By Denna Bowman
The number of people killed or seriously injured in accidents relating to tyres increased sharply to 205 during 2011, according disturbing new figures.
The alarming statistics released by the Department for Transport, just days ahead of October’s tyre safety month, reveal that illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor to the accidents.
The shocking statistic is an eight per cent rise on the previous year’s figures and goes against a year-on-year decrease since TyreSafe, the UKs leading tyre safety organisation, was formed.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, said: “These latest figures are very disturbing, especially given that the number of casualties in all road accidents also rose for the first time in many years. It really does reinforce the need for drivers to regularly inspect their tyres to make sure they are safe and legal.
“October’s tyre safety month is the perfect opportunity to carry out some basic tyre checks and help put a stop to this needless loss of life.”
Despite the tyre industry’s ongoing efforts to educate drivers about the importance of regular tyre maintenance, the level of neglect continues to be a problem. During 2011 the AA and RAC attended more than 825,000 tyre related breakdowns between them alone.
Jackson added: “We’re aware that in these ongoing tough economic times, some drivers are running their tyres longer than normal or perhaps switching to part worn tyres when they need replacing.
“But our message is clear. You can’t compromise or take chances with tyre safety. By trying to save a few pounds, you could actually pay a much higher price in the long-run.
“By spending just a few minutes each month to check the condition of your tyres, not only can it actually help you to save money, but more importantly it will help keep you safe during the treacherous winter months.”