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Do the new MOT tests make safer roads and studier cars?

ByDave Stopher

Nov 9, 2019 #Motoring

The MOT test came about to make sure the cars being driven were safe, roadworthy, and produced lower exhaust emissions. They were mandatory for all people with cars that completed three years. The vehicle needed to be annually taken garages with MOT registered mechanics capable of checking all aspects of the car and accordingly declaring them MOT certified. If they failed to clear any phase of the test, they would be graded lower on that vertical. There were certain features of a car that could disqualify it completely while there were others that could be improved later. The overall MOT score provided people with a test clearance certificate. Other than being a mandatory certificate, it wasn’t valid for more than a year and people had to head back to the store before it expired again. 

A majority of the accidents taking place are caused due to mechanical failures in vehicles. Statistically, however, the last couple of years have seen a reduced number of them throughout the UK. This goes to show that the MOT tests have been paying off. Currently, human errors are the largest factor in accidents. 

What were the changes made to vehicles post the new MOT? 

There was a lot of tension about the MOT tests post the Brexit announcement, with a majority of people saying that they were not relevant and needed change. However, the counter-argument was the reduced number of accidents, which was also countered with the fact that cars had come a long way from the initial tests the MOT started with. 

Since the Department of Transport strongly believed that the pros outweighed the cons, they concluded that it would do more good to revamp the tests over scrapping them. They were immediately reconfigured to include certain aspects and additions made to newer cars and played a role in keeping the people in the car safe in the rare situation of an accident. It also focused on certain aspects that would be able to reduce the probability of accidents significantly. 

  • Some of the additions made to the test were the day time running lights which would make all cars visible in intense snow or fog. This was a giant bonus when it came to preventing accidents.
  • Other changes made to the test were checks on the tires. These were significant and responsible for a large number of accidents when vehicles were travelling at high speeds or using brakes and skidding.
  • Additionally, the engine tests were taken a step further to check on oil and coolant levels, also including the indicator lights on the dashboard.
  • MOT checks were also conducted on headlights, reverse lights, turning indicators and hazard lights and making sure they were all functional.

There were other minor tests but ones that could be the fine line between meeting with an accident or missing one. Having a clear windscreen and making sure there’s enough windscreen fluid to keep it clean in a dust storm or if there’s any dirt on it that could disrupt the driver’s vision. Overall, the first batch of vehicles that went through the new and updated MOT test ended up with one-third of the applicants not being able to clear the test. The new ones did create studier cars.

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