When the time changes and Halloween trick-or-treaters flood the streets, it’s not the time to discover that your car has a major visibility problem on the road. In fact, the risks of an accident go up in fall and winter months as darkness encroaches earlier and weather conditions increase the everyday risks of driving.
To help car owners assess their risks on the road and make the improvements needed to improve their visibility, 3M Car Care and its spokespeople, automotive experts Sam Memmolo and Courtney Hansen, are encouraging drivers to conduct their vehicle visibility safety check before the time change.
“Driving a car that has major visibility problems can be like getting behind the wheel Beforewithout your glasses,” says Memmolo, who has spent three decades restoring and repairing cars in his garage and as the host of major automotive broadcast programs. “You just aren’t going to be able to see well. This may put you and the people in your car at risk, as well as everyone on the road around you.”
Hansen, automotive enthusiast, author and host of “Powerblock” on Spike TV, says she regularly sees cars with hazy headlight lens, dim bulbs, worn windshield wipers and damaged rear and side view mirrors, all factors that contribute to reduced visibility on the road. These problems can be easily repaired with some simple solutions.
Vehicle Visibility Safety Checklist
• Check your wipers — Change at least once a year or more if they are streaking
• Check your headlight brightness – Headlight bulbs dim over time. Park on a level surface facing five feet from a wall and check the light display. The circles of light should be bright or soft white, not yellow or dim, and the circles should be even and aligned straight forward on the wall.
• Change the bulbs – A high-quality bulb will burn brighter and last longer. Be sure to replace both bulbs at the same time, even if it doesn’t seem that they both need it.
• Check your headlight lens – If you see a cloudy, milky surface and can’t see the bulb through the plastic, you have damage that can limit your visibility on the highway.
• Restore your headlights – An at-home kit like the 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System allows you to easily remove the hazy layer of damage and polish your lens back to crystal clear condition.
• Check your mirrors — Ensure they are in good working condition without cracks. Damaged mirrors can be cost-effectively replaced by visiting a local salvage yard.
• Check your tail lights, brake lights, backup lights and tag illumination lights – Back your vehicle against the wall again and activate your rear lights while watching in your rearview mirror. You can replace these easily – and even save yourself a traffic ticket.
All of the products needed to make these simple repairs are available at auto parts retailers, and the projects require only basic tools like a screwdriver and cordless or electric drill.
“For less than $100 in products and an hour of your time in the driveway, you can dramatically improve the safety of your car on the road and decrease your chances of being in an accident,” says Memmolo. “It’s an investment in your safety you can’t afford to skip.”
For additional tips on improving vehicle visibility and roadway safety, visit www.3MCarCare.com. The site features project tips and ideas, step-by-step videos for restoring hazed headlights, and special offers on safety products from retailers.