The Highway code states that drivers should be checking their cars on a weekly basis, and this is more important than ever given the current hold on MOTs due to coronavirus. However, one in ten drivers never check their vehicle for problems.
A recent study of UK motorists has claimed that around 14 million drivers in the UK fail to check their cars once a year or less.
The report, conducted by road safety charity Brake and breakdown provider Green Flag, showed that one in 10 drivers never check their vehicle for potential problems, while 27 per cent only inspecting their cars once a year, with a third looking at them once per month.
According to the Highway Code, there are some checks that should be made on a weekly basis, including fluid levels and tyre inspections. With MOTs currently on hold because of the coronavirus, regular vehicle checks are more important now than ever before.
Recent government data showed that of the 37 million licensed cars and vans in the UK, nearly a third fail their initial MOT, with over a fifth having a major defect and around a tenth having a dangerous defect.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “We want to remind drivers that regular safety checks of your vehicle are vital as even minor defects, like a worn wiper blade, can play a part in a catastrophic crash. Drivers have a responsibility for a vehicle’s safety and this is a responsibility which should not be taken lightly.
“With the coronavirus MOT exemption delaying tests, checking the safety of your vehicle has never been more important. We urge all drivers to perform regular ‘walk-round’ checks of their vehicle, once a week and before any long journeys – it is a couple of minutes which could be the difference between life and death. If you have any suspicion at all that something is not right with your car, do not drive it and consult a professional.”
Dean Keeling, managing director of Green Flag, said: “Driving a faulty car is a huge issue. Not only is it likely to be illegal but it is dangerous for you, your passengers and other road users. Ignoring a vehicle part that needs fixing is likely to make things worse, ending up costing more money in the long run.
“Keeping your vehicle in good working condition as opposed to driving an unroadworthy unsafe car could be the difference between getting to your destination safely or the cause of an avoidable crash and serious injury or worse.”
The main point to focus on here is that your car should feel safe whenever you are about to set off for a journey as it is never worth the risk if you are unsure. If you ever have a suspicion something isn’t right, it is always best to not drive it and to consult a mechanic.