Vital Vehicle Safety Checks Before DrivingVital Vehicle Safety Checks Befoe Driving
A good number of road breakdowns are caused by vehicles running out of fuel, poor tyre maintenance, power loss and engine trouble. Having a roadworthy vehicle saves you not only time but money.
The following are a few quick and easy checks to ensure you and your vehicle are ready to get on the road:
- Ensure you are well rested and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Before getting on the road, plan your route and identify places to take a break during your journey.
- Confirm the latest traffic conditions on the road.
Check under the car for obvious leaks, driving with leaking may cause failure of the steering, brakes or radiator.
- Ensure that your tyres are correctly fitted and inflated to the correct pressure. Then further check them for damage that could make them unsafe such as bulges, cuts and stones Damaged or incorrectly inflated tyres could blow out or lose grip on the road surface and cause an accident. Driving with under-inflated or over-inflated tyres can adversely affect your braking distance, steering, fuel efficiency and lifetime of your tyres.
- Also ensure that the tread of your tyre measures at least 1.6 mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre, going all the way around the tyre.
- Numerous car breakdown incidents happen due to vehicles running out of fuel thus you should always keep your tank at least one quarter full to avoid running out when driving.
- Engine oil keeps the engine lubricated so it can work efficiently. Check the oil level regularly, especially before a long journey, to make sure the oil is at the recommended level.
- Your vehicle handbook will tell you how to check the oil level and how to top it up if necessary. It should also tell you what type of oil to use. Using the wrong type of oil can increase fuel consumption, damage the engine and could affect the vehicle warranty. Don’t overfill your engine oil as this can damage the engine and cause extra emissions.
Windscreens and Windows
- To ensure you have good visibility, make sure your windscreen and all the windows are clean and clear.
- Check that the mirrors are aligned properly and give you a proper view of the road.
- Check that the windscreen washers are working correctly and make sure there’s enough liquid in the washer reservoir.
- Make sure the front and rear lights, brake lights, indicators and hazard lights work. Your lights are not only essential for you; they are also essential for other drivers to understand how you are driving your vehicle and how you intend to maneuver. Use reflections in windows and garage doors to help you see whether the lights are working, or ask someone to help you.
Know how the gauges on your dashboard should look when everything is working properly. Check the gauges every time you start your car, check the engine temperature gauge after the engine has had time to warm. Check the vents, heating system and air conditioning to be are they are in working order so you can defog or defrost the window when necessary.