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Pre-drive basics

Walk around your vehicle before entering
to check for children, pedestrians, and
anything in your vehicle’s path. Check
your tires for proper inflation, as well as
around and under your vehicle for fluid
leaks and other problems that may affect
the safe operation of your vehicle. When
you are doing this while parked along a
roadway, walk in a direction that allows
you to see traffic coming toward you in
the lane next to you.

After you have completed this check,
you will be ready to take your place in
the driver’s seat and prepare yourself for
safe driving.

Before driving do the following basic
habits in this order:
1 Lock your doors.
2 Adjust your seat and seat back.
3 Adjust your head restraint.
4 Adjust your inside and outside
rear view mirrors.
5 Fasten your seat belt.

Lock your doors

Lock your doors to prevent unwanted
persons from opening your door or
entering your vehicle. Locking the doors
also reduces the possibility of the doors
opening if you are involved in a collision.

Adjust your seat
and seat back

Adjust your seat and seat back support
properly so that you are at least 25
centimeters (10 inches) away from the
steering wheel. This is the distance

recommended by Transport Canada.
Be sure you can see over the steering
wheel. Many vehicles have a steering
wheel that can be tilted or moved
back and forth. Find a position that is
comfortable for you and that does not
block your view of the instrument panel.
Your elbows should be slightly bent when
your hands are properly positioned on
the steering wheel. Placing your left hand
at about the 9 o’clock position and your
right hand at about the 3 o’clock position
is recommended. (See Steering in this
chapter for more information.) As well,
your position must allow you to operate
the brake pedal and the accelerator. In a
standard transmission vehicle, you must
also be able to push the clutch pedal all
the way to the floor.
Be sure you can reach all the controls
and can relax your arms when you hold
the steering wheel.

Note: Newer vehicles are equipped
with a driver-side air bag system that
is part of the steering wheel.

Adjust your head restraint

Use your head restraint correctly. Head
restraints in the proper position greatly
reduce the risk of injuries due to collisions
and sudden vehicle movements.
• If your vehicle has an adjustable head
restraint, it should be positioned so that
the centre of the head restraint is level
with the top of your ears.
• If your head restraint tilts, move it
forward to decrease the space between
your head and the restraint. Less than
10 centimeters (4 inches) is ideal.

42  A Driver's Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing


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