In a recent survey, Halfords found defective, damaged or missing tail and brake lights were found on nine per cent of cars and vans* – making it difficult or impossible for following drivers to judge when the car in front is slowing – plus a further two per cent of vehicles have at least one inoperable headlight.
Police warn that defective lights significantly increase the risk of accidents for both the driver and other road users – which is why the owners of these vehicles potentially face a £60 fine, penalty points and a more thorough roadside vehicle inspection by the authorities looking for additional faults.
Latest Department for Transport accident statistics report 26,000 accidents a year are shunts caused by drivers misjudging another vehicle’s speed, with 174 being directly attributed to defective lights or indicators and 32 of these classed as ‘serious’ or ‘fatal’.
A further 364 accidents were caused by drivers not displaying lights at night or were blamed on poor visibility – which contributed to a total of 195 fatalities.
Halfords’ man Alan Rennie said:
“Replacing defective bulbs can be done quickly and inexpensively – so there really is no excuse.
“For any drivers putting it off because of a lack of time or know-how, we have trained in-store staff that can help you select the right product and even fit it for you.”
Changing vehicle bulbs is sometimes awkward but rarely difficult (except for Xenon HID headlights, which aren’t a DIY job). If you don’t fancy doing it yourself, pay a few quid extra and nip down to Halfords or your local garage — it’s just common sense and is far less hassle than an MOT fail or a £60 fine.
*Study comprised of 3280 vehicle sample, carried out over a two hour period in five major UK cities – London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Southampton during February 2013.