The process of getting ready to drive starts before you even get into your car. Regardless of how good a driver you may be, you need a vehicle that is in good condition. When was the last time you did a thorough vehicle inspection? When you’re in a hurry, do you take time to check your surroundings? These actions are important because they help ensure you are a safe driver in a safe vehicle- two key components to keeping the roads free of hazards. Here are some things you should check outside the vehicle as part as your pre-trip procedure:
The surrounding area
Before you move your vehicle, make sure the surrounding area is clear. You may also find obstructions like trash cans, shopping carts, etc.
Tire condition and pressure
You need tires that are in good condition so that you can brake and steer properly. It can be very dangerous to drive with tires that are not properly inflated or overly worn. Tire pressure is also greatly affected by temperature as air pressure is reduced when temperatures decrease.
Excessive fluid leaks
There are various fluids that could leak from your vehicle indicating that something is wrong. Some leaks may be minor issues, while others may cause the vehicle to be unsafe to drive. The first sign of trouble is usually drips or stains under your vehicle after it has been parked overnight. Even if there is a small amount of leakage, it’s best to get it checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
Damage to windows/glass
Not only is it illegal to drive a vehicle that has damaged glass, but it can affect your ability to scan the road while driving . If the crack is less than 12 inches long, or if the chip is smaller than a quarter, the damage can typically be repaired without having to replace your windshield.
Under the hood of your vehicle is a plastic container that contains the fluid for
your windshield wipers. Make sure the container is filled with the appropriate windshield washer solution in case of rain or snow. If your wipers have been making a mess of your windshield, it’s probably time for a replacement.
Now that you’ve checked everything on the outside of the car, you’ll need to do a few checks inside as well. Check out another one of our recent blog posts: Making the Proper Adjustments Inside the Vehicle.