UK drivers not-fixing safety problems due to cost

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New safety features in new cars are a great way to reduce accidents on the road, but that doesn’t do a lot to help people that are driving around in older cars. It’s even less impactful on those that can’t afford to repair the cars they do have and are stuck driving around with potentially dangerous safety flaws with their vehicle. According to a new study from Car Loan 4U, hundreds of thousands of British motorists are driving vehicles that are classified as very unsafe.

The numbers of cars being driven around in an unfit state are quite shocking. Car Loan 4U speculates (based on data drawn from the 2,000 drivers it quizzed) that over 5.1 million cars are driving on British roads with bald tyres. Similarly so, 2.9 million have damaged or entirely missing wing-mirrors. Cracked wind-screens are almost as common, potentially with as many as 2.4 million on British roads having some sort of flaw in it.

Other parts discovered by Car Loan 4U to be flawed, included brake pads that are worn out – leading to the discs themselves becoming damaged – and even in some instances non-working seatbelts. In most instances however, the reason people weren’t having these issues repaired, is because they would struggle to find the money to do so.

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Ultimately one in four admitted to faults in their car that they couldn’t afford to get repaired. While most of those people were happy enough with this arrangement, 14 per cent sadly felt that they were unsafe in their own car, while 17 per cent said they were particularly worried about taking long journeys as it would put undue stress on the car’s already faulty parts.

James Wilkinson, CEO of Car Loan 4U, said: “When something starts to go wrong with your car, it can be daunting if you don’t really have the money to fix it.

“But it’s worrying to see so many are putting off fixing or replacing their car and driving around in something which might not be safe enough to be on the road,” he said.

Of course, our roads should be safer in this respect than some other countries, like the US, where a mandatory MOT is not required each year. However, 12 months is a long time for something to go wrong and go unfixed. Often times too, people don’t get an issue with their car fixed, because they’re worried that some other flaw will turn up during the service and that it would make the bill even more expensive.

Eight per cent of those polled said that they thought any repairs that the car may need, would cost more than simply buying another one, whereas 10 per cent thought that their car was so run-down it didn’t even warrant fixing.

Car Loan 4U ultimately suggested that anyone with a damaged or defective car consider at least having someone with knowledge have a look at it, so they can judge if it’s road worthy. No financial savings are worth risking your life over by driving around a dangerous car – especially since it puts passengers and other vehicles around you at risk too.

Image source: Pixabay, Wikimedia

 

 

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Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.