By Denna Bowman
Drivers who purchase cheap second hand tyres could be taking a big risk with their safety, especially during the winter months, according to a leading car insurance retailer.
Last winter worn tyres were the blame for 1,215 casualties in the UK, according to Swinton, and figures from the Department of Transport show that 18 motorists were killed due to defective tyres.
A recent survey showed that 43% of drivers are more willing to put themselves at risk if it results in saving a few pounds and Swinton is urging drivers to invest in new tyres before considering buying second hand.
Swinton is highlighting the possible dangers of buying second hand tyres:
— Part worn tyres can suffer from severe structural damage that can not be
seen by the naked eye
— Second hand tyres do not last long and will need replacing sooner than
— Defective tyres can affect braking distance, adding two car lengths when
travelling in wet weather at 50mph
— Used tyres on average have only 3mm of thread, resulting in motorists
only paying for 1.4mm tread depth compared to the legal depth of 1.6mm
— Most part worn tyres purchased have not been MoT checked
Steve Chelton, Claims Manager at Swinton, said: “Purchasing second hand tyres during winter could put drivers and other road users at risk.
“There is no rule stating that you cannot purchase part worn tyres however Swinton is advising motorists to consider investing in new ones.
“Complications can occur with part worn tyres and could leave you claiming on your car insurance. Tyre safety is a serious issue and if there is a possibility that the tyre can not perform well then it should be ruled out.”
Swinton is currently working with Goodyear Tyres to promote the fitment of winter tyres. Once the weather drops below 7 degrees C, the rubber on regular ‘summer’ tyres hardens up, lessening their grip on the road.
Cold weather tyres are manufactured with more natural rubber and silica, which keeps them supple in the colder weather offering greater grip in cold conditions including snow and ice and can offer up to 55% reduction in braking distance.