UK Drivers Urged to 'Tune Into Tyre Safety'
Tyres and UK Road Casualties
In the latest published five-year averages, tyres have been recorded as the cause in 35% of all casualties. This figure rises to 39% when someone has been seriously injured or killed and equates to 183 people per annum. It may surprise you to learn that it is significantly more than the 129 people seriously injured or killed in an incident where a mobile phone has been the contributing factor.
Furthermore, 2.2 million MOT failures have been down to tyre defects.
Department for Transport data shows that most incidents frequently occur during the summer months and not the winter months during wetter and colder weather. The top three most hazardous months actually being, July, August and June according to the Department of Transport.
Summer Tyre Safety Concerns
TyreSafe have identified several factors to explain why this is the case. Not a surprise to UK residents, but the British summer does not always have consistently good weather (except for summer 2018 which came as a surprise to everyone!). What most drivers are not prepared for are the often wildly varying road conditions during the summer months. Drivers can tend to become a little complacent during fairer weather conditions and become somewhat desensitised to the potential hazards and dangers. This, in turn, reduces the number of safety tyre checks carried out by motorists on their vehicles.
Secondly, more families are now remaining in the UK for annual summer holidays - meaning they are travelling longer distances, putting more weight into their vehicles. Naturally this alters the loads on tyres increasing the physical stresses placed on them and makes already poorly maintained tyres more likely to suffer problems.
During the summer period and with motorists travelling around the UK often using different roads to which they are accustomed to and using their tyres differently to the rest of the year, there is a consequential rise in tyre-related incidents.
Global tyre manufacturer, Continental, has been quick to pick up on this fact and have added their own message, "As part of our Vision Zero initiative which aims for zero accidents, injuries or fatalities on our roads - we are keen to make motorists aware of the small steps they can take to make their journey safer this summer".
Tyre Performance in the Wet
Another important consideration to pay attention to is vehicle stopping distances in the wet. Although this year temperature records have been broken, it rains on average 156.2 days of the year! Drivers are often caught off guard when braking on wet roads in the summer. Braking distances at 60mph increases by as much as 15 metres! That's a staggering distance when you think about what could be stopped in front of you... Poor tyres further compound this issue and should prompt closer tyre inspections.
Part Safe Tyres. Have You Been Paying for Scrap Tyres?
Part worn tyres are yet another issue. Drivers are still buying them as a supposedly cheaper option. This is seldom ever the case though. More often than not they are sold by unregulated and unscrupulous sellers with no concern for motorists safety and will sell products that have been purposely disposed of with good reason. Technically scrap tyres are resold from waste for cash and without recourse.
Information from TyreSafe and joint statistics from Trading Standards show that between 34 and 58 per cent of Part Worn Tyress are deemed unsafe - while 94-98 per cent are non-compliant with current regulations.
Simply put, these items are not a good option in any circumstances - especially the safety-factor.
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