Basic car checks being overlooked is concern for driver safety

Driver Safety Australia’s Russell White said vehicle checks are necessary before long trips.
Driver Safety Australia’s Russell White said vehicle checks are necessary before long trips.

MORE than two thirds of Perth drivers are risking the safety of themselves and others by failing to perform basic car checks prior to road trips.

A recent survey of 1000 drivers found 66 per cent of people do not check their tyre tread depth before setting off on a road trip.

Eighty per cent of drivers do not check their car’s oil levels are sufficient and 68 per cent of respondents do not check their brakes are working properly.

With one in five expected to make a long trip over Christmas, Driver Safety Australia’s Russell White said the checks were necessary, even if the vehicle passed its regular service.

“It’s essential to ensure that the car is in full working order before setting off on any long journey and even more critical at a time when the roads will be chock-a-block,” he said. “Even basic checks could save you in the event of a crash.”

There was a similar message from the Royal Flying Doctor Service to people planning a holiday outside the metropolitan area.

Of the 9000 people helped by the service over the last 12 months, 550 were assisted after motor vehicle accidents.

The majority of those were during the 2014 festive season and many were City dwellers unfamiliar with rural conditions.

RFDS corporate affairs general manager Nick Harvey called for extra care.

“What we’re asking people to do is be mindful of the road conditions and the additional care needed when driving long distances,” he said.

“The RFDS is there to deliver life-saving services to West Australians day and night, wherever and whenever they need us.

“But at this time of year I’d urge the community to do their best to see if they can do us out of a job.”