Often, most car accidents are traced back to poor decisions that are made before hitting the road. Car safety goes far beyond choosing the best tyre, car and regular servicing. Car safety checks are the simple precautionary checks that each driver should undertake before turning on the ignition. In most cases, these safety checks make significant difference between life and death.
The following is a checklist of simple mandatory car safety checks before you hit the road:
Checking the lights is a simple yet important safety check. Ensure that you check the brake lights, indicators and the hazards. This can be conducted with the help of a friend or relative, who checks the functionality of the lights while you are pulling stalks and pressing buttons in the car.
The tyres are the point of contact between the road and the car. Therefore, it is important to check for the tread depth that ought to be at least 1mm and any uneven tyre wears. In case of uneven wear, ensure that you get some wheel rotation and alignment done. It is also advisable to ensure that the spare tyre is inflated fully and the jack kit is functional.
Oil and oil filters
Oil keeps the engine and its parts cool, running smoothly and clean. It also reduces friction significantly. Though most car manuals indicate the engine oil and filters replacement period, is important to always check before hitting the road. Turn on the ignition and let the car run for a few minutes before turning off the engine in a leveled surface. Open the oil dip hood and pull it out. If it portrays a sufficient level and the oil appears clean on the stick, then you are good to go. However, if the oil appears darker than usual, it requires complete replacement.
Worn out wipers have a negative impact on visibility and create windshield glare even when not in use. The wiper’s rubber tends to expand during summer hence, get loose while during winter, unexpected thunderstorm may damage the wipers. It is therefore essential to check the wipers and replace them occasionally.
Air conditioning and cooling system
Overheating is the main cause of car breakdowns during summer. So, always ensure that your cooling system is checked often and refilled or flushed if need be. To avoid sweltering in the sun, check that the air conditioning system and the fluids are in proper condition.
Before hitting the road, always make sure that you adjust the side view and rare view mirrors. Ensure that they reflect the road but the outside your car.
Always remember that road safety begins and ends with you, the driver. This means that you should not take any chance at all. Even when late, spare a few minutes to check the safety of your car. The above mandatory safety checks are the least a driver can undertake to protect his/her life and the life of the passengers as well. Additionally, it is always worth carrying basics like; a touch and a first aid kit, portable bollards.
Take a look at Dare To Repair Your Car: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Maintenance, Safety, Minor Fix-Its, and Talking Shop by Julie Sussman, a female-friendly guide to proper care and maintenance for a woman’s second home: her car.