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Are you going on a road trip with your friends? If you are, then here are the things that you need to check before getting inside the car and hitting the road. Doing these steps can spell the difference between safety and disaster.

The Fluids and Air Pressure

The first things that you need to check are the fluids in your vehicle as well as the air pressure in your tire. For the fluids, you need to check if the vehicle has the right level of oil as well as brake fluids, and you also need to check if the coolant level is adequate. See to it that they are at their appropriate levels. If not, then you need to add the right amount. Remember, inadequate fluid levels could result not only to an unnecessary breakdown but to an accident as well. Of note though; if the oil needs changing, then change it before you go on the road trip.

In addition to the fluid levels, you also need to check and see if the air pressures in the tires are adequate as well, including the spare tire’s. Make sure that the tire air pressures do not exceed the maximum pressure. Don’t forget this step particularly since checking air pressure is oftentimes commonly overlooked. This simple negligence could easily turn a bad situation to worse.

Battery, Tires, Lights, and Brakes

You also need to check the battery. See to it that it’s charged, and see to it, too, that it has clean terminals.

As for the tires, you need to check its tire wear. You can make use of a tread gauge to check the tire wear, or you can simply make use of a penny. What you can do is to insert the coin upside-down into the groove of the most worn out part of the tire. Now, if the penny does not go deep into the tread or the groove or if the top of the head is showing, then it means that the treads are almost worn out. If the penny sinks deeper into the groove that it covers a portion of the head, then it means that the treads are still okay. You need to have good tires for your road trip, so if the tires need replacement, then replace them. Remember, tires do heat up during long road trips, and you don’t want your tires blowing out and ruining your trip.

When it comes to the lights, make sure that all lights are working. If one is not working, then you need to have the bulb replaced before you hit the road. You don’t want to get into trouble for violating a traffic rule.

Finally, see to it that the brake pads are in good working condition. If not, then have them replaced as well.

Checking all these is very important. Failure to do so can cause road accidents, which can land you in jail if your negligence was the primary cause of the mishap. If you are at fault, then you will need to pay not only for the damages but also legal fees to defend yourself in court.


Jennifer Daley, a freelance writer, regularly contributes articles to the blog of MA Attorney Elliot Savitz. If ever you get into a road accident and need a criminal defense lawyer to help you, then feel free to get in touch with his office.