Tyre incidents inspire new motorway messages
Closed lanes, tailbacks, delays, injury and even loss of life are just some of the tyre related consequences that have inspired a new set of advisory messages to drivers travelling on the UK’s motorways.
‘Safe tyres save lives’ is a new message being seen by drivers on overhead message boards in a bid to help reduce the number of dangerous tyre related incidents occurring on the UK’s road network. And with more than 2,500 tyre related breakdowns reported by the Highways Agency in May and June alone, it’s easy to see why tyre safety is such a priority.
“Tyre incidents can cause a host of problems for drivers, their passengers and other road users so it’s vitally important that motorists make regular tyre checks before travelling,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “The new message signs are a great reminder to drivers about the four small pieces of rubber that are responsible for them being able to brake or corner and arrive at their destination safely.”
While ensuring tyres meet the legal minimum tread depth requirements is one of the most recognised tyre safety checks, TyreSafe points out that checking tyre pressures and condition at least once a month is of equal importance.
“When tyres are under-inflated, they are much more likely to suffer from a rapid failure which can have potentially catastrophic consequences,” adds Jackson. “Furthermore, they will also wear out much quicker and even cause you to use more fuel.”
While prevention is better than cure, drivers who do have the misfortune to suffer from a puncture or other tyre related incident are advised not to make any attempt to repair the vehicle themselves on a motorway hard shoulder. Occupants should safely exit the vehicle, from the nearside door if there is heavy traffic on the road, and call the Highways Agency control centre or their recovery service from the emergency road side telephones, get to a place of safety and then wait for assistance.
“Motorway hard shoulders are an incredibly dangerous place, so should you have the misfortune of suffering a tyre failure, it’s vitally important that you treat your safety as a priority. However, we’d re-iterate that the easiest way to avoid such an issue is to regularly check your tyres at least once a month and before any long journeys.”