Defective and under-inflated tyres were blamed as the cause of a tragic accident which claimed the life of a young driver, an inquest has been told.
Hairdresser Yasmin Richards, 21, died instantly when her Ford Ka crossed onto the wrong side of the road into the path of a Range Rover near Nimless in Gloucestershire. At least three of the tyres on her vehicle were below the legal tread depth minimum and under-inflated as she drove to work.
Crash investigator PC Julian Chambers told the Bristol inquest one front tyre had a pressure of 19psi – below the recommended 30 – and the back tyres measured just 13 and 15psi instead of 26psi. The two front tyres and the back offside tyres were also worn below the legal limit of 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tyres.
PC Chambers explained: “With under inflated tyres when you turn the vehicle doesn’t turn as much as you would expect. You would have to add extra steering to get it to go around the bend and then more the other way to correct it.
“It was my opinion that with under steer it created a yo-yo affect as she came round the bend.”
Assistant coroner Dr Peter Harrowing recorded the victims death was due to a traffic accident and concluded the tyres were in a ‘poor state’.
He said: “One of the important factors in the causation of this accident was the state of the tyres on Yasmin’s car. That was a significant contribution to the cause of the accident. Yasmin was an inexperienced driver, which also was a contributing factor.”
The inquest took place just weeks after TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation, issued a warning that motorists who fail to maintain their tyres are putting their own lives, and those of others, in grave danger.
Denna Bowman, Head Office