Risk management

Defensive driving

Pre-drive inspection

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
  • Tires
  • Leaks under vehicle
  • Windows clean, nothing blocking vision
  • Mirrors properly adjusted
  • Lights working properly

In addition to regular maintenance, you should always give your vehicle a quick visual inspection before you hit the road.

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.

Give the tires a quick glance. See if any are losing air or if any debris has been lodged into the threads.

Check for any leaks under the vehicle. Fixing this problem now can save you from a possible breakdown later on.

When you get in the vehicle, make sure the windows are clean and that there’s nothing blocking your vision.

Also make sure both rearview and side mirrors are properly adjusted.

Finally, 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.


Insurance products and services are offered through Markel Specialty Commercial, a business division of Markel Service Incorporated, policies written by one or more Markel insurance companies. Terms and conditions for coverage may vary by state.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.