By Korede Ogunseinde
Almost every day in Nigeria, the media is awash with stories of road accidents leading to deaths of many or sometimes inflict temporary/ permanent injuries on car occupants. Autofactorng, an e-commerce retail company into sales of auto-parts has highlighted 5 silent killers car owners take for granted.
Defective windshield wipers
Windshield wipers would probably not be the first thing that comes to your mind when talking about causes of road accident. Windshield wipers are essential to the safety of any driver, and when they are not working properly, accidents are more likely to occur.
In a situation of a heavy downpour of rain and a car with a defective windshield wipers will cause one to lose visibility quite fast, and car accidents can result easily.
Worn out shocks
The major function of a shock absorber is to prevent excessive spring movement and in so doing keep the car’s tyres in contact with the road enabling you to keep control of it. Because of this it is a safety critical item, but most people ignore it. Because shocks are generally unseen items and they wear down so slowly that drivers grow accustomed to the ride and amend their style of driving to compensate for it. Not only are worn shocks life threatening, they can also cause costly repairs and maintenance on your vehicles.
Brake pads and shoes are wear items and have a limited service life. The more you drive and use your brakes, the more the brake linings wear. Eventually, they wear down to the point where they have to be replaced. The hydraulic and mechanical components in your brake system also have a limited service life. Over time, rubber seals and hoses can deteriorate and leak. Metal components can rust and corrode. If your brake system develops a leak, it may cause the brakes to fail because of loss of hydraulic pressure when you apply the brakes.
Bad & expired tyres
The condition of the tyres should be inspected regularly. Look for unusual or uneven wear, bulges or wrinkles in the tire sidewalls, cracks in the tread that may indicate tread separation, or loss of air pressure. Over- or under-inflated tires can cause trouble for motorists, which could end up resulting in an accident if ignored. Also, using an expired tyre can be fatal – as the rubber ages, it perishes (dries out), and becomes weaker and brittle. At speed, it heats up and the pressure increases (as the air inside also heats up). This can lead to a blowout
Poor Vehicle Maintenance/Driver Negligence
It is the sole responsibility of the driver and car owner that the vehicle being driven is safe and roadworthy on the road. A quick walk around on cars by drivers before each and every drive is important not only as a good practice but sometimes save lives. A knowledge of those components which may affect road safety when broken down or deteriorated will be a benefit for drivers to enhance the confidence in driving.
Korede Ogunseinde is an automobile blogger @autofactorng