No time for tyre safety complacency
New figures released today by the Department for Transport reveal that in 2012, the number of drivers killed or seriously injured on the UK’s roads as a result of a dangerous, illegal or under-inflated tyres, fell by five percent to 194 casualties.
The news has been cautiously welcomed by not for profit road safety group TyreSafe, who has been campaigning since 2006 for better tyre care and maintenance. Indeed, since its inception the group’s efforts in helping to educate drivers and remove the most dangerous tyres from the road has seen a reduction in tyre related KSI’s by 36 percent.
“We are pleased that the number of fatalities or serious casualties coming from a tyre related accident has fallen, but this is no time for complacency,” comments Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “We are seeing an increased number of drivers who are willing to run their tyres right down to the legal limit in an attempt to save money, and this will reduce their safety on the road.
While we’ve been successful in helping to remove the most dangerous tyres from the road, average tread depths on cars have reduced recently which has contributed to an actual increase in number of drivers suffering slight injuries.”
Under current legislation, all UK car drivers must have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference. Without this, the tyre’s ability to grip, brake and corner in the wet are significantly reduced, raising the risk of the vehicle being involved in an accident.
The latest figures come just days ahead of October’s tyre safety month which is encouraging drivers to check their tyre pressures at least once a month. By doing so, not only is their safety on the road improved, but their tyres last longer and their fuel bills are reduced.
And to help motorists understand how to check their tyres properly, thousands of garages and tyre dealers across the UK will be offering free tyre safety checks as part of October’s campaign. Checks will include ensuring tyres has adequate tread depth, tyre pressures are set correctly and that the tyres are in a safe condition, free from any cuts, bulges or other hazards which could pose a serious safety threat.
“As the latest figures show, driving on illegal or dangerous tyres can result in paying the ultimate price. Regular tyre checks only take a brief moment yet they could be the most rewarding few minutes you ever spend. Of course, if you’re in any doubt, then call into one of the many garages who will be offering free tyre safety checks this October,” concludes Jackson.