Back To School Safety Checklist!
You know…that most wonderful time of the year when kids spend all day slaving away in school. Okay. So maybe it’s not the most wonderful time, but it’s definitely a good one for the parents! You may be wondering what school has to do with cars, right? Well, imagine the hundreds of thousands of school age students who are just getting their licenses, or are traveling to and from school and work, or even out of state for college. You’d want your children to be as safe as possible, at least, I really hope you would.
That’s why I came up with our Back To School Safety Checkup! This list will get your students ready to drive, safely…I might add, to school and home.
As a college student, I know having the responsibility of a car is a big one! It’s completely necessary for me to ensure my car is road-worthy and safe to drive. That includes being insured and licensed correctly to your state’s laws! Don’t be the dummy who is driving illegally! However, when it comes to your student’s car, there are a few key areas I suggest to inspect to ensure that your car is ready to drive all those pesky students (or yourself) safely:
These key safety areas include -Tires, Brakes, Windshield wipers, and vehicle lights.
First and foremost, your tires should always be in good condition. You, as a parent (or independent college student) should check your tire pressure regularly. This helps to create a better driving experience and can help the longevity of said tires! Having tire pressure checks can save you both time and money in the long run, because low pressure tires actually put stress on them, which creates wear and tears! Make sure to check out this video on how to accurately check your tire pressure with a gauge! Most gas stations will have independent gauges that will help guide you to the right pressure! Safety First!
Not only should you inspect your tire pressure, but you should also inspect the depth of your tires’ tread. Your tread depth should be more than 2/32 of an inch all around the tire. The best trick is to grab a Lincoln….well, the copper penny anyway. Insert the penny with Lincoln’s head facing upwards. If you can’t see Lincoln, you’re in the clear and know that your tread depth is acceptable. If you can see Lincoln, well, I suggest getting new tires. Check out this informative safety video on how to correctly check your tire tread depth
Brakes are the second biggest area to inspect. I mean, you want to be able to stop accordingly and prevent accidents and wrecks…right? Most car owner manuals will give you specific guidelines on when to have your brakes inspected, but I suggest getting them checked out any time you have reason to suspect that they’re not working correctly. That means when you start to hear the tell-tale squealing and metal on metal grinding! Don’t wait until it’s too late, otherwise you’ll have to be the one to tell your parents that you got into a wreck. And nobody’s got time for that! So save yourself the embarrassment of the terrible squealing noise and the yelling of your parents. Get your brakes checked regularly!
Your windshield wipers are another key area I suggest your inspect before heading off to school. Why? Well, if you can’t see clearly you’re bound to get into a wreck (see above embarrassment rant, and then read on!) Your windshield wipers can help you see more clearly during inclement weather. Most car owner’s manual suggest that you replace your wiper blades every 4-6 months. Now obviously if you live in an area like Seattle, Portland, or even Florida (where it rains almost daily) you might need to replace them more often. This is a fairly inexpensive fix that can actually save your life! Safety is important, it should be the first and last thing on your mind before entering and exiting a car.
Lastly, always inspect your vehicle lights. If you have to ask why, I think I might just need to hit you over the head with your owners manual. Obviously if your lights are preventing you from seeing the road at night, you need to get the bulbs replaced. In fact, it’s pretty easy! I’ve had to do that multiple times in the recent college years. This is another inexpensive fix that can help you save lives. Make sure your lights are up to your state’s code, which can easily be accessible through your state’s DMV website. If you cannot find it, be sure to check out the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards website and check out the multitude of helpful information!
With school back in session, it’s important to think of the methods in which you arrive safely! So keep this little check list in mind and I’m sure your students (or yourself) will be safer on the road.
-Thanks for listening!
The Car Girl