No one wants their car to get damaged and leave them with a hole in their wallet, or worse yet being stranded and injured as a result. Yet it continues to be the case that road accidents happen on an astonishingly regular basis, with many of them leading to serious injuries or even fatalities.
Of course, that’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to get the right coverage for your car.
Here are some straightforward tips to help you avoid the most common causes of damage to a car.
Become a master of parking
You could be forgiven for thinking that you’d only be at risk of damaging your car when going at speeds, or driving on busy roads. You might be surprised to find out just how incredibly often drivers manage to damage their cars — not to mention other people’s — when simply parking.
Especially for new drivers, and drivers of large cars, it’s critically important to be cautious when parking and to spend a good deal of time and attention to mastering your parking skills in easy parking situations, or even empty parking lots, before trying to squeeze your car into a microscopic gap between two other who are both over the lines.
Indoor parking lots can be a real source of trouble here, as many have very narrow entrances and exits, not to mention bays. Once you hear your car scratching against the wall, it’s almost inevitable that you’re going to do more damage to it trying to edge it out again.
And of course, it only takes the smallest bump against another car to leave a serious dent.
If you’re not careful, poor parking alone may result in your car looking like it’s been in a highway collision, even if no one else was involved, and you were driving at a snail’s pace.
Always leave big enough gaps between yourself and the next car on the road
One of the worst habits as far as avoiding future potential accidents goes, is simply driving too close to the car in front of you. There are many reasons why people tailgate; sometimes it’s just a bad habit that you’ve picked up, and you don’t really think about how close you are, but a lot of the time it’s the result of impatience and temper flare-ups on the road.
Even if you’re running seriously late for an important appointment, however, it’s important to leave a gap of at least one car’s width between yourself and the guy in front.
Driving too close can cause an accident in a few ways; firstly, if the driver in front of you breaks suddenly, you’re all but certain to crash into him from behind. Secondly, if you skid in bad weather, you’re bound to collide with the car in front. Thirdly, driving too close to the next car obscures your view of the road ahead, which can dangerously delay your reactions to any upcoming hazards.
If both you and the driver who’s blocking your view haven’t noticed a potential hazard, a pileup can easily occur.
Don’t freak out just because the guy behind you is
Staying Zen on the road is a great idea, and if more drivers managed to pull it off, the road accident rate would probably drop by a significant margin.
One of the times when it’s most important to keep your cool, is when the guy behind you isn’t.
Many new drivers are nervous that they’ll be doing something wrong on the road, and this often manifests by reacting too dramatically to irritated drivers behind them who might do stupid things to express their displeasure, such as tailgating, hooting, or even yelling from the window.
If you’re driving at a reasonable speed and feel in control of the car, stick to what you’re doing. Don’t put yourself at risk to appease someone who’s running late or just has a bad attitude.
Get your car washed on a regular basis
Getting your car washed on a regular basis isn’t just a good idea for the sake of your own pride in your ride, it can also prevent corrosive damage from building up.
Many of the most common types of dirt that can find their way onto your car — including bird droppings — will eat away at the paintwork if left there for too long. Once that’s happened, the exposed areas of your car are vulnerable to rust, and before you know it, you may be in for a costly repair job.