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Simple car mistakes that you might be overlooking
February 15, 2021

Being on top of your car’s scheduled oil change is not the only way to protect it. There are also other smaller issues that you need to look into because they might lead to untoward incidents in the future. Here’s a list of things you might be overlooking, which can prove costly if not addressed. Using the wrong mats Choosing which rubber mats to put in your car to help make cleaning easier seems like an easy decision to make. Many people just look for a decent-looking set for the cheapest price. However, this decision can cost you more if you happen to purchase mats made from low-quality materials or if they fit your vehicle badly. Choose the mats that are specifically designed for the model of your car because ill-fitting or substandard mats can slip and slide and make it tough to control your car’s pedals. Not checking your tires’ air pressure Under-inflated tires will not only affect your fuel consumption, it can also be dangerous. When your tires are not sufficiently inflated, these will cause your vehicle to veer on one side. Many people rely on their warning lights to tell them if their tires are under the prescribed air pressure but it’s better to make a habit of checking when you gas up. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found out that cars with tires 25% below the recommended air pressure are three times more likely to be involved in a crash as it causes increased tire damage. Replacing old wipers In the Philippines, heavy rains can fall without warning and during these heavy downpours, vision is everything so having reliable wipers is of utmost importance. Forgetting to replace your expired wipers or settling for cheap ones can end up costing you more money if you get into an accident simply because you couldn’t see the road clearly. Most car experts suggest replacing wipers twice a year, but it’s really on a case-to-case basis as ultraviolet rays, heat, acid rain, and debris can all hasten the aging on your wipers. The lifespan of wipers also depends on the material. Halogen-hardened rubber blades last longer than ordinary rubber blades. Spending more on silicone blades though might be worth it as it could be safe to use for up to a year even under intense usage. If you’re having second thoughts already, check your wipers at home by using your garden hose to simulate rain. Overlooking the wear on brake pads We see it in the news all the time. The blame for most vehicular accidents is passed on to the brakes malfunctioning. If you don’t think this can happen to you, ask yourself: When was the last time you had your brakes checked? If you hear them making a cringe-worthy screech, consider it as a cry for help. Shifting to neutral when going down hill Some drivers think it’s a good idea to shift to neutral when driving downhill as there’s no need to push on the accelerator with gravity doing the job. However, shifting to neutral rids your vehicle of its ability for engine braking while also putting so much pressure on your tire brakes. This might lead to an accident further down the road when your brakes are too hot to function properly. Turning on the hazard lights amidst heavy rains It’s something that’s automatically done by some drivers in the Philippines. When the heavy rains fall, their blinkers turn on. The logic behind it is that it will help them become more visible on the road. However, this hurts more than it helps as the cars behind you will have no idea when you are about to turn or shift lanes. Instead of turning on your hazard lights, simply lower your speed and turn your headlights. This has long been the advocacy of popular car enthusiast and automotive writer James Deakin. He even listed this as one of the top habits that Filipino drivers don’t even know are wrong. Deakin stated that using your hazard lights might make other drivers think that your vehicle is stalled and this can also lead to accidents. Other distractions Any momentary lapse in focus can lead to an accident—from trying to adjust your seat while driving to checking your phone for messages. It’s best if you check what you need to do before you start the car and drive off. The Department of Transportation recently released the implementing rules and regulation of Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA), which should be followed by all drivers primarily for safety. The ADDA bans drivers from making or receiving calls, sending or reading messages, performing calculations, playing games, watching videos, and browsing the internet. Drivers are only allowed to make phone calls if it is for emergency purposes or with the use of earphones or other devices that allow the use of the gadget without having to hold it. Using your phone for navigational apps is allowed as long as the gadget is placed in the safe zone, out of the driver’s line of sight. Owning a car is a huge responsibility. You need to make sure that your vehicle is always road worthy for your own safety and for those whom you share the roads with. It’s easy to keep in mind routinary upkeep and maintenance like gassing up, replacing your engine oil, and making sure your tires have decent thread, but there are also lots of other responsibilities that you need to keep in check. This is where the need for car insurance comes in as it protects you in case any of those small, easily-overlooked issues end up causing an accident. Cocogen Motor Insurance lets you drive with peace of mind as it covers accidental collisions, overturning, or malicious acts of a third party. It also protects the policy holder against any legal liability to third parties and/or passengers due to any accidents. Cocogen Motor Insurance is the best car insurance deal in the market as it also gives the policyholders exclusive access to the 24/7 Cocogen Road Pal Rescue to aid you immediately after an accident and the Gawa Agad Claims Service which is comprised of accredited repair shops for faster processing and servicing.
*** The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cocogen Insurance.