Some drivers are in the habit of simply hopping into the driver’s seat and going. If this describes your routine, you’re certainly not alone. However, it’s a good idea to take certain steps first for the purpose of safety, the general care of your vehicle, and your own peace of mind. Here are five things we recommend doing before you start your car to achieve these goals.
1. Do a Quick Walk-Around
You’ve probably seen TV shows or movies where drivers run into trash cans or over objects that end up damaging their cars, the tires, or worse. When this happens in real life, it can result in costly damage to your vehicle. Before you get into your car and start it, do a brief walk-around. As you do this, pay attention to:
• Anything that may be in your immediate vicinity (e.g., toys, bikes, or blown-over trash cans)
• The tires and general condition of the car’s exterior
• Signs of leaking car fluids
2. Make Sure You Have Your License & Insurance Info
The reason for double-checking for your license is to avoid potentially serious situations if you get pulled over or are involved in an accident. Plus, you may face fines if you’re driving without your license on you, even if this is unintentional. Having your auto insurance info handy also makes it easier to deal with any incidents that might happen as you’re driving.
3. Check & Adjust the Mirrors
Even if you normally keep your mirrors adjusted to your preferences and visual needs, it’s possible to accidentally bump them when getting in and out of your vehicle. The goal with mirror placement is to avoid any blind spots with proper positioning. Also, periodically clean your mirrors so your view isn’t obstructed by smudges, smears, and dirt as you drive.
4. Adjust Your Seat
If you’re not the sole driver of your car, seat adjustments can definitely vary greatly based on personal preferences, height, and other factors. Start by making sure the driver’s seat is the proper height for you and the right distance from the steering wheel. The general recommendation is to adjust your seat so you’re about 10 inches from the wheel to minimize the risk of injury if your airbag is activated. Proper seat height is important as well, since it helps with your visibility as you drive.
5. Fasten & Adjust Your Seat Belt
This should be a no-brainer, but it’s more common than you may realize for drivers to overlook this very important step. This helps you avoid a fine if you’re spotted driving without a seat belt in place, but it’s also for your own personal safety. Additionally, take a moment to make sure your seat belt is properly positioned and adjusted. Otherwise, it may contribute to injuries if pressure isn’t placed in the right areas.
No matter how diligent you are about safety, you still need insurance coverage in case of an accident. If you’re looking for reliable auto insurance, turn to Altra Insurance Services. We’re also a leading provider of affordable motorcycle insurance. San Diego vehicle owners can call (619) 404-6311 today for a complimentary quote on insurance coverage.