A recent survey carried out in the United Kingdom revealed that nearly half the respondents had driven despite knowing of risky maintenance problems on their cars.
A full 45% said that they’d driven with at least one serious car problem; 12% used their cars knowing they had faulty lights, another 12% ignored dangerously worn tires and 4% drove with broken turn indicators, the Daily Mail reported Jan. 21.
More than a third of the participants said they did not check their tires to ensure they had a safe tread depth for wet driving conditions, and 15% admitted that they didn’t perform basic checks on water levels, brakes or lights before setting off on a long trip.
Basic maintenance contributing to visibility was also reportedly neglected. Nearly a quarter (24%) said they’d driven with dirty or obstructed windows in the past year, and 19% said they’d driven despite having broken windshield wipers or low wiper fluid.
The survey was carried out in tandem by road safety nonprofit Brake and insurance company Direct Line.
Low Confidence Among Some Drivers
According to the survey, a disturbingly high percentage of drivers are not even confident in their ability to carry out essential vehicle checks or perform basic maintenance. More than a quarter said they were not sure they could assess the condition of their tires or check their brakes.
Confidence was lowest among women and young drivers.
Young drivers were both less likely to know how to perform vehicle checks and more likely to drive even when they were aware of risky problems.
Men were more confident than women in their ability to assess problems, but also more likely to take a risk by driving defective cars.
“It is shocking to see so many drivers both ignorant and willfully negligent when it comes to basic and essential vehicle maintenance checks,” Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said in a statement.
Importance of Winter Safety Checks
Meanwhile, in the U.S., auto club AAA warned all drivers not to underestimate the importance of regular car checks and maintenance, especially in the cold weather that has swept through the Northeast.
Every driver should take responsibility for ensuring that the battery, belts, hoses, coolant level, tires and tire pressure on his or her car are safe for driving, the organization’s Southern New England division said.
“The standard service interval is 5,000 miles, and that’s when well check numerous things like tires and pressure, brakes, belts and hoses, fluid, suspension and drive train and so on,” says Stan Creech, Owner of Creech Auto Repair. “We use a pre-printed check list that covers most everything. Safety and reliability is as much our job as the drivers.”