For the young and inexperienced driver, there is an undeniable joy when he begins his lifelong journey of being a vehicle operator. Experiencing the freedom to go where he wants when he wants is as exciting as getting that greatly wished for and highly anticipated Christmas gift. With the reward of driving comes the risks associated with driving. One of the ways a young driver can prevent or reduce the risks of a vehicle malfunction is by performing periodic vehicle safety checks
Specific vehicle safety checks should be performed on tyres and fluids every time the vehicle is driven. Other safety checks such as filters, hoses and belts should be checked after a certain distance. The novice driver must understand the importance of maintaining their vehicle on a regular basis. A well-maintained vehicle will be safer, perform better and last longer. Every time the vehicle is driven the driver should take five minutes to walk around their vehicle to inspect for any damage or abnormalities. Those five minutes can save money and lives.
The first thing he should check is the tyres. Are they properly inflated? Are there any obvious signs of penetrations from a nail or glass? If so, that should be checked by a professional and fixed immediately. A sudden tyre blowout on the highway can cause a serious accident. Deep tyre tread (the grooves in the tyre) is critical to traction to the road surface. If the tyre tread is worn or even non-existent, the driver could easily lose control of the vehicle on a slippery wet road surface. If there are issues with the tyres the driver should also look at tyre sales.
The next observation he should make pertains to fluids. Are there any fluids that have leaked from the vehicle onto the ground? If so, what color is it? Red means transmission fluid, purple means power steering fluid, black means crankcase oil, green or orange means engine coolant fluid and clear means water.
Water is the only fluid that, if seen on the ground, is not indicative of a problem. Loss of any of the other aforementioned fluids could cause serious problems. The vehicle could lose the ability to change gears or the driver could experience the loss of steering ability. The engine could freeze up due to inadequate lubrication or the engine could overheat. Any one of these problems can cause severe damage to the vehicle or even an accident if not immediately taken care of by a professional.
It is very important for every driver, novice or mature, to take just a few minutes to perform these two safety checks before leaving their driveway or parking spot. No one wants the aggravation or out-of-pocket expense of having to call a tow truck due to tyre blowout or breakdown. Even worse, the guilt of having caused an accident that could have been avoided had a few safety precautions been taken before getting on the road. Everyone has five minutes to spare.