Recent months have been marked by a debate on speed limits, speeding and its impact on road safety. However, very little is said about the technical condition of vehicles.
The main cause of accidents? The statistical studies of the police show that for years it has been “maladjustment of speed to traffic conditions”. This claim is hard to argue with. After all, if the vehicles were moving at a speed of 5-15 miles per hour on roads, no one would die. For a collision or accident to occur, speed usually has to be supported by another factor – e.g. a driver’s error or a technical fault with the vehicle. The aforementioned definition provides a trace of knowledge about the actual causes of road incidents.
In the police reports, we can find information that “in 2011, the technical condition of the vehicle was the cause of 80 road accidents, 5 people died, and 97 were injured. The most frequent were deficiencies in lighting (53.8% of the total) and malfunctions of the braking system (22, 5% of the total) “. The shortage of tires was supposed to contribute to only 13 accidents in which no one (!) was killed. There is nothing else but to enjoy the excellent condition of cars on roads … But are you sure?
80 accidents caused by the condition of vehicles out of 40,650 that took place in 2011 are less than 0.2% of the total. How does the corresponding statistics look like in other countries? In France, vehicle faults led to 1.9% of accidents, and failure to adapt speed to the conditions directly contributed to approx. 10% of accidents (in Poland – over 30% of incidents).
We are not trying to judge or question the above numbers. However, other data provide food for thought. Surveys conducted at vehicle inspection stations show that the technical condition of 10% of cars arriving for mandatory inspections is so poor that they should generally not be used on public roads … And what about vehicles whose users do not think to test their cars?
Unfortunately, many of us still neglect cars. There is a conviction that the issue of defects found during the inspection can be somehow “fixed”. Statistical studies show that over the last year, as many as 79% of diagnosticians were offered a bribe for extending technical examinations. You can get the impression that the overriding value is another stamp in the registration certificate, not the actual condition of the car.
The problem of poor technical condition applies to both old and new cars. In the case of the former, mechanical wear and service neglect are involved – it is difficult to expect that the vehicle user would decide to have a professional repair, if the bill for them could be the equivalent of half of the car.
The most negative impact on the condition of relatively new cars can be negligent accident repairs. Of course, we are not talking about removing the effects of a more or less serious “scratches”, but about the reanimation of vehicles with damaged stringers and other structural elements, which are still flowing in a wide stream to Eastern Europe from Western Europe. In many cases, repair is theoretically possible, but carrying it out using new parts and appropriate technology would minimize the potential profit of the seller.