How to Crash-Proof Your Ride: 6 Ways to Fortify Your Vehicle Against Accidents

| Updated on March 1, 2024

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Invest in advanced car safety features like digital rearview mirrors, park assists, adaptive headlights, etc. 
  • Bright and good quality lights can reduce the risk of accidents by providing clear visibility in all weathers. 
  • Keeping your vehicle’s parts updated according to the factory-recommended service schedule will prevent any recurring disturbances. 
  • Calculate the total weight your vehicle can carry to maintain proper balance. 
  • Enroll in a defensive driving course to ensure your and your family’s safety. 
  • Learning collision avoidance skills will help you during emergency situations.

Driving a vehicle comes with inherent risks, as accidents can happen even to the most careful drivers. However, there are steps you can take as a car owner to make your ride more crash-resistant and give yourself the best chance of avoiding collision-related damage. 

This article will provide six ways you can fortify your car against accidents.

Invest in Safety Features

One of the most direct ways to safeguard your vehicle is by purchasing models with built-in safety features and technology. Many modern vehicles come equipped with systems to prevent crashes and minimize impact forces. 

For instance, automatic emergency braking can detect upcoming collisions and engage the brakes to avoid or reduce the severity of accidents. Lane departure warning systems alert drivers who are drifting out of their lane, while blind-spot monitoring helps detect hidden vehicles. 

Traction control, rearview cameras, and park assist also bolster safety during typical driving situations. Upgrading to a car with robust safety features greatly reduces your risk of being involved in crashes.

When shopping for a new or used vehicle, prioritize models that offer advanced accident avoidance technology. Focus on safety ratings and standards like those issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 

Features like collision warning, automatic brakes, assistance in maintaining lanes, adaptive headlights, and advanced airbags will provide maximum protection. The investment in a safer automobile pays dividends through enhanced occupant security and peace of mind.

Prioritize Visibility

How to Maintain Space/Visibility in Front of Your Vehicle

Limited visibility is a leading contributor to automobile accidents. You can optimize your view of the road, other vehicles, and potential hazards by properly maintaining your headlights, replacing worn windshield wipers, and cleaning your windows inside and out. Tinting front windows past legal limits also decreases visibility and should be avoided. 

Also, properly adjust the side and rearview mirrors to eliminate blind spots as much as possible. Having optimal sight lines gives you the reaction time needed to prevent collisions in most circumstances.

Be vigilant about removing anything that may obscure your vision while driving. Keep the windshield free of stickers and dangling objects. If you smoke in the car, thoroughly clean residue from the windows regularly. 

Adjust your seat height, steering wheel position, and headrest so you have a clear vantage point. Dim dashboard lights that cause glare. Staying alert to any visible barrier will allow you to spot dangers early and steer clear. 

Also, be sure your vehicle’s lights are aimed properly to avoid blinding oncoming traffic while still illuminating the road ahead. Recognize and safely pull over for emergency vehicle lights, like the bright and highly visible Feniex lights, so they can pass undisturbed. Maintaining full visibility both inside and outside your car is key.

Inspect and Replace Worn Parts

The mechanical components of your vehicle also prevent accidents. Routinely inspect key systems like brakes, tires, suspension, and seat belts for any concerning wear and immediately replace worn parts. 

Tires with inadequate tread depth can lead to hydroplaning or blowouts in wet conditions. Weak brakes increase stopping distance and limit your ability to avoid obstacles or slower traffic. 

Faulty suspension components cause improper steering, wheel alignment, and handling. Defective seat belts may fail to properly restrain occupants during a crash. Addressing these maintenance issues minimizes accident risk factors.

Adhere to the factory-recommended service schedule in your owner’s manual rather than simply waiting for issues to arise. Have your mechanic examine the vehicle thoroughly during routine oil changes and tune-ups. They can catch problems before total failure occurs. Invest in premium parts from reputable brands when replacements are needed. 

Stay on top of recalls and get any free fixes done right away. Following proactive maintenance practices enhances safety.

SAFETY QUOTE TO REMEMBER
“To the everyday driver, we’d like to say that, anytime you’re engaging in something else while driving, that really does increase your crash risk by two to three times.” – Charlie Klauer

Load the Vehicle Properly

Carrying too much weight or improperly distributing cargo can make your vehicle unstable and challenging to control. Overloading reduces braking performance, hampers steering responsiveness, and causes tires to overheat. It also raises your center of gravity, making rollovers more likely. 

Conversely, an imbalanced load can lead to fishtailing (ove-steering) or spinouts (skidding). Always adhere to your vehicle’s weight limits and use interior tie-downs and roof racks to evenly distribute storage. Pack the trunk or bed tightly to prevent sudden weight shifts. Proper loading gives you the best control over your car.

Take time to calculate your cargo weight before trips and rearrange items if needed to avoid overloading. Use a low center of gravity-loading technique, placing heavier items underneath lighter cargo. 

Secure loose objects and contain smaller items in boxes or storage containers. Cover loads that may blow away with a tight-fitting tarp. Getting occupants to ride in the front seats can also improve weight balance in heavy passenger vehicles. A little planning prevents dangerous handling issues.

Drive Defensively

Practicing defensive driving techniques allows you to predict dangerous situations and take correct action to avoid mishaps. 

Key strategies include being aware of other motorists, obeying speed limits, scanning the road ahead, and maintaining safe following distances. Get in the habit of identifying escape routes on the road by being observant. 

Also, adjust your speed safely when approaching construction zones, intersections, merging lanes, and areas with high pedestrian traffic. Defensive driving minimizes risk exposure so you can navigate safely in traffic.

Enroll in a defensive driving course to build safe habits and introduce new methods. Learn how to judge appropriate speeds and following distances for given road conditions. Recognize types of high-risk drivers to avoid. 

Maintain focus by minimizing distractions like phone calls and rowdy passengers. Defensive driving refreshes knowledge and promotes the attentive mindset needed to prevent collisions.

Learn Collision Avoidance Skills

Finally, prepare yourself with skills to steer clear of crashes in the moment. Take a safety driving course to practice emergency braking, swerving, and regaining control of a skidding vehicle. 

Knowing how to recover from spins, fishtails, and hydroplaning (losing contact while driving over wet pavement) can help prevent collisions when vehicle stability is compromised. Also, master techniques like the threshold braking method, which applies maximum brake pressure just before wheel lockup. 

Possessing tricky driving abilities prepares you to react appropriately if you end up in a potential accident situation.

Find a skid pad or empty parking lot to rehearse regaining control of a simulated skidding vehicle. Start at slow speeds to learn proper hand positioning, sequencing of steering inputs, and smooth pedal modulation. 

Then practice emergency lane changes and braking at higher speeds. The more you experience vehicle dynamics at the handling limit in a safe setting, the better you can avoid accidents on the road. Developing collision avoidance reflexes can pay off in unexpected situations.

Conclusion

Preventing automotive accidents involves a multilayered approach of purchasing safer vehicles, maintaining diagnostic systems, loading properly, driving defensively, and learning collision avoidance. 

By combining these steps you can greatly reduce risks on the road. Prioritizing visibility, brake performance, emergency handling skills, and the use of modern safety technology provide the best safeguards against crashes. 

By staying alert and having a safety-focused mindset, you can feel confident piloting your well-fortified vehicle down the open road knowing you have minimized the likelihood of being involved in a collision or accident. So inspect your car, adjust your technique, and include these practices for accident avoidance for a smoother, less risky ride.





Alan Biles

Alan Biles is a frequent traveller and also loves capturing every beautiful moment in his camera. He also enjoys working in the Automobile field, and this reflects in his writing. Currently, he is working as a freelance writer for multiple websites related to travel and automobiles. He loves updating about his excursions on his Instagram.

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