Driving Safety Infographic: Common causes of road accidents due to vehicle defects
Published on 19th January 2016 in Driving tips
Most motorists like to think they know what they're doing on the roads, going to great lengths to drive with care and attention and avoiding getting 'done' for any egregious offences. Yet driving a car is the riskiest activity people perform on a daily basis, resulting in thousands of fatal crashes every year in Great Britain. And while official data puts 'driver error or reaction' as the leading cause, it's shocking that 'vehicle defects' counts for 2.8 per cent of all fatal road accidents.
Having decoded crash data from the most recently-published study by the Department for Transport, we've set out to highlight below the lethal implications of driving with defective vehicle parts. Although vehicle defects account for just a small percentage of all road accidents, they still represent a risk factor - and one that is easily reduced by taking better care of your car.
For you to remain in control when it really counts, here's a detailed breakdown of the most common vehicle defects that cause road accidents:
Reduce your risk
Inflate tyres to the correct pressure level regularly, check all tyres (including the spare) for cracks, cuts, bulges or punctures, and ensure the tread depth meets the legal minimum requirement of 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre. Ask your IMI-registered technician to look at your tyres periodically for peace of mind.
The hydraulic and mechanical components in braking systems have a limited lifespan, so it is essential that brake fluid levels are correct, brake pads, shoes and discs are performing, and wheel cylinders are not worn or leaking. If you're in doubt about the state of your brakes - or notice rapid brake-pedal pulsing, strange vibrations and ear-shattering screeching or grinding sounds - speak to your local IMI-registered technician as soon as possible
3. Lights or indicators
You typically can't see your indicator lights when you're inside your car, so give them a basic once-over to ensure they are working properly and not flashing too quickly. Faulty lights are dangerous for you and other road users, so check none are obscured, misaligned or simply not illuminating. Your local technician listed on the IMI Professional Register will be able to troubleshoot any problems.
4. Steering or suspension
Most common steering or suspension problems include a shaking or vibrating steering wheel, significant pulling to the left or right, clunking or banging noises when driving over bumps, and screeching noises whenever you steer. Of all your car's components, the steering and suspension take some of the heaviest wear so raise any concerns with your local IMI-registered technician.