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Most countries have in place legislation to govern the regular inspection of vehicles.

Once your
vehicle has met these standards, it’s easy to become complacent and undertake no further
checks. In reality the legal requirement is your baseline; by making series of simple checks
before you get into your vehicle, you can prevent incidents and save lives.

When driving an unfamiliar vehicle it is essential that you familiarise yourself with the vehicle
and know where the controls are before setting off to drive.

Part of your Daily Routine


Every time we get into a vehicle, we automatically make quite a few checks, probably without
even realising it. For example, we check the mirrors are aligned, we have fuel and our seatbelt is
fastened.

By adding on a few simple other checks, you can very quickly create your own vehicle
inspection routine that will ensure the safety of yourself, your vehicle and other road users.

For ideas on the types of vehicle checks you could make, download Shell’s comprehensive
Vehicle Checklist.

It may look like a long list but in reality, it should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete
and will quickly become habit.

Daily Inspection Programme


Once you’ve identified a robust checking process that works for you, why not formalise it into a
set of procedures that every driver is required to follow? This will help to get everyone
practising good habits.

If the vehicle does not meet your standards, then it should not be driven. Items should marked
for repair or if it’s not considered to be a critical repair, then the vehicle should be booked in for
repair within a set timeframe and the vehicle can be driven until this is carried out.

Critical Equipment List


Regulations will vary from country to country, but here’s an example of the types of items that
are considered critical. Every element must meet the standard regulations; otherwise the
vehicle is not roadworthy:

Brakes
Coupling devices (fifth wheel and kingpin)
Lights
Horn
Mirrors

Seatbelts
Steering mechanism
Tyres
Windshield wipers

Regular Inspections

A more thorough inspection can be carried out at regular intervals, for example weekly or
monthly. The checks could include:

Fluid levels – engine oil, brakes, clutch, power steering and auto transmission fluids (if
relevant)
Windscreen washer
Battery – look for signs of corrosion
Ensure all lights are working headlights, brake lights, indicators
Tyre check – pressure, tread, wear and tear such as cuts or bulges

First aid kit


Flashlight
Spare fuses
Jack
Warning triangles
Spare tyre
High visibility clothing

Good Housekeeping
It’s much easier to spot issues on a vehicle that is well maintained and this is particularly
important if the vehicle is shared with other drivers.

Keeping the vehicle clean and tidy allows the driver to spot new issues such as leaks, worn
parts and damage.
Remember to properly stow in-cab items such as emergency equipment, tools and
personal items to prevent potential injury.

360° Circle of Safety Programme


Each time you get into your vehicle, walk around it, starting on the passenger side and
ending on the driver side.
This is another opportunity to spot mechanical issues, but more importantly any potential
hazards around the vehicle.

Remember, inspecting your vehicle should be part of your daily routine. Never overlook the
importance of checking it as it could save your life and the lives of others.

Go the extra mile with your safety checks and you’ll continue to go for many more miles.
1 http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_safety_status/2013/en/