A list of checks that should be made before making a long journey or on a regular basic to check your car roadworthy
P – Petrol do you have enough fuel for the journey you are planning? If not where are you going to refuel & have you made allowances for the delay on your driving plan. Know what fuel the car is using
O – Oils you are likely to need to check your engine oil, & brake fluid levels if they are low they will need correcting before you start the journey.
W – Water you will need to check your coolant level if you have too much or too little this could lead to problems if you are going on a long journey. You need to correct the level before the journey.
D – Damage you should check the car for damage if you have anything hanging off this could fall off or hit another road user leading to problems from them. Sometimes to damage could lead to further problems while driving so need to be corrected before taking a long journey.
E – Electrics if the lights are not working the police can fine you £40 for each broken bulb and in extreme circumstance take further action for dangerous driving. So replace any faulty lights before starting a journey. Also make sure the instrumentation of the car is working such as the speedometer, fuel & temperature gauge.
R – Rubber check the tyres tread, pressure & condition to make sure they are safe to drive on before a journey. If not you must replace them before you start your journey. You could also check your windscreen wipers they should clear your windscreen safely without scratching it. If not you should replace them before your journey.
Make sure your Documentation in order
Before a journey you should make sure the documents regarding the car are in order.
The Documents I am talking about are:-
The Registration Document it is in your name & at your address because should you be stopped by the police they can delay your journey while the sort out the problem.
Insurance you should have valid insurance in your name for the vehicle you will be driving.
MOT that is the safety document that you should have for any vehicle over 3 year old & replaced every year after that. It tells you that on that day the car was found to be car roadworthy http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/repository/CONT071791.pdf
Understand all controls that the vehicles might have Power steering Anti lock brakes Emergency Steering Protection.
Sometime you might be driving a car you are not familiar with. If this is the case spend a little time finding out if there are any extra controls that you have not used before. Also make sure you know where the controls & switches are should you need to use them.
Consider any alternatives
Again I want to talk about the alternatives of going on a journey where the car is not roadworthy or safe. I feel sure that if you have made necessary checks & found the car not up to standard you will try to correct them. However remember it is your responsible & will be prosecuted if they are not up to standard. The alternative in this case would be to find another vehicle that is safe or not take the journey until the car has been repaired.