Western Australia's motoring body, the Royal Automobile Club (RAC), this week demonstrated the danger of a poorly maintained vehicle in tests at its Perth-based driver training centre.
The tests, which were conducted at 60km/h, simulated both wet and dry conditions, as well as the ability to swerve around objects. The results were worrying, to say the least.
A standard passenger car with worn shock absorbers, balding tyres and worn brake pads was used, and once data had been obtained was towed to a service centre where all faults were rectified.
The un-serviced car had a braking distance of 13.1m in the dry and 23.5m in the wet. With brakes, tyres and shock absorbers having been replaced, it registered a braking distance of 8.4m in the dry and 15.4m in the wet - a saving of 4.7m and 8.1m respectively.
RAC Head of Member Advocacy Matt Brown noted the obvious.
“Eight metres is a big distance and in a crash situation could be the difference between life and death,” Mr Brown said.“The RAC tested a vehicle at 60km/hr but the reality is that many people will be driving at up to 110km/hr with heavily loaded vehicles when they go away for Easter, which means their stopping distance will be even greater.”
“Vehicle maintenance and servicing are not something that you can ignore and put off. It’s something that needs to be factored into the family budget and carried out when it’s due,” Mr Brown said.
Probably the more worrying thing is we and our families have to travel on roads with these sorts of cars running around. It's another reminder that when we get behind the wheel we not only put our own lives at risk, but those of others
Reducing such a risk by maintaining our vehicles is a must.