According to data from the Department for Transport (DfT) published last autumn, defective brakes are the leading cause of Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) for the sixth consecutive year.
Figures state that defective brakes contributed to 3,894 accidents from 2013 to 2018. During that six-year period, 64 fatalities were recorded due to defective brakes. However, the overall number of road accidents and casualties, with a contributory factor, is trending downwards.
Comments Andy Coulton, managing director of Prosol UK: “Despite these negative statistics, the positive news is that there was a 9% decrease in RTAs from 2017 to 2018. This could be explained by the implementation of stricter MOT rules by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in 2018.”
The data goes on to identify defective or underinflated tyres as the seconding leading vehicle defect as a contributory factor resulting in 3,449 accidents in the last six years.
Continues Andy: “If a vehicle has defective brakes and/or tyres it is dangerous. Fact. The law states that if your car is three years old or more it must undergo an annual MOT. If, during that MOT, the technician issues an ‘advisory notice’ that the vehicle’s brakes are partially worn, your next stop should really be a specialist garage to replace them.
“Even if your car isn’t due for a service or MOT, if its brakes start making a noise or there is any sort of vibration when applied, get them checked immediately by a professional mechanic; don’t wait for the next MOT! Brakes are designed to wear down and they will need to be replaced multiple times during the vehicle’s lifetime.”
Concludes Andy: “It’s not just defective brakes and tyres that are a problem states the DtF data. Defective lights or indicators, defective steering or suspension, defective or missing mirrors are all defects that can cause accidents. The moral of the story? Regular vehicle maintenance, servicing and annual an MOT (if applicable) are essential for every single car owner.”