TyreSafe got tyre safety month off to an early start this week with a demonstration of the effects of driving on under-inflated tyres. The demonstration, held at the Millbrook test centre in Bedfordshire, highlighted the way in which low pressure tyres affect handling, fuel efficiency and temperature.
TyreSafe quoted Department of Transport statistics that reveal that, in 2007, 43 motoring fatalities were attributable to under-inflated tyres, and that deflated tyres contributed to a further 984 accidents. TyreSafe have also commissioned research, which reveals that over half of the motorists surveyed had not checked their tyre pressure in the last month.
Rob Beddis, chairman of TyreSafe, summarized the situation and pointed out how simple it would be to rectify the position, ?In 2007, nearly one life was lost every single week of the year as a result of a road traffic accident where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor. This tragic loss of life is unnecessary and could have been avoided by carrying out simple, regular checks on tyre pressure, tread depth and tyre condition. Under-inflated tyres can cause dramatic changes in the way a vehicle handles and corners, resulting in surprise and confusion for drivers which often results in accidents. Additionally, tyres wear out more quickly and fuel consumption increases adding further burden to motorists already struggling with high fuel prices. By raising awareness of these issues throughout Tyre Safety Month, we hope motorists will heed our warnings so we can minimise future accidents and avoid further loss of life?.
It seems that company-car drivers are the most casual in regard to this crucial area of road safety. Within that sector only 31 percent of motorists had checked their tyre pressure within the last month, compared to a figure of 50 percent amongst private car owners. It seems that female motorists are also culpable when it comes to checking their tyre pressure, only 38 percent claimed to do their own tyre checks.
Worryingly, the problem appears to be getting worse. Defective tyres now account for 14 percent of MOT failures, a rise of 3 percent in the last year. Beddis concluded, ?Our findings illustrate why nearly three accidents occur every day on the UK?s roads where tyres are a contributory factor. Checking tyre pressures is a simple maintenance activity that is free and takes only a few minutes to complete. If motorists are unsure how to check their pressures or do not know where to find the manufacturer?s recommended pressure they should visit one of the many tyre fitting centres across the UK that will be offering free tyre checks throughout Tyre Safety Month.?