ClickMechanic, an online marketplace for car repair, have analysed the latest figures from the Department for Transport and can reveal that although faulty brakes are the number one vehicle defect to contribute to 2016’s road accidents, when looking just at cars, flawed tyres are the most common defect to cause an accident.
With a total of 446 incidents, flawed tyres are the primary vehicle defect and contributing factor to car accidents in 2016. This is followed by defective brakes with 365 incidents, imperfect steering or suspension with 180 accidents and overloaded vehicles with 54 incidents. Defective lights or indicators (46 accidents) and mirrors (8 incidents) are less common and feature at the bottom of the table.
Looking at all recorded vehicles in road accidents, damaged brakes are most likely to cause an incident. This is because other vehicles such as motorbikes, buses and particularly bicycles, have recorded more issues with brakes than tyres. However, interestingly, all vehicles in the UK are much more likely to have an incident involving defective tyres on the motorway, rather than as a result of imperfect brakes (85 incidents versus 17).
This is because on a motorway under inflated tyres will overheat quickly, particularly at high speeds, and can consequently ‘blow out’ and cause an accident. Whereas on ‘A’ roads, faulty brakes assume the top spot once again, as drivers brake more regularly.
Focusing on location, the south east has the highest number of accidents caused by vehicle defects, with 297 incidents. In contrast, drivers in the north east appear to take better care of their vehicles as only 46 vehicle defect related road accidents are recorded.
In London, defective brakes (85 incidents) are much more likely to cause an issue than faulty tyres (34 incidents); the constant braking and lower speeds when driving in the capital perhaps being the greatest influence to this. The only two regions in which defective tyres are significantly more likely to cause an incident than faulty brakes are Scotland and the East Midlands.
Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “Tyres and brakes control the movement of the car and so can easily cause a collision if they’re not in proper working condition. Being the top two occurring vehicle defects in 2016 emphasises that some UK drivers are not servicing their car regularly, or conducting simple checks, such as measuring the air pressure in the tyres. All drivers should follow their manufacturer’s recommended schedule and ensure that any anomalies are assessed by a professional as soon as possible. Doing so severely reduces the likelihood of these defects and keeps both you and other drivers safe on the road.”