Motorists who fail to carry out basic safety checks on their vehicles during the winter months face ‘potentially disastrous’ consequences, the RAC has warned.
A new survey found just 24% check their oil at least once every two weeks – as recommended by the RAC – with 7% waiting until the warning light comes on before taking action.
The RAC says the cold snap currently gripping the country means that the risk of vehicles breaking down has ‘increased significantly’.
58% of respondents to the RAC survey said they check the condition of their vehicle’s tyres – including tread levels – at least once a month. However, 37% only do it between ‘once every two months’ and ‘less than once a year’.
32% said they check their tyre pressure every fortnight and before long journeys (the RAC recommendation), with 29% doing it once a month and 18% leaving it until between three months and a year.
30% confessed to waiting until their wipers stop clearing the windscreen properly before checking them, something the RAC says represents a genuine safety risk.
Chris Burgess, RAC patrol of the year, said: “While there are no hard-and-fast rules on exactly how often drivers should check basic things like oil, windscreen wipers and tyres, our research suggests a sizeable proportion are chancing it and hoping their car won’t fail them – which is a worry given the current sub-zero temperatures.
“During the snowy conditions in December we saw breakdown volumes increase by around 20% in some parts of the country so it really does pay to make sure your car is prepared before setting out.”