Simple 5 point safety check

This article is reproduced from the VACC website - see the full story and more at the VACC website

Defects in critical safety systems can be identified with a simple professional check.

Tyres are the only contact point between the car and the road surface. Worn tyres can dramatically reduce the braking performance of a vehicle in greasy or wet conditions. Cornering stability can be affected in all conditions if tyres are worn unevenly, as well as increasing the risk of blow-out at highway speeds. Over-sized wheel and tyre width, such as commonly seen in some vehicle modifications, can significantly reduce the controllability of the vehicle on slippery surfaces, can interfere with steering operation, and contribute to bearing failure.

Failing brakes will be a disaster no matter the cause. Brake component wear or malfunction can go unnoticed until it is too late, unless inspected regularly. Pad and disc wear or warp-age can cause premature overheating and reduce stopping performance significantly. Leaking hydraulic components constantly distribute slippery fluid on the contact areas of brakes and can cause complete failure of the braking system in the event of a broken seal.

Worn steering components can contribute to unstable braking, poor control while turning and loss of control at high speed. Malfunctioning shock absorbers reduce tyre contact with the road and can destabilise the vehicle on rough surfaces or in the event of hitting a pothole at high or low speeds. Correctly operating steering components is important to vehicle control in both normal driving and in collision avoidance situations.

The restraint of passengers is vital in the reduction of death or serious injuries in accidents. Frayed or worn material or inoperable rollers are extremely important to the correct operation of the entire seat belt. Structural damage and rust in the floor pan of a vehicle can cause failure of seat and belt anchorage points in the event of an accident, rendering the restraint system useless.

A correctly operating lighting system is just as important to the driver of a vehicle as it is to other road users. A faulty lighting system will not only make it difficult for the driver to see the road in poor visibility conditions but also make it difficult for other road users to see them. Incorrectly working brake or indicator lights give other drivers no warning of changing behaviour and increase the incidence of rear-impact accidents.

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