The RAC Foundation today launched an eight week tyre-safety campaign aimed at highlighting the need for drivers of low-mileage vehicles to have their tyres inspected. The Foundation claims that as many as three million motorists in the UK could be at risk this summer because of the condition of their tyres.
The motoring organization commissioned a survey between 11th and 13th July, during which time 500 motorists were questioned on their awareness of tyre-safety. The survey revealed that 10 percent of motorists, almost three million drivers, were unaware of the link between road safety and tyre age. In addition, almost 60 percent of motorists admitted that they are unlikely to check the tyre age information found on the sidewall of their tyres.
In the case of most motorists, their tyres will wear out before becoming too old, but drivers of low-mileage, vintage and classic cars should be aware of the risks of tyre fatigue. Motorists with caravans and trailers should also be conscious of the need to check for tyre aging. All motorists should also keep an eye on the condition of their spare tyre, as this may have remained in the car for a prolonged period while other tyres have been changed.
According to the deputy director of the RAC Foundation, Sheila Ranger, “Modern tyres are very robust and failure-resistant, but older tyres that have been stored incorrectly or simply not used for many years can become unfit for purpose through the passage of time alone”. “Over the next two months”, she continued, “motorists can take advantage of a free safety check and save themselves from perishing on perished rubber.”
Industry experts are in agreement that tyre fatigue and tyre failure are an increased risk with older tyres, and they have backed the Foundation’s call for occasional motorists to have their tyres checked before heading off for their summer holidays. The warning signs of ageing include:
cracks or crazing on the sidewall tread separation,
cracks or bulges deformation of the tyre carcass ,
discolouration and fading of the rubber.
As a part of the campaign, the RAC Foundation is teaming up with the National Tyre Distributors Association to offer motorists free tyre checks at any of the NTDA’s 2,700 affiliated member centres throughout the UK. Further details can be found NTDA’s website – ntda.co.uk