We all know we need to keep our cars properly maintained right? The bad news is that the latest Department for Transport statistics shows that back in 2017, more than 1,500 road accidents had vehicle defects as a major contributory factor. The incredible thing is that with regular maintenance these would not have been major issues.
What Caused All The Car Accidents?
Let’s dig into the statistics, which showed that vehicle defects accounted for 2% of accidents involving casualties. Of the 2,199 incidents, the majority were attributable to defective brakes, totalling 802 incidents.
This is an area of the car, which is best left to the experts. A car that's serviced on schedule and where appropriate, MOT’d annually, should be fine. Owners need to be alert to any developing brake problems, such as a spongy brake pedal, or squealing and get them seen to immediately if there is any doubt about their performance.
Tyres are the next most common cause of an accident resulting in an injury at 719 and this is something that the car owner can have a major influence over. The ones that caused the accidents were worn, under inflated or damaged.
Consequently, regular checks of tyre pressures and tread condition are the very least a conscientious owner should do. At least once a week should be enough to keep everyone safe.
Closely related to tyres is the steering and suspension, which accounted for 391 incidents. Even if your tyres are fine, these components are crucial to the safe operation of the vehicle and expert attention will be needed.
Owners should be sensitive to any handling that is out of the ordinary and listen out for any strange noises.
The incredible thing is that with regular maintenance these would not have been major issues.
Defective lights or indicators accounted for 191 incidents and this is an area, which the driver is best placed to regularly check. Either the vehicle itself will issue an alert or the driver should make the effort to check the lights work.
Our guide to lights and bulbs
An overloaded vehicle or trailer caused 162 incidents and is completely avoidable. Exceeding a vehicle’s capabilities is the sole responsibility of the driver.
Finally, defective or missing mirrors caused 22 incidents and if a driver is not proactive enough to bother to rectify these types of faults, they are a liability to all other road users.
These are quite shocking and sobering figures from the Department, which confirm that simple driver checks when combined with regular professional vehicle maintenance are the best ways to avoid accidents.
Plus, you can avoid paying for expensive car repairs with a MotorEasy extended car warranty - our full plans include cover for covered components failing during at an MOT or Service!