Motorists are being urged to regularly check their vehicle’s brakes after Government data showed defective brakes contribute to 10 fatalities a year.
The overall number of road collisions fell 7.1% between 2015 and 2017, but analysis by Kwik Fit found that the number of accidents in which defective brakes were a contributory factor in people being killed or seriously injured rose by 12.2% over the same period.
The data shows that the number of people killed in accidents in which defective brakes have been a contributory factor has remained stubbornly high, with an average of 10 fatalities in each of the past five years.
During that time a further 677 people were seriously injured in accidents in which defective brakes played a role.
When slight injuries are included, over the last five years there has been a total of 4,964 casualties in accidents where defective brakes have been a factor, an average of just under 1,000 a year.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “The overall trend on road accidents is an encouraging one, but this analysis shows that this improvement can’t be taken for granted.
“New vehicle technology is making cars ever safer, but they must be maintained properly.
“Brakes lose efficiency over time as the components gradually wear, so their deterioration is hard to spot from day to day.
“We would encourage motorists to not simply leave it to the annual MOT to check on the condition of the brakes, but to make sure they are monitoring their effectiveness on an ongoing basis.”