Fleet News

Most drivers ignore basic safety checks

ALMOST half of all motorists fail to stick to recommended service intervals and most never carry out the most basic of safety checks, a new survey suggests.

Nearly one-third ignore unusual engine noises and dashboard warning lights.

The findings are produced from a survey carried out by jamjar cars which questioned 1,000 motorists on their road resolutions for the year ahead and asked about the relationship with their cars during 2004.

A total of 87% of drivers said they forget about carrying out basic safety checks and 42% do not stick to recommended service intervals.

Last year, fleets were warned that drivers failing to check oil levels were adding to the UK’s £300 million annual bill for engine repairs.

Research by car care product firm Comma Oil found that poor engine maintenance accounted for one in 20 of an estimated 7.2 million breakdowns a year (Fleet NewsNet, June 10).

The latest jamjar research questioned 1,000 drivers and found that, despite the shortcomings, this year most drivers aim to improve their driving habits. And car maintenance looks set to be ignored during 2005 too, with most drivers wanting to improve their driving rather than give attention to their vehicle.

Having more patience with other road users (78%), sticking to the speed limit (71%) and exercising better lane discipline (52%) were the top resolutions. Only 27% aimed to better maintain their car during the year, the survey found.

Jamjar spokeswoman Louise Vaughan said: ‘Given the daily hassles faced on the roads, it is not surprising that drivers want to extend the festive goodwill into the new year by being more courteous and patient.

‘What is slightly worrying is how concern over the daily grind of motoring has eclipsed actually keeping our cars roadworthy. Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to looking after our cars and even the most reliable could cause major cost and safety headaches if not properly maintained.’

TOP FIVE MOTORING CONFESSIONS

  • Ignoring vehicle safety checks (e.g. oil level, tyre condition and pressure, coolant level) - 87%
  • Keeping the car clean - 69%
  • Missing service bookings - 42%
  • Ignoring dashboard warning lights - 30%
  • Impatience with other road users - 17%

    TOP FIVE MOTORING RESOLUTIONS

  • To have more patience with other road users - 78%
  • To stick to the speed limit - 71 %
  • To exercise better lane discipline - 52%
  • To park more effectively - 37%
  • To maintain the car more regularly - 27%
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