You don’t have to be a DOT truck driver to do an inspection on a vehicle. In fact, our work and personal vehicles should be inspected in some way every time we use them. Approach the vehicle from the opposite side you’d enter from and walk in a circle, ending at your driver’s door. There’s a reason for this – from a safety perspective, if someone was hiding and planned to do you harm, you’d see them. Secondly, you’ll be looking at items you might miss if you just head straight for the driver’s door and get in. Here are some good practices –
• Approach from the opposite side and make a circle around the vehicle.
• Check your wheel wells, underneath the vehicle, and inside before entering.
• Crouch slightly to look through the vehicle’s glass to inspect for chips or cracks.
• Check your tires closely, looking for objects stuck in the tires, or strange wear patterns.
• Check your license plate and safety inspection expiration dates.
Make sure you also check your oil, coolant level, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, and fuel level. Other things to check that you may not readily consider are your vehicle insurance expiration, any permits you need for your vehicle, and your lights and signals. On a personal level, your vehicle is your second-largest investment next to your home, and at work, your vehicle makes your job function like it should. Be careful, make these inspections into a regular practice, and pass on your new habit to coworkers, family, and friends.
As always, be safe out there!