The VACC, Victoria's peak automotive industry body, is concerned that too many unsafe vehicles are being driven on the State’s roads following a survey of 2304 vehicles, tested by participating members.

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Of the vehicles tested, 829 (or 35.98 per cent) failed one or more of the five key safety areas.

"These figures are alarming," VACC Executive Director, David Purchase said "There is a slight improvement compared to the year-on-year figures from 2007, but to think every third vehicle on Victoria’s roads, according to the survey, is unsafe and could endanger lives is very worrying. It is all the more frustrating to know that these defects are ones that could easily be averted".

With the festive season seeing more of us take to the roads, the survey comes as a timely warning to get your car checked thoroughly before a trip away. Additional loads, longer trips and higher speeds may highlight problems with your car not normally noticed in the morning commute.

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"We want motorists to have a happy and safe holiday period. It is important that people have their vehicles checked for defects and correctly maintained to better ensure the safety of all road users over the holiday period. A simple Five Point Safety Check of the critical safety features of a car – tyres, lights, steering, brakes and restraints – will reduce the incidence of death, injury, and property damage" Mr Purchase said.

If you are at all concerned as to the upkeep of your vehicle, a free safety check is offered at participating Bunnings stores in the weekends leading up to the Christmas break. Most local garages or dealerships can also provide a safety inspection for a nominal fee.