Driving is so easy and convenient that we usually just get into our car and hit the road without a second thought. Maybe we’d adjust our seat and check the side and rearview mirrors, but that’s probably the extent of our preparation. But one of the best ways to improve your safety is to perform a pre-drive safety check before leaving the garage.
We devote lots of time and money to keep our vehicles safe and sound. For example, many owners get Clear Bra for cars to protect the paint. But we rarely think about our protection. We spend a lot of time driving or traveling, and we’re more likely to get injured in a car accident than other forms of transportation.
Taking the time to perform a quick inspection can save your life. Here are a few things you should check before driving:
One of the first things you should inspect is the tires. Due to constant contact and friction, it’s incredibly susceptible to wearing and damage. Make sure that there aren’t any tears, holes, or leaks on the surface.
Check the tire pressure as well. Don’t use your hands or feet to get a feel for the bounce. Instead, use a pressure gauge to measure the air pressure inside the tires. If the air pressure is on the low side, head to the nearest gas station to inflate them.
Finally, see if the tire treads haven’t thinned out. If the patterns have lost their definition, it’s time for a tire replacement.
The next part you should check is the lights. The car’s many lights, such as the turn signals, headlights, taillights, and brake lights, ensure that you can safely navigate while driving. It also allows other drivers to see you in low-light and low-visibility conditions.
Turn on the lights and make sure that they work. If the beam looks a bit dim or underpowered, you might have to clean the lamp or replace the bulb.
3. Under the car
Always check under the car before driving. A dry surface means everything is fine. But if there’s a pool of liquid underneath your vehicle, there’s a leak.
If you see liquid that looks like water, then it’s probably just condensation from the climate control system, and you’re safe. But if the liquid looks cloudy, thick, or brown, then it means your brake or transmission fluid is leaking. Do not use your vehicle and have it inspected by a certified mechanic.
4. Dashboard warning lights
The dashboard doesn’t just light up for no reason. If you see a warning light, then you should take heed and have your vehicle inspected. If you don’t know what a particular warning indicator means, consult the user manual and follow the instructions.
You can fix some of the problems yourself like a bulb failure or a battery check. But for more serious warnings, head to a mechanic for guidance. Do remember that all lights should flash on when you turn on the ignition. If a light doesn’t start, there’s something wrong with the electrical system.
A pre-drive safety check will save you from headaches and dangers before heading off. If you want to be sure, you can also have your vehicle checked by a reputable mechanic. This is especially important if your car hasn’t been serviced in a while or if you’re going on a long-distance trip.