A shocking short film which captures the moment a tyre blows on an HGV travelling along a motorway is being used to highlight the terrifying consequences and high cost of tyre failures.
The dramatic clip caught on motorway cameras shows the lorry careering uncontrollably across three lanes of traffic and into the central reservation causing chaos and extensive damage.
It is one of a series of new CCTV clips unveiled by the Highways Agency and TyreSafe as part of October’s tyre safety month.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, warns: “Many people incorrectly assume that if their tyre fails, they’ll simply pull onto safety of the hard shoulder.
“However, as this startling clip shows, when a tyre fails, the results can be dramatic, beyond control and incredibly frightening. The clips really do emphasise why it’s important to check your tyres regularly.”
As well as showing the dangers to drivers of a failing tyres, another clip shows how Highways Agency officers have to close all three lanes of a motorway to retrieve debris from another tyre failure.
The final CCTV clip highlights the financial cost of a tyre failure after a truck catches fire following a tyre failure, leading to a full motorway closure for many hours at a cost of several million pounds.
Tyre related problems are a major cause for concern on the UK’s roads. More than 15,000 breakdowns per year on English motorways are tyre related and the Highways Agency’s incident logs show that between April and June 2013, 3,852 breakdowns on its network were tyre related, with almost 30 per cent of these having an impact on live traffic lanes.
However, despite the numerous incidents TyreSafe is advising that many problems can be easily avoided by regular tyre checks.
As well as checking that tyres are inflated to the correct pressure at least once a month, tread depths should also be checked to ensure they meet the legal minimum standards and tyres should be inspected for any cuts, lumps or bulges in the sidewall.
Simon Sheldon-Wilson, Highways Agency Traffic Management Director, stresses: “By taking a few minutes to check your tyres, you could save yourself the distress, cost and possibly very serious consequences of having a tyre blow-out at high speed. A tyre failure can happen suddenly in fast-moving traffic, putting everyone at increased risk.
“Tyre debris in live lanes can cause danger for others, and our staff have to stop traffic and cross the carriageway to retrieve it.”
For more information about tyre safety visit www.tyresafe.org or to see the Highways Agency’s CCTV clips, visit its YouTube Channel or go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfLgPeIQkVA&list=PLREwUKImD7MsJaYJ_AeoR3tQcXdPhGujD&index=1.
Denna Bowman, Head Office