Road casualty report cause for concern, warns tyre safety group

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Deaths and serious injuries caused by illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres have crept up, while casualties have remained similar to the average number of the last five reported years figures, according to new statistics.

Following the publication of the Department of Transport’s annual report of accident statistics, TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety group, is calling for ‘renewed vigour’ in the campaign to raise awareness among motorists of the importance of tyre safety.

The report compounds the existing body of evidence which indicates motorists are neglecting the routine checks which could help keep them, and other road users, safe, according to TyreSafe.

The number of killed or seriously injured (KSI) motorists due to tyre defects rose to 224 in 2014, with total casualties at 1125. The annual average for the five reported years since 2010 are 198 KSIs and 1135 for all casualties.

Of the 48 people killed in accidents attribute to vehicle defects, 28 were attributed to defective tyres.

Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, explained: “While 2014 figures do not reflect a dramatic worsening of tyre-related accident casualties over the past five years, TyreSafe considers the current status quo unacceptable.

“The DfT’s figures support TyreSafe’s findings which shows too few of Britain’s motorists inspect their vehicle’s primary safety feature before taking to the roads. Every day, tyre retailers, the fire service, the police, and breakdown recovery services see examples of this neglect as they come face-to-face with a substantial number of tyres in appalling, unroadworthy condition. Unlike other vehicle components, tyres can easily be checked visually – it is ultimately the driver’s responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is safe and clearly need to take immediate action if tyres are flat, have lumps, bumps or cuts – or if they’re bald.

“Defective tyres dramatically reduce the effectiveness of a vehicle’s steering and braking systems, can potentially suffer catastrophic deflations and potentially add to the numbers of road casualties. With this year’s casualty figures from the DfT being comparable to the five-year average, TyreSafe’s main concern is the slow pace at which drivers are taking this message on board. TyreSafe’s enhanced partnership with Highways England is an example of the support we urge all road safety stakeholders to provide, especially now we are approaching Tyre Safety Month – a campaign TyreSafe believes can help drive the reduction of road casualties.”

Tyre Safety Month begins on 1st October and will encourage motorists to carry out regular #SafeTyreChecks, and poses the question ‘When did you last do it?’ to Britain’s motorists.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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