This morning the figures for serious road accidents have been released and unfortunately there has been a 4% rise in deaths and serious injuries. There is a debate regarding the increase, some are saying it could be to do with the number of distractions we have in modern cars and that cars are so easy to drive now.
Maybe we are distracted at the wheel, what with Sat-Nav, Blue tooth, surround sound and not to mention the much-loved long standing feature of the family car- The mk1 screaming child in the back seat! (My car is equipped with two!)
So with these distractions it is easy to see how things can go wrong. I however feel the figures may show something more sinister. We are coming out of a deep recession and I can say from first hand experience that many drivers have failed to maintain their cars correctly; many have missed vital annual services without realising the potential consequences. In a bid to save money some motorists have skipped servicing and put it down to a non essential bill they can do without.
How have I made the link and yet nothing has been reported of this? Cars don’t dramatically burst into flames when not properly maintained! If that were the case no one would miss a service or MOT, what does happen is that when something goes wrong e.g. a distraction or error of judgement the car does not perform as well as it should.
Tyres are worn and the brakes maybe operating at half the usual efficiency; this has all happened unnoticed by the driver over a two year period, the car drives no differently. Then right at the moment the car needs to perform at its best in order to stop just in time it doesn’t! And bang! A nasty accident which could have been prevented by a hundred pounds or so spent on a service. The incident will be investigated, the car will check out ok, as it is not a legal requirement to maintain a car properly. The incident will be put down to driver error and another awful statistic for the year added without anyone realising it could have been prevented by careful driving and good maintenance.
If your car’s service is overdue ask yourself how many times have you pressed the brake pedal since the last service?