When you’re constantly bombarded with information about driving, your vehicle, and the safest driving techniques, it can be difficult to tell fact from fiction. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so knowing what’s real, and what’s false, can actually save your life.
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Common Vehicle Myths
With this in mind, here are four common vehicle myths you should stop believing in 2023:
1. SUVs are Always the Safest Vehicle Option
This is one of the most prominent vehicle myths out there, and it’s insane that people still believe it so often in 2023. Due to their size and weight, many people believe SUVs are inherently, and always safer than mid-sized and small-sized cars. Some misinformation that’s spread by vehicle safety organizations, and even the government, has led to this myth being so widespread. However, the hard truth is that automakers make significant investments in enhancing vehicle safety, and they do so with every type of vehicle that’s being put out into the marketplace. Both contemporary sedans and SUVs are outfitted with active safety technologies that can save lives in crashes. Numerous sedans have very high safety ratings, especially in the last decade. If you want to keep yourself safe, you can do so with all sorts of vehicles, and not solely via buying an expensive, often gas-guzzling SUV. Simply put, SUVS are not inherently safer than other vehicle types.
2. Electrical Vehicles Catch on Fire Easily
Millions of automobiles from a variety of manufacturers have been recalled over the years due to frequent instances of catching fire. The notion EVs are more likely to catch fire has recently been reinforced by an increase in recalls for these vehicles. However, the real data and numbers paint a different picture of the type of cars that tend to catch on fire. Government data and recall information show that EVs have recorded the fewest fires per 100,000 sales (of any vehicle type in the market). Surprisingly, hybrid cars are to blame for the majority of vehicle fires. Following them are gas-powered cars, followed by EVs, which have a considerably lower rate of fire-related accidents or problems. Having said that, EVs are notorious for being more difficult to put out when they do catch fire. For this reason, it’s important to understand what to do when your vehicle catches on fire. Nobody wants to believe this may happen to them, but being prepared can save your life.
3. High Octane Fuel is Always Good for Your Engine
If you look at the owner’s manual of your vehicle, many manufacturers recommend using gas of a certain grade. In theory, this allows your engine to last longer, stay cleaner, and require less maintenance. With the exception of sports cars and some luxury vehicles with high-compression engines that need premium fuel to avoid banging, the majority of cars are designed to run on economy-grade fuel. Since premium fuel first became available at the pumps, the misconception that high-octane fuel is excellent for all engines has persisted. In contrast to conventional fuel, high octane does not aid in the removal of deposits or the cleaning of the engine. Additionally, it won’t remove the buildup on gasoline injectors or other components of the fuel system. If you use high-octane fuel without need, you’ll be costing yourself tons of money in the short term, and may cause serious damage to your car’s engine in the long run.
4. Cruise Control is Important When Driving in Inclement Weather
Drivers can enjoy long drives in a more relaxed fashion by using quality cruise control. The vast majority of cars and other vehicles on the marketplace today have cruise control installed, and the technology has evolved significantly in the last few decades to become even more impressive. That being said, it’s a common misconception that using cruise control makes driving in the rain simpler since maintaining a constant pace reduces slipping. Unfortunately, the reality is that using the feature when it’s wet is actually riskier, and can make you less aware of your surroundings due to drivers gaining a false sense of security. Aquaplaning, which occurs when a tire loses touch with the road when traveling at high speeds on wet roads, makes the vehicle unresponsive to steering inputs. If you’re relying on cruise control to get you out of this situation, you’ll be in a world of trouble.
Stay Safe Behind the Wheel in 2023
By ignoring vehicle-related myths, you can stay much safer behind the wheel of your vehicle in 2023. Keeping roadways safe, and being educated about your vehicle’s features, are key for every driver. The more work we put into driving safer, the better our nation’s roadways will become, after all.