This post was sponsored by Monroe Shocks & Struts
As my kids approach driving age, I’ve taken a greater interest in automobile safety features.
My 15-year old daughter wants a pickup truck and my 13-year old son is eyeing sporty hatchbacks. However, I’m seriously considering making them share the family minivan and buying myself a new car.
Regardless of the vehicle they ultimately choose, I want to make sure that it is safe and reliable. I also want my children to have a basic understanding of their car’s safety features and what they need to do to maintain them.
In addition to talking about airbags, seat belts, anti-lock brakes, I want them to understand the Safety Triangle™ – the interconnected under car parts that could affect your ability to avoid accidents.
Shocks and struts play a major role in the Safety Triangle. Most people think their sole purpose is to improve ride comfort, but shocks and struts also are critical suspension components that contribute to vehicle safety in the following ways:
Shocks and struts help evenly distribute your car’s weight over all four tires, improving handling during turns.
Shocks, struts, and brakes work together to help a vehicle stop sooner under rough driving conditions, by keeping tires and wheels in contact with the road.
Shocks, struts, and tires work together to help maximize tire-to-road contact, improving vehicle stability, and minimizing weight transfer.
My son, who is really into cars, loves to have these types of discussions with me. My daughter, on the other hand, is like, “Whatevs, just give me the keys.”
While some of these concepts may go over their heads right now, they will have a clearer understanding of them when they start driving regularly. As they become experienced drivers, they will start to notice when their vehicle isn’t operating at peak performance.
Like most safety-critical chassis components, shocks and struts do wear out over the course of normal operation and I want my kids to recognize small problems before they blossom into major safety issues.
I plan to encourage them to have a complete Safety Triangle inspection every time they take their vehicle in for tire, brake, or alignment services.
This simple inspection will not only keep them safe, but it will also give me peace of mind.