On the road, safety is priority number one.
The road can be a very dangerous place. Car crashes kill roughly 35,000 people and cost Americans over $800 billion in damages each year.
You can’t control others on the road, but you can control your truck. One of the easiest ways to take control of your safety on the road is to perform regular maintenance on your truck. GJEL Personal Injury Attorneys offer this quick guide of maintenance must-dos that will keep your truck well-maintained and safe.
Here are five maintenance must-dos to help keep you safe on the road.
Check your tires regularly.
Check the tread
A balding tire is one with worn out tread. The grooves in the tire help grip the road. Without grip, you can lose control of your truck and cause an accident.
Use the “penny test” to check your tire tread regularly: stick a penny into the groove of your tire upside-down. If you can see the hair on top Lincoln’s head, you need new tires.
A balding tire is also more likely to blow out.
Check tire pressure
Check the pressure in your tires. The recommended pressure will be printed on the side of the tire.
Underinflated tires make your truck more likely to hydroplane. Also, overinflated tires do not grip the road properly.
2. Oil Changes
Have your truck’s oil and other fluids changed according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.
Have a trusted mechanic
Using the same mechanic for all of your truck’s maintenance helps in many ways. Most importantly, you develop a relationship of trust with them. With trust, you can be confident in the work they do.
The mechanic will also remember your truck and have a record of maintenance. If there is a problem on the horizon that isn’t yet an emergency, they can tell you.
Follow the maintenance schedule in your truck’s owner’s manual. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, you can find it online and print it out. Keep a copy in your truck and at home.
Check out your brakes regularly. A truck is heavy and needs to be able to stop itself.
Look for rust or leaking fluid, and listen for squeaking or grinding. Also, pay attention to how the brakes feel.
Check all of your lights regularly. Make sure your turn and brake signals turn on and are visible. Replace the bulbs as necessary.
5. Have a Breakdown Kit
Having a “breakdown kit” can save your life. Put one together, keep it in your truck, and regularly check to make sure it has the following items:
- A reflective vest,
- A spare tire,
- A tire jack,
- A pressure gauge,
- A flashlight or headlamp (with extra batteries),
- A few traffic cones,
- A card with both your mechanic and a towing company’s phone number,
- A medical kit, and
- A small fire extinguisher.
Keep these items together in a kit in a safe, memorable place.
Generally, pay attention to your truck. If it is making strange noises, pull over and check it out. Call for help if you don’t know what is wrong.
If you notice liquid on your driveway, figure out what it is and where it is coming from. Keep an open line of communication with your mechanic.
Just paying attention to these small things can save you a lot of time, money, and maybe even your life.