Three quarters of cars driven by young people have sometimes serious faults
The fact is that as a vehicle ages, the defect rate increases significantly. And it is especially young people who, for financial reasons, tend to drive older cars. The SafetyCheck campaign, which was once again launched Germany-wide in 2015 by DEKRA, the German Road Safety Council and the German Road Safety Association, revealed that the average age of the cars inspected as part of this campaign was 11.9 years. 29% of vehicles under three years old had faults, with this figure rising to 70% of 7–9-year-old vehicles. For 13–15-yearold cars, the figure was almost 90%. Around 46% of all cars examined had problems with their chassis, wheels/tires and bodywork, 42% with the lighting, electrical and electronic systems, and 32% with the brake system.
The campaign also revealed that electronic safety systems are now widespread in older vehicles, too: Nine out of ten cars inspected as part of SafetyCheck 2015 were equipped with ABS and airbags, while well over half had ESP/ASR on board. Only under 7% of vehicles inspected did not have any of the three aforementioned systems. However, the campaign also found that 6.6% of ESP/ASR systems, 2.5% of airbags and 2.2% of ABS did not actually work.
When one considers that 18–24-year-olds still constitute the road user group at highest risk of accidents and death and are more likely than any other group to be driving older cars, it quickly becomes clear that significant potential still exists in improving the technical condition of vehicles and, in turn, road safety.