malfunctioning, the engine will misfire, and some fuel will remain unburned. Worn or damaged spark plug wires can also cause misfiring. A misfiring engine wastes fuel, produces higher levels of emissions and generally performs poorly.

Brakes

The foot brake must be capable of stopping the vehicle within a distance of 25 feet at a speed of 20 miles per hour. The parking brake should be adequate to stop and hold the vehicle. While driving, you can perform a self-check on your brake system. On a straight, flat and traffic-free stretch of road, rest your hands lightly on the steering wheel and apply the brakes gradually. If the vehicle swerves to one side, one of the brake linings may be worn more than the other, or the brakes may need adjustment. If this happens, make sure to get the vehicle to a proper mechanic.

Your vehicle’s brake pedal is designed so that when it is pressed, the force of the pressure is multiplied several times. The hydraulic system that operates your vehicle braking system transmits the force from your foot to its brakes through brake fluid.

It is important to pay attention to any strange sounds you may hear when you apply your brakes, such as grinding or squeaking sounds. Any such noise should alert you to have your brakes inspected. The brake pad wear limit indicators on disc brakes give a warning noise when the brake pads are worn to where replacement is required.

Your vehicle’s owners manual will supply you with the correct information on maintaining the correct level and type of brake fluid.

Spanish Speaking Car Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas

Spanish-speaking individuals can have a more difficult time seeking justice in their personal injury cases due to language barriers. This causes them to not take action against those who have left them with financial devastation and physical trauma. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, our team refuses to let a language barrier affect your right to justice and compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident and is in need of Spanish-speaking legal advice, our team is here for you.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, Texas

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident and suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!

Beverly R Caruthers Law Office
Address: 4141 Southwest Fwy, Suite 620
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 526-9557
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In the aftermath of an accident that leaves you or a loved one injured, it is crucial to know where to turn for support and justice. The Caruthers Law Firm stands as a beacon of unwavering commitment to the cause of pursuing justice for injury victims. With a track record that speaks volumes about our dedication to excellence and passion for our clients, we have garnered recognition throughout the Houston area as a trusted name in the legal community. When you or a family member suffers an injury due to the negligence of another, the need for an attorney who is not just competent but also recognized for their excellence becomes paramount. The Houston personal injury attorney at The Caruthers Law Firm fits that bill precisely. We have earned accolades and trust from our clients because we don not just handle cases; we champion causes. Our cases frequently involve traumatic, life-altering events, such as the loss of a loved one, and our relentless pursuit of justice ensures our clients receive the compensation necessary to secure their financial future. Our dedicated efforts have successfully secured over $50 million in settlements for our clients, and our commitment to excellence has brought us national recognition, particularly in fields like birth injury law. Whether your life has been upended by a tragic accident or the negligence of another party, you can confide in Caruthers Law Firm to handle your case with the utmost skill, dedication, and compassion in your time of need. Every case we undertake is treated with the gravity and importance it deserves, and we strive to provide the best possible representation to our clients. At Caruthers Law Firm, our attorneys boast an impressive array of knowledge and expertise in various practice areas, including personal injury, criminal defense, wrongful death, and more. We fully acknowledge that each case is unique, and we value the individual concerns and needs of our clients. This understanding leads us to craft tailored legal strategies that address each case is distinctive challenges. When you choose Caruthers Law Firm as your legal representation, you can expect a high degree of professionalism, unwavering integrity, and an unparalleled commitment from the beginning of your case to its conclusion. We are not just lawyers; we are advocates for your rights, dedicated to securing the justice you deserve.

For over three decades, Beverly R. Caruthers has been on an unwavering mission to provide her clients with top-notch, tenacious, and compassionate legal services and representation. Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers has not only amassed extensive experience but has also consistently delivered high-quality legal assistance to those who have sought her counsel. Her journey to legal expertise began with academic distinction, having graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Tougaloo College, followed by the acquisition of her Juris Doctor from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. With a primary focus on Personal Injury, Criminal Law, and Business Law, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers has honed her legal acumen in these pivotal areas. Complementing her knowledge and skills, The Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers is fortified by a collaborative team of seasoned and highly qualified attorneys. Together, they work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcomes for each and every client they serve. In the Caruthers family, the pursuit of legal excellence seems to be a cherished tradition. Briona Caruthers, following in the footsteps of her older brother and colleague, hails from Missouri City, Texas, where she graduated from Elkins High School in 2015. Venturing outside her hometown, she spent four years at Hofstra University in New York, where she diligently earned her Bachelor Degree in Legal Studies in Business in 2019. After her academic journey in New York, she returned to her roots in Houston, Texas. There, she attended the same illustrious institution where her mother, Beverly R. Caruthers, and her brothers, Eddie and Parker Caruthers, had studied—the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. In 2022, Briona graduated Cum Laude from TSU, thereby continuing the family legacy. Beyond her legal pursuits, Briona finds solace in retail therapy and enjoys exploring the world through her travels when she is not in the office, fervently advocating for her clients rights. Parker Caruthers, another member of the Caruthers family, was born and raised in Missouri City, Texas, where he completed his high school education at Clements High School in 2012. His educational journey took him to Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing in 2017. Parker commitment to legal studies led him to the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at TSU, from where he graduated in 2021. During his time in law school, Parker legal prowess shone through as he secured victory in the Helen Dawn Williams Mock Trial competition, all while gaining valuable experience through internships at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Opting to take a different path by not pursuing prosecution, Parker joined Caruthers Law Firm in 2021. Beyond the legal realm, Parker passions extend to sports fandom and his role as a proud dog owner. At the Caruthers Law Firm, we take a refreshingly transparent and candid approach when assessing our potential clients circumstances. We believe in clear, honest, and direct communication, leaving aside the legal jargon to speak in terms that our clients can readily understand. Each client is treated as a unique individual, receiving personalized and attentive care throughout their legal journey with us.

We are immensely grateful to each and every individual who wholeheartedly contributed to the success of "The Christmas Toy Drive and Giveaway" and "The Back to School Giveaway" right here in the vibrant city of Houston. Your support has made a profound difference in the lives of countless local children, and it is a testament to the incredible community spirit that defines our city. At The Caruthers Law Firm, we take great pride in being active sponsors of these important initiatives, which focus on providing crucial resources to Houstons youth. Some of the recipients come from families struggling with limited income, making it challenging for them to provide the necessary school supplies for their children. For others, the prospect of a joyous Christmas was a distant dream due to a lack of toys. In these circumstances, we aimed to make a meaningful and positive impact on these children and their families. It is through the unwavering support and dedication of our local community that we were able to realize this vision. We encourage you to consider joining us in this noble cause and be a part of the change in the lives of Houston families. Your involvement can take various forms, whether through donating items, contributing funds, or taking the initiative to organize a collection drive within your organization, church, club, or local community. Your support will undoubtedly go a long way in touching the lives of those in need, ensuring that every child in our city can look forward to a brighter future. By working together, we not only provide essential items but also instill a sense of hope, compassion, and generosity within our beloved Houston community. Together, we can create a stronger, more caring, and inclusive community, one that continues to uplift and empower those who need it most. Thank you for being a part of this vital mission.

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