Because there snowing is not a problem in Southern California, it is not one of the main reasons behind many Santa Monica car accident injuries. Many drivers do not have to worry about "winterizing" their cars in the same way that people in other parts of the country do.

But even in milder climates, cars and trucks still need regular maintenance. Failure to perform general upkeep on your vehicle can put you at a higher risk for being involved in an accident.

Regular maintenance means much more than keeping air in the tires and the windshield clean, and it may even cost you a bit of money. But since you can't put a price on safety or a person's life, the money will be well-spent if it means preventing a serious accident.

The Santa Monica car accident lawyers have seen firsthand the devastation that results from injuries caused by accidents involving poorly-maintained cars and trucks, which is why they have put together a list of important checks and safety precautions you should take before hitting the road.

  • Make sure your engine is running up to par. Stalling on a major road or in the middle of a busy intersection can be very dangerous, especially at night. 
  • Check for fluids under your vehicle. Wet spots could be an indication that your car is leaking power steering fluid, motor oil, or even brake fluid, which can pose serious problems if you stop suddenly or turn off the road. 
  • Have your car's oil changed regularly. Almost all oil change body shops offer a complete inspection of the underbody of your car with the purchase of an oil change. If you are not sure what to look for when inspecting your car, take it in and have a professional do it for you. It is recommended that a car's oil be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. 
  • Check your car for loose parts that can fall off of your vehicle. Mud flaps, paneling, or even something hanging under your car could mean trouble if you hit a pothole. 
  • Always keep your tire pressure at a safe level. Properly filled tires can help you stop quicker, and turn smoother. Another bonus is that they can also help you get better gas mileage. 
  • Change your brakes when recommended. You have no control over the other drivers you share the road with, so there is no telling when you may have to stop suddenly. Make sure that stopping on a dime is possible by have your brakes checked and replaced regularly. 
  • Keep windshield wiper fluid topped off. Of course, one of the keys to being a safe driver is being able to see the road ahead of you. If an unexpected swarm of bugs hits your car, or a truck accidentally drops liquid on your windshield, you will want to be able to clean it off right away.

For more tips on how to avoid a serious car accident injury, contact Southern California's premier car accident lawyers at Steinberg Injury Lawyers at 800.989.6385. You can also order your free copy of their book,The Seven Biggest Mistakes That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case, or fill out our online form to set up a complimentary case evaluation.

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982