Pre-drive inspection

Woman in car checking mirror

The pre-drive inspection should be part of any defensive driving program. This important task can help identify problems with your vehicle before it gets on the road. Many accidents can be prevented by conducting a pre-drive inspection.

It normally only takes a few minutes to conduct a pre-drive inspection. This time is well worth the investment, especially if it reveals problems that you can fix on the spot. By attending to those problems before you begin your trip, you can save yourself time and money.


As part of your defensive driving program, conduct the following inspection before you leave on your trip:

  • Walk-around inspection
    • Walk around the vehicle before you get in to make sure there's nothing behind or underneath that you might run over. This is especially important if children are in the area.
  • Tires
    • Give the tires a quick glance. See if any are losing air or if any debris has been lodged into the threads.
  • Leaks under vehicle
    • Check for any leaks under the vehicle. Fixing this problem now can save you from a possible breakdown later on.
  • Windows clean, nothing blocking vision
    • When you get in the vehicle, make sure the windows are clean and that there's nothing blocking your vision.
  • Mirrors properly adjusted
    • Make sure both rearview and side mirrors are properly adjusted.
  • Lights working properly
    • Be sure all outside and inside lights work properly—including turn signals. This one tasks can prevent many accidents from happening if, for instance, your brake lights are not working.
Woman in car checking mirror
This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

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