Avoidable vehicle defects are to blame for more than 1,500 crashes a year on UK roads.
And problems with areas such as brakes, tyres and steering contributed to 32 fatal crashes in 2017 as well as hundreds of other serious incidents, according to Department for Transport data.
The DfT figures showed that vehicle defects were listed as a contributory factor in a total of 1,539 accidents in 2017.
Of those, 259 were classed as serious, with a further 32 involving a fatality.
Faulty brakes were the most commonly identified problem, cited in 570 incidents, while illegal or under-inflated tyres were at least partly to blame in 472 crashes. Problems with tyres were also the most common fault in fatal accidents, mentioned in 14 of the 32 cases.
Overloaded vehicles were involved in 119 road accidents over the 12-month period, of which four proved fatal and another 29 were deemed serious.
Problems with steering, suspension, lighting and mirrors were also highlighted as contributing to more than 400 incidents in the last year for which there is full data.
Driving with a vehicle so defective that it could cause a crash is not only massively unsafe it’s also illegal.
The Road Traffic Act states that you can be fined up to £2,500 and given three penalty points if “the condition of a motor vehicle is such that its use involves a danger of injury to any person”.
Motorists are being urged to protect their wallets and their lives by having their car professionally checked if they have any concerns about its roadworthiness.
Tim Alcock from LeaseVan.co.uk said: “Vehicle defects are responsible for a serious collision on UK roads nearly every day, causing two to three deaths per month. But even one is one too many.
“There is nothing the Government can do – all the required legislation is in place and it’s impossible to enforce all the vehicles on the road all of the time.
“Drivers themselves must take responsibility and be sensible road users. Specialist assistance should be sought immediately if there is any doubt over the condition of your vehicle or if you’re not sure how to check thoroughly themselves.
“Travelling with even the smallest suspicion that your vehicle could have faulty brakes, defective tyres, flawed lights, missing mirrors or substandard steering or suspension is beyond reckless.”