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Should we be worried? How some drivers never carry out critical safety checks on their cars and risk other road users

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It’s necessary to regularly check for oil, coolant and wash levels

It’s necessary to regularly check for oil, coolant and wash levels

AFP/Getty Images

It’s necessary to regularly check for oil, coolant and wash levels

Some drivers never safety check their cars, a new survey reveals.

And as few as 13pc bother to carry out a check even once a year. Some admit they do so even less frequently than that. And some never do.

"Surprisingly, some 13pc of those surveyed only carried out safety checks once a year or even less, with some never doing so," the report says.

The research was conducted for Aviva General Insurance by Red C, which interviewed a representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and older.

It is an insight into how little attention some people pay to their cars. Sure, they may go to a garage when something is wrong but how much damage has been needlessly done, money wasted and danger risked in the interim?

On a brighter note, the research found that women are more inclined to have their car serviced regularly.

They have the edge on men, with 71pc revealing they took their vehicle for a service at least once a year; only 61pc of men did so.

Interesting too, I think, that younger, rural dwellers (18-24 year olds) who drive diesel cars are more likely to service their vehicles every six months. A 55-year-old male diesel driver, however, is more likely to have his car serviced based on mileage.

Men are more likely to check their tyres (pressure/tread depth) with 18pc claiming to do so on a weekly basis - as against only 11pc of women.

Men, diesel drivers and those living outside Dublin tend to check their car's exterior lights more frequently too, with 22pc saying they do so on a weekly, and 25pc on a monthly, basis.

However, almost 25pc of those living outside Dublin check their lights only once a year or less. Some admit they never do so.

One-in-five men (19pc) check fluid levels each week; only 9pc of women do.

Meantime, just two-in-five car owners said they now have a safety feature they did not have before. Parking assist and adaptive cruise control are the most common to emerge on that front.

De-icing equipment is the most popular item in their car (51pc), followed by hazard warning triangles (50pc) and torches (48pc).

Surprisingly, high-viz vests are less likely to be kept in the car (44pc).

Aviva's Michael Bannon is the company's motor underwriting manager. He says some drivers regard servicing their car as an additional cost, but it can save money by helping to minimise future expensive repairs.

"It is not enough that your car has a valid NCT disc. You must also continue to maintain it in a roadworthy condition, or you risk attracting penalty points," he warned.

On the growing number of safety items in new cars, he said it is important to understand how they operate and how they could help avert an accident. "Automated emergency braking (AEB) is one of the best features as at lower speeds it can help you avoid or reduce the severity of the most common type of accident, the rear-end collision."

Irish Independent