Jeremey Clarkson is a typical British driver in a typical British car.
In a report from repair chain Kwik Fit in the UK reveals that drivers are sharing the road with cars that could be dangerous. The new research reveals that a third of motorists with defective brakes and the drivers have known about the problem for at least a month, without getting it repaired.
Men are most likely to have neglected any issues – a quarter of male motorists with a brake problem admitted to knowing about it for at least three months – compared to just seven per cent of women.
This neglect is all the more worrying when combined with drivers’ experiences. Kwik Fit’s study also found that nearly one in five motorists have been in a car accident caused by braking errors.
The symptoms of brake problems which 5.1 million drivers are experiencing include grinding noises when the brakes are applied, the car pulling to one side under braking, and the brake pedal feeling spongy. More than half a million drivers admit to having a brake warning light on the dashboard which they are ignoring.
When asked why they haven’t done anything about their braking issues, nearly one in ten admitted to simply not knowing what to do about it, a quarter were worried about the expense of getting it fixed, and one in six said they didn’t think anything was wrong. Twelve per cent confessed they were going to make the issue someone else’s problem – they said they were going to sell their car soon and didn’t want to spend any more money on it.
In light of the Government’s new focus on improving the safety of young drivers, it is notable that more than one third of 18-24 year old drivers have symptoms of brake problems on their car. This compares with just three per cent for drivers over 65.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “This research reveals that many of us have been in an accident where braking has been a cause, and yet far too many motorists admit they are driving around with defective brakes.
“A grinding noise could be a result of pads which are worn and need replacing, pulling to one side could be a component sticking, and a spongy pedal could be due to air in the hydraulic system.
“It is vital that drivers are able to stop their car as quickly as possible in an emergency, and anyone suffering these symptoms may have their safety compromised as a result.”