Defective tyres lead to millions of MOT failures

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Millions of drivers are placing themselves and other road users in unnecessary danger by driving on unsafe or illegal tyres, according to new figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request.

Data supplied by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency reveals that more than 2.2 million cars failed their annual MOT test in 2013 because of the state of their tyres.

Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, commented: “It beggars belief that so many motorists can fail their MOT because of unsafe or illegal tyres. Your safety on the road is totally dependent upon the condition of your tyres so it’s vital that you check these regularly throughout the year, let alone just before you take your MOT. Furthermore, they are also one of the easiest items on your car to check, so there really is no excuse for this amount of tyre related failures.”

Jackson continued: “We are entering the most treacherous period of the year when the roads can become very wet and slippery so it’s essential that your tyres are in the best possible condition.

“Driving on dangerous or illegal tyres can leave you vulnerable to a number of hazards such as longer stopping distances, loss of grip or an increased risk of aquaplaning but these can all be minimised with appropriate safety checks.”

To help motorists improve their safety on the road, TyreSafe recommends carrying out the following three key safety checks at least once a month:

1. Check tyre pressures to ensure they are in line with the vehicle manufacturers recommended settings

2. Check tyre tread depths and make sure they are well above the legal minimum of 1.6mm

3. Check the tyre for signs of damage, such as cuts, lumps or bulges and make sure there are no items embedded in the tread

Recent figures released by the Department for Transport underline the serious consequences of using dangerous and illegal tyres, with more than 968 road casualties in the UK in 2013 attributed to accidents involving illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres.

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