There are a number of things which people can do to improve vehicle safety in their personal vehicles and in vehicles used for work. Crashes are a leading cause of deaths and injuries around the world, and many incidents involving vehicles can be prevented by observing a few basic safety tips. Drivers should always remember that safety comes first, whether one is driving to the store or embarking on a trans-continental road trip.
The first step to vehicle safety is driving or using a safe vehicle. People in the market for vehicles can take advantage of crash test ratings and other reports which can provide information about how safe a particular car is. Information on crash worthiness can be found for cars, motorcycles, trucks, and boats, along with recommended safety standards such as side airbags and specific construction techniques. As a general rule, the newer a vehicle is, the safer it will be.
It is also important to observe recommended vehicle safety precautions, such as wearing seat belts in a car, using life jackets on a boat, and installing car seats properly. Specific recommendations are commonly found in the owner's manual of a vehicle, and they may be printed in easy to see areas, such as door jambs. In addition to vehicle-specific safety, general safety tips like motoring slowly in inclement conditions, paying attention to what's ahead, and monitoring surrounding traffic can also reduce the risk of accidents.
Maintenance is another important aspect of vehicle safety which is often ignored. Routine maintenance keeps a vehicle in better shape, and makes it safer, by ensuring that all of its systems are working properly. Things like tires and brakes, for example, are critical to safety, and they are sometimes ignored until a minor malfunction becomes a serious safety hazard. Tires should be inflated regularly and examined for tread wear, and brakes should also be routinely tested. Likewise, safety shutoff switches and similar measures on boats should be examined on a regular basis to confirm that they are in good working order.
Setting up a regular maintenance schedule is an excellent plan to maintain vehicle safety. Taking regular safety courses can also improve general safety, even for people with lots of experience operating vehicles. Safety recommendations change periodically, and sometimes being refreshed on the basics can also be highly advisable. Taking these courses can also earn people a discount on their insurance, an added benefit.