The best way to avoid car accidents and injuries is prevention. As you sit in your vehicle, can you tell if there is anything that would cause an accident or an injury? Performing a vehicle safety check only takes a few minutes each time you get into the car and before you pull out of the driveway. Here are some of the quickest and most basic ways to check your vehicle for potential hazards.
Elbows, Arms, and the Airbag
Your front passenger and you as the driver both need to be a safe distance from the air bags. The air bags inflate in the blink of an eye if you rear-end someone, or if someone hits you from behind. That said, you do not want to be suffocated by your own air bag or break an arm because you were too close to the bag when it opened.
Your passenger needs to be about an arm's length from the dash, which varies on the size of your passenger. You should be able to grip the steering wheel at the "10 and 2" positions, with some slack in your arms. You should also not be too far away from the steering wheel, or the air bag cannot prevent your forward momentum.
Headrests and Your Heads
Headrests for adult drivers and front passengers have to be lifted to meet the back of the skull. In the back seat, heads should touch the top of the seats. If children are not tall enough to have their heads touch the back of the seat, they need a child's booster seat (infant seats for infants!). The booster seats are also a requirement to help the lap and shoulder belts be more effective at what they are supposed to do: suppress forward momentum of a body starting at the shoulder level.
Most people think that you can ride around on a slow-leaking tire. However, this can lead to some very dangerous accidents. A leaking tire only needs a rousing bump or another sharp object to make the tire explode and send your car careening into other vehicles or roll into a ditch. Worse still, if you happen to drive around some steep curves or near cliffs, this slowly leaking tire could spell your ultimate demise. If you cannot afford to replace the tire, make an effort to keep it filled or substitute it for the spare in the trunk.