One or more brake lights are found to be missing from one in every fifteen vehicles on average, according to new research by used car website Carsite.co.uk. This is putting other road users at much greater risk due to the decreased visibility of these vehicles and making accidents far more likely.
This problem is affecting around 2.5 million vehicles including cars, motorcycles, vans and lorries. As a result these could incur penalty points on licenses plus on-the-spot fines for operating vehicles in a non-roadworthy state.
The research was conducted during peak traffic volume times and also showed that commercial vehicles were accounting for one in five of all cases and that one in fifteen vehicles were being operated with no working brake lights at all.
While very few accidents recorded are blamed primarily on defective lights or indicators, a far greater and worrying amount are as a result of speed misjudgement with brake lights making it very difficult for following motorists to gauge a rapid reduction in the speed of a car ahead. This is said to be responsible for around 26,000 accidents annually – including 224 fatalities.
John Guess of Carsite said: ‘There is no excuse for commercial vehicles not having all brake lights 100% functional, but solo-commuter car drivers should be urged to check their lights with a colleague or family member at least weekly.’
The data corresponds closely with VOSA data on MOT failures. This shows around 15% of vehicles fail the MOT test with light problems.