John Davidge explains some of the vehicle checks you should undertake when returning to work after the lockdown period.
Modern vehicles are generally reliable – but that reliability can breed complacency! If you’re getting ready to go back to work in the next few days or weeks, can you really be sure that you’re going to complete that trip successfully? A little planning can avoid you getting caught out and spoiling those first few days back.
I’ve listed 8 considerations to check that your vehicle is ready for the return to work. These simple, but oft-forgotten tips, will help you to get your vehicle back in the swing of things for when you have to drive to your workplace. By going through these 8 points and making the necessary checks, you’ll be better prepared and you’ll decrease the risk of an incident taking place.
8 Vehicle Checks to Prepare for the Return to Work:
- An unused vehicle will have myriad deposits of dust, flies, bird-lime and grime on the windscreen and wiper blades. This means that the first time you use your wipers you may suffer short-term vision loss, likely to lead to a collision. Clean your windows now, fill the screenwash reservoir and check if the wiper blades need replacing.
- Check your tyre pressures (including the spare tyre if you have one) carefully. They could have lost air since they were last used, and could let you down when you most need the reliability.
- Check that all lights are still operating legally, and fix them if they are not.
- Check that you have enough fuel for the journey
- Is the climate control working as it should? Hot conditions might call for air-conditioning to cool you down, but if the system remains unchecked since last summer’s heat, getting it fixed with a backlog of servicing requests is going to leave you hot, stuff and uncomfortable in hot weather for some time. This may leave you distracted and irritable, increasing the risk of collision.
- Will your vehicle start successfully? If it has been left unattended for a couple of months the residual load on the battery of alarm systems and short shopping trips, could lead to a low battery not starting the engine. Check it now and then run the engine on a route of at least 20-25 minutes to ensure it is fully charged for when you need it.
- Some diesel vehicles suffer ‘DPF’ (diesel particulate filter) blockages through lots of short trips. Why not go for a 30-minute drive on faster roads to allow your vehicle to ‘clear its lungs’ by getting the engine and exhaust system fully up to temperature?
- Finally, plan your trip carefully. All the indications are that more people will want to drive from here onwards rather than use public transport, making queues longer and placing additional burdens on parking resources. Why not allow extra time to compensate and avoid the stress on the first few days back at work?
Many minor collisions happen when drivers are under time pressures – pressures that could be avoided with a little forethought as above. Look after yourself and your fellow drivers. Keep good space when you drive and allow for other drivers errors. Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes.