Defective brakes caused more accidents on the UK’s roads than any other type of vehicle defect last year, Department for Transport statistics show.
In total, vehicle defects led to a staggering 1,539 accidents and collisions on the UK’s roads last year, causing 32 deaths and seriously injuring a further 359 people. Faulty brakes caused 570 accidents in 2017, resulting in nine fatalities and 129 serious injuries. Illegal, defective, or under-inflated tyres caused 472 accidents and was the second most common accident-causing car defect, with 14 fatalities and a further 115 seriously injured.
The third most common cause was defective steering or suspension, resulting in 267 accidents in which four people were killed and 67 seriously injured. RAC spokesman Simon Williams said that properly functioning brakes are essential and advised motorists to watch out for warning signs of defective braking systems, particularly as winter fast approaches.
“Having to use more force to apply the brakes or the vehicle not slowing down as quickly as normal are definite signs something is not right and that it’s time to go to the garage“.
A warning light may also appear on the dashboard to indicate brake pads are low but not all cars have these. So if you start to hear a loud screeching noise when you press the brake pedal then the chances are your brake pads have completely worn out and need urgent attention.”