As a driver or car owner, get to know your vehicle, inside and out. Do it for your own safety. Monitoring the condition of your vehicle regularly is extremely important and could potentially save your life. Know what to look for when inspecting your vehicle and know the basic maintenance rules of a car.
Here are some simple things to check regularly on the outside of your car:
- Tire pressure. The proper tire pressure for your tires can be found on the inside of the driver side door. This will tell you the proper tire pressure for both your front and back tires. You can pick up a tire pressure gage at any auto parts store. Tire pressure should only be checked when the tires are cold – meaning the car hasn’t been driven in at least an hour.
- Working headlights/tail-lights and signals.
- Leaking fluids.
Here are some important things to check whenever you are inside of your car:
- Rearview and side-view mirrors: Always check these before you put the car into drive. Make sure they are adjusted properly.
- Doors. Check if all of your doors are closed and locked. Usually a light will pop up on your dashboard if a door isn’t shut.
- If all passengers are wearing seatbelts. Check to see if all of your passengers are wearing their seatbelts. It could save you and your family’s life.
- Is you phone off? Turn your phone off or put it in the backseat where you can’t reach it and won’t be tempted to check it. In New York State, it is illegal to talk on a hand-held device or text while driving. The penalty is 5 points on your license. What does that mean? A fine of a maximum of $100 and you are now only 6 points away from getting your license suspended. If you have a junior license and are caught texting and driving, the result is a mandatory 60-day driver license or permit suspension. Visit the DMV website to learn more about the point system in New York.
Keep the following items in your car at all times:
- Up-to-date registration and proof of insurance.
- Jumper cables.
- Safety reflectors.
- Spare tire and jack.
- Some bottles of water.
- A flashlight.
Vehicle safety is extremely important. By following the simple steps above, you can decrease your chances of getting into an accident and if you do get into an accident, you’ll be prepared.
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Source: Resource Guide for Teen Drivers: New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.