Children are back to school, and if your vehicle is equipped properly, your kids are safer and your driving is better too. In this edition of Car Coach, YNN’s Lauren Fix says this is the most critical time make sure your vehicle is prepared.
It is important to keep your children safe whether they are inside or outside of the car. As children head back to school, it is important for drivers to keep safety tips in mind.
Pedestrian-vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 14. Drivers need to be aware of safety around school zones, crosswalks, bus stops, and wherever children may be playing outside.
Become aware of where school zones and crosswalks are located on regular routes that you normally drive.
Always stop for school buses with flashing red lights. It is your responsibility to come to a complete and full stop for the duration the red lights are on. The speed limit in most school zones is 25 miles per hour.
Keeping the kids safe and happy is also what keeps parents sane. If you’re thinking of getting a new kid-friendly car, or you share a ride with your co-workers, consider a parent-friendly vehicle that offers features such as versatile seating for infants, third-row seats that fold down, or a second-row seat where the center section is adjustable to reach infants and toddlers. Choosing a car with great fuel economy will also help you stay on top of your budget.
Whether you’re driving the neighbor’s kids to a soccer game, on your way to work, or just running around town, it is important to “Be Car Care Aware”. That means it’s your responsibility to maintain your vehicle.
One of the safety items that is overlooked most is your brakes. Don’t wait until brakes squeak, grind or pulsate before getting a brake inspection. When grinding noises occur, get them looked at immediately. If you wait too long it could become an expensive repair. Take your vehicle to an ASE-certified mechanic for your brake work, unless you are certain you know how to do it yourself.
Tires are among the most important safety features on your vehicle. It is imperative that your tires be properly maintained. Rotating your tires every 5,000 miles not only extends the life of your tires but also improves the handling and performance of your vehicle. You should also visually inspect your tires periodically for road hazards, such as nails. By running your hand over the tread surface you can often feel any irregularities in wear that could indicate an alignment or rotation is needed.
As the weather changes and temperatures get colder, don’t forget the basic maintenance of your transportation. That preparation includes making sure your car is ready for winter, including changing your wiper blades.
There’s a large benefit to maintaining your vehicle. Basic maintenance is important to getting the most out of your vehicle’s life and your passenger’s safety.
Make sure to carry an emergency kit that includes:
•Flashlight with new batteries
•Tire inflation product – in case you get a flat and can’t change it safely
•First aid kit
•Flare and safety triangle
•Protein bars - in case you are stuck and waiting for help
•Snow brush with ice scraper - get the best one you can find
•Blanket for every passenger
•Cell phone - inexpensive emergency plans are available
•Road service card - especially good if you travel out of town
•Extra washer fluid
•Work Gloves and basic tools
Now that school’s back in session, we all have to drive with more caution to protect our most precious cargo.