Illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were responsible for more than 40 per cent of vehicle defect-related deaths in the UK in 2013, according to shocking new statistics.
A total of 2,855 casualties were caused by defective vehicles, with dangerous tyres cited as a contributory factor in 968 cases, the disturbing figures released today by the Department for Transport (DfT) revealed.
The statistics have highlighted the need for drivers to check their tyres regularly to avoid being involved in potentially fatal accidents.
Stuart Jackson, the chairman of TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety group, warned: “The latest figures are very worrying and sadly reflect a general attitude of indifference by many drivers towards checking their tyres regularly.
“As the only part of your car in contact with the road, it’s vital that your tyres are looked after correctly and inspected regularly to ensure they will work properly in emergency situations when they are needed most.”
Further analysis of the DfT figures reveals that 45 per cent of tyre-related casualties were caused on A roads, and the most common region in England for tyre related casualties was the South East, accounting for 23 per cent.
The figures have been released just days before the launch of October’s annual Tyre Safety Month campaign which will focus on the importance of driving on tyres with adequate tread depth.
Jackson added: “Driving on safe and legal tyres is important all year round, but especially so as we approach the winter months. Without adequate tread depth your tyres will not be able to cope properly on wet roads, and if we have a repeat of last year’s record levels of rainfall, we could well see even more needless tyre-related injuries which could have been easily avoided.”
Current UK law requires car drivers to have at least 1.6mm of tread depth on their tyres. Anyone found to be in breach of these regulations risks not only their safety on the road but also a fine of £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.
Drivers who are not sure how to check their tyre tread depth can click here to watch a short video created by etyres, which features Vicki Butler Henderson demonstrating how to measure tyre tread depth.
Denna Bowman, Head Office