Remembering My 2005 Hyundai Accent #FirstCarMoment
My favorite car has to be the first car I purchased after getting married. It was a 2005 Hyundai Accent. It was automatic and the color was light blue. Getting our first car as a married couple was an unforgettable milestone. It bestowed a reliable freedom and independence that we had enjoyed before the purchase. Our previous cars always had issues and left us stuck on the side of the road more than a few times. Those breakdowns taught us how to stay safe on the road.
We drove that car into the ground. Over a period of eight years we put over 206,000 miles on that car. It literally went from coast to coast. It lived in DC with my wife while she was starting her flight attendant position. It took numerous road trips from Chicago to Ohio. We even took it down Route 66 and drove it to Mount Rushmore for a visit. Safety was always on our mind before, during and after the road trips we took in that Hyundai. We might have pushed the car to its limit and made a questionable choice of taking it down Route 66 when it had over 165,000 miles on it, but we were smart about making sure the tires were in good shape before we left. We drove through sun, rain, snow and fog in that car and our tires kept us on the road.
I’m writing this post a few days before one of the biggest celebrations our country sees each year. The 4th of July is the quintessential American summer event. It has its share of food, drink and general excitement, but also a great need for safety. And just like fireworks can be beautiful when safety precautions are taken, a summer road trip can be a beautiful experience when tire safety is a priority.
The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is often referred to as the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers, based on accident data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Safety Council. The cold, hard reality is that automobile accidents are the number one killer of teens in America. They account for a shocking 5,000 deaths annually. In addition, 12% of the 2.2 million accidents that occur each year with inexperienced drivers are due to tire-related issues (26% are attributed to low tread depth; 32% are attributed to improper tire pressure).
Driving on underinflated tires or tires with low tread can lead to safety issues on the road.
I was in my 20s before I got my driver’s license. It wasn’t a big priority to me, until it was. The day I got my license (and then months later my first car) my life changed for the better and I no longer had to worry about waiting on others to drive me. I was also in my first accident because I didn’t have safe tires on the car. The roads were slippery and my tires had almost no tread. Luckily I hit a guard rail on a curve as low speed. No one was hurt. It taught me an important lesson though, tire safety is important.
The good news is that accidents due to improper tire maintenance are preventable, and simple steps can save lives. Checking your tire pressure with a pressure gauge monthly and learning and learning the proper way to check tread depth are two easy tasks that can help you correctly maintain your tires and contribute to overall vehicle safety. Michelin has been focused on road safety for over 125 years, they feel like they have an obligation to raise awareness about this issue. Through their products and educational promotions Michelin is playing a role in reducing the roughly 264,000 crashes with inexperienced drivers that occur annually due to tire-related issues.
Get those tires checked. Make sure your safe before you hit the road this summer. Need new tires? Checkout what Michelin has been doing for over a century. They are professionals at keeping drivers safe with state-of-the-art tire design and safety testing. You’ll be happy you did.
What was your first car? Or your favorite car? Let me know in the comments.