Cecilia Garland - Jul 4, 2011

Europeans leaving for holiday often do not pay enough attention to prepare their cars for the trip. This regards both their own and hired cars. However, things such as tire pressure or oil should be checked in both cases.

Some 74 per cent of Europeans plan to go on holiday by car. That is more than double of those who want to fly. Many drivers plan to go hundreds and thousands of kilometers but many of them underestimate preparations for such a long journey. Similarly, millions of drivers do not check the safety of hired cars.

These facts were revealed in a survey by Goodyear Dunlop. There are approximately 250 million registered vehicles in Europe. Over half of drivers plan to travel more than 1000 kilometers. Quarter of them want to drive more than 2000 kilometers. According to the survey, it will result in billions of kilometers traveled causing higher traffic than ever before.

Drivers forget to perform the basic tasks that limit risk of an accident during the trip. As the Czech Press Agency points out, a third of the respondents admitted they do not check the tire pressure and oil. Around a third of the respondents drive longer than five hours without break though it is recommended to stop every two hours to rest a bit.

A third of the drivers do not know where to put heavy objects in cars. The correct answer for this question was mostly heard from men in Belgium and France while the least correct answers were given by Italian and Polish drivers. The heaviest object should be at the bottom of the trunk as close to the back seats as possible. In a combi car, there should be a protective net separating the passengers from the trunk so that the objects do not fall and hurt the people sitting in the car.

The survey was conducted among 5622 European drivers from 15 countries. They had to have a driver’s license, be older than 18 years and be active drivers.

Roughly 15 per cent of Europeans plan to hire a car for this year’s holiday. This represents approximately ten million contracts. Millions of those drivers do not check the hired cars for safety.

Almost 70 per cent of the drivers forget to check the cars. Only approximately 40 per cent check if there is a fire extinguisher in the car. Less than one in three of the respondents would check the tires. On the other hand more than half of them will not forget to bring their music CD collection with them. Thirty two percent of French drivers would check if there is a first aid kit in the car on the other hand 86 per cent of Russians would not leave without it.

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