Before You Drive

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  • Approach to the vehicle

    Walk around the vehicle and check that there is nothing in the immediate area

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    Once in the driver’s seat, you will not be able to see some areas. These areas are called the blind zones around the car.

     

     

     

     

     

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    Make sure the path of travel is clear of debris, animals or children etc
    Check under the vehicle for puddles which show that fluids may be leaking
    Visually check the inflation of the tires, and the position of the front wheels
    Check the body of the vehicle for any vandalism, hit and run, or theft
    Verify that windows are clear and windshield wipers are not stuck to the windshield due to ice or heat
    Check that lights, turning signals and license plate are clean and clear

    If your vehicle is parked at the curb, approach it from the front so that you walk up to it facing traffic.

    Once inside, close and lock the door. Check around the vehicle interior to see if any loose objects could slide around if there were a sudden stop. This includes objects hanging from your rearview mirror.

    If transporting items, be sure they are secure. This is especially important in vehicles where the trunk opens in to the rest of the vehicle (ex. A hatchback)

  • Pre-Driving Protocol

    Before you drive it is important to ensure you are physically, mentally and emotionally ready to drive.

    It is advised that you develop a pattern of behaviour that you follow every time you get into your car.

    Close and lock the doors, with keys in the ignition
    diceSecure loose objects

    Adjust your seat and headrest
    Your seating position determines your ability to use the controls and see properly.
    Your back should be firmly against the seat backrest
    Hips squarely against the seat cushion
    Slide your seat forward to the point where your foot can reach the floor underneath the brake pedal comfortably, with your leg still bent slightly.
    Left foot should be positioned on far left against the foot rest.

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    Adjust your mirrors
    Mirrors are used to check behind your vehicle every 6-8 seconds as well as prior to braking and all other manoeuvres.
    Interior Rearview Mirror: Align the right side of this mirror with the right edge of the rear window behind you.
    Exterior Left Rearview: Align this mirror with the right edge of the mirror showing a little bit of the side of your car.
    Exterior Right Rearview: Align this mirror with the left edge of the mirror showing a little bit of the side of your car.

  • Ensure good ventilation
    Adjust heat/cooling to the weather conditions.

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    Fasten seatbelt.

  • Cockpit drill
    Review the location and operation of gauges and controls.

    Pre-drive inspection and maintenance
    Inspection and maintenance is required to keep your vehicle in operation, roadworthy, and avoid breakdowns.

    Pre-drive Inspection
    Check for fluid leaks, tire inflation issues and physical damage to the vehicle body and glass.
    If you see a leak, identify whether it is brake fluid, motor oil, air conditioner condensation, transmission fluid, coolant etc. Can you fix it yourself?
    Will it cause a breakdown if not dealt with immediately? If not sure, get it fixed.
    Breakdowns on the roadway are much more costly than fixing it before a breakdown occurs.

  • Weekly Inspection/Maintenance:
    Tire Pressure
    Properly inflated tires give your tires the most contact with the pavement.
    Properly inflated tires also help to save fuel, and therefore, save you money.

    Safety/Communication Accessories:
    lights and signals
    emergency lights and markers
    HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
    windshield wipers

  • Monthly Inspection/Maintenance:
    Motor Oil
    Windshield Wiper Fluid
    Cooling System
    Brake System
    Power Steering

    Six Month Inspection/Maintenance:
    Fluid Levels

    Periodic:
    Inspect and rotate tires at 10000km, and then every 15,000km or as necessary