TyreSafe is encouraging drivers to pay attention to its Tyre Safety Month message throughout the year following the conclusion of October’s Tyre Safety Month.
The number of reported casualties caused by tyre-related defects fell in 2015, though on average more than 1,000 people a year are killed or injured from such incidents (1,075). In fact, that average number of casualties is higher than for faulty brakes (1,052) and nearly double that for incidents causing injury where the driver’s use of a mobile phone (651) was a contributory factor, Department for Transport figures over the last five years show.
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 25, according to TyreSafe’s research.
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 at TyreSafe.org 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.”
TyreSafe has endeavoured to educate motorists with the following key messages: 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 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.