Now that back-to-school season is here, parents and guardians are focusing on getting their kids to class safely and on-time. For those involved in neighborhood car pools, it means making sure your vehicles are in top-notch condition so they are capable of providing safe and reliable travel for passengers.
A simple vehicle inspection is a great way to ensure your vehicle is ready for back-to-school season. Locating, correcting, and preventing vehicular problems will make car-pooling safe and efficient for everyone! Continue reading to review a recommended checklist to use for a car pool vehicle safety inspection.
Automotive Safety Inspection Checklist:
1. Prepare for Inclement Weather
It is important to make sure your vehicle is ready to take on rain, hail, snow, fog, and ice. So start by inspecting your interior and exterior lights. In the case of heavy fog or rain (or late night after-school pickups), dim lights are serious safety hazards, so bulbs should be replaced with newer, brighter ones.
Next, check your windshield wiper blades and level of wiper fluid. Be sure to check both front and back windshield wipers for wear and tear. Replace them if needed. Fill up your wiper fluid and keep an extra bottle in the trunk for emergencies.
Last, check your tires for proper tread and tire pressure. Low tread on tires is a safety concern because it reduces traction on slippery surfaces. Use the penny test to check tire tread. Insert a penny in the groove of your tire. If you can see Lincoln's head, it means your tread is low. Check tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge. They are inexpensive and easy to find. Match the reading with the recommended tire pressure in your owners' manual. Be sure to have your tires replaced if the tread is gone, or inflated if they are low on pressure.
2. Check Seatbelts and Car Seats
Be sure to give a good inspection to all of the seatbelts and buckles in your vehicle. Check for belt frays, broken buckles, jammed receptacles, missing or broken hinges and latches, and receptacles stuffed inside seats. Next, check your car seats and boosters for damage or missing components. Be sure they are fully locked into place.
3. Professional Brake Service
Your car brakes are a major safety component in your vehicle. They should be inspected and serviced by a licensed mechanic at least once per year. They retain the proper tools, training, and knowledge to provide a comprehensive inspection of your vehicle and determine if it's safe to drive, as well as, locate small issues early on and prevent them from becoming large, costly repairs or safety hazards later on. You will feel confident transporting precious cargo to and from school when you know your vehicle has been professionally inspected and serviced.
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