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Safety tips - Circle check

Circle check
by Randolf Richardson, 2005-Sep-11

Before entering your vehicle, a quick inspection of the exterior of your vehicle (approximately 5-10 seconds) is an important step to ensuring you'll have a safer trip.  To perform a circle check, walk around your vehicle to see it from all angles and try to answer at least the following questions:

  • is there any debris on the ground around your tires (e.g., broken glass, nails, etc.)?
  • do any of the tires appear to be low on air pressure?
  • are both your license plates present?
  • does your license plate decal indicate that your insurance has not expired?
  • is any cargo attached to racks (e.g., roof racks, bike racks, etc.) properly secured?
  • are the wires and hookups for any trailers properly attached?
  • is the ground slippery (e.g., black ice in colder weather)?

If the answer to any of the above questions is "no," then you'll obviously need to take the appropriate measures to correct them.

Even if the weather conditions include pouring rain, a circle check could help you avoid running over debris, children playing behind your parked vehicle, and being a danger on the road to yourself as well as other motorists.  If you think this is inconvenient, you should ask yourself "isn't a few extra seconds in the rain better than a flat tire or an injured child?"

The first few times you perform circle checks it may seem cumbersome (and you may not remember all the the questions), but after a few weeks it will become second nature.  If you have passengers, they'll likely be impressed that you take safety so seriously if they even realize what you're doing.

Drivers are all required by law to operate their motor vehicles with "due care and attention," and "taking care" to perform a circle check prior driving is indeed a form of "paying attention."

 
 
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