Remember, Don’t chance it, check it urges TyreSafe
- Average number of casualties resulting from tyre defects is higher than for faulty brakes and nearly double that of incidents where mobile phone use by the driver was a contributory factor1
- Tyre defects account for over 2.2 MoTs failures annually2
- Thousands of callouts for breakdown recovery services daily are for tyre-related issues3
Following the conclusion of Tyre Safety Month 2016, TyreSafe is reminding drivers Don’t chance it – check it throughout the year. While the number of reported casualties caused by tyre-related defects fell in 2015, on average over 1000 people a year are killed or injured from such incidents. In fact, that average number of casualties is higher than for faulty brakes and nearly double that for incidents causing injury where the driver’s use of a mobile phone was a contributory factor*.
To help reduce this number of casualties on the roads, TyreSafe is urging drivers to carry out regular tyre checks. Even though the need to perform many of what were once routine car maintenance checks has declined as vehicles have become more reliable, tyres still need to be regularly inspected. They are in direct physical contact with the road and all the potentially damaging objects which often litter them – even new tyres lose pressure over time.
Yet, despite this, one-in-five drivers have never checked their tyres, a concerning figure which rises to one-in-three among drivers below the age of 254.
TyreSafe chairman, Stuart Jackson, said: “There is an urgent need for Britain’s drivers to become more aware of the importance of their vehicle’s tyres to road safety. TyreSafe does not believe motorists are deliberately choosing to take a chance by failing to carry out routine checks but they clearly need education on the critical function tyres have and what measures can be taken to properly maintain them. There is a wealth of resources to help and we encourage motorists to make use of them.
“The most significant cost of a defective tyre is not measured in pounds and pence – Don’t chance it, check it.”
There are three key factors which influence a tyre’s roadworthiness: its air pressure; condition and tread depth. The correct pressures can be found in the handbook, door shut, filler cap or the glovebox in some cases, and ensuring they are correct will help your vehicle perform as it should, reduce wear and even save you fuel.
A tyre should never have objects like nails embedded in it nor should it have any visible lumps, bumps or cracking.
If you spot any irregularities in your tyres, they should be inspected by a professional, who can also advise drivers on tread depth. This plays a decisive role in maintaining a vehicle’s grip, especially in the wet, as it channels water out from between the tyre and the road. To check whether a tyre’s tread is close to the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm, insert a 20p coin into the main grooves across its width and at several points around the circumference. Should the outer rim be visible, it may well be illegal and need replacing.
1 Source: DfT. Casualties reported over past five years resulting from incidents where the following were contributory factors: Tyres (1075); Brakes (1052); Mobile phone use (651)
2 Source: DVSA
3 Source: Highways England and AA Tyres
4 Source: TyreSafe survey