Surge in Tyre-Related Incidents Raises Safety Concerns on UK Roads

A startling increase in tyre-related breakdowns on UK motorways and A-roads, with nearly half (47.6%) of all breakdowns over the past three years attributed to tyre issues.

The data, managed by National Highways, underscores the growing importance of regular tyre maintenance for road safety.

In 2021, National Highways recorded 5,934 tyre-related incidents. This figure rose significantly to 7,095 in 2022, and further escalated to 7,762 incidents in 2023. Among these, tyre blowouts have led to severe collisions, highlighting the critical need for motorists to ensure their tyres are in good condition.

The rise in incidents has prompted National Highways to launch campaigns encouraging drivers to perform basic vehicle checks, with a particular emphasis on tyre inspections. Proper tyre maintenance is not only crucial for preventing breakdowns but also for avoiding serious accidents.

Driving with defective or underinflated tyres poses multiple risks. It can increase the likelihood of accidents and breakdowns, and drivers caught with such tyres face hefty fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre. Ensuring tyres are properly maintained is essential for maintaining vehicle control, reducing braking distances, and improving fuel efficiency.

Recognising Worn-Out Tyres: Key Signs to Watch For

To help drivers identify when their tyres need attention, here are the most common signs of worn-out tyres:

  • Reduced Tread Depth: The tread is the raised pattern on the tyre surface that provides grip. If the tread depth is 1.6mm or less, it’s time to replace the tyres.
  • Uneven Wear: Uneven tyre wear can indicate alignment or suspension issues. This can cause the vehicle to pull to one side and be harder to control.
  • Sidewall Damage: Cracks, bulges, or cuts in the sidewalls are clear signs that the tyre needs replacement.
  • Vibrations: Excessive vibrations or shaking can indicate that tyres are out of balance, have worn tread, or internal damage.
  • Strange Noises: Squealing, grinding, or thumping noises from the tyres may signal wear or damage.
  • Age of Tyres: Tyres deteriorate over time and become prone to cracking and blowouts, typically after five years.

Regular tyre inspections, maintaining proper inflation, wheel alignments, and avoiding road hazards can help prevent premature tyre wear and ensure safety on the road.

The rise in tyre-related incidents serves as a stark reminder for all drivers to prioritise tyre maintenance. By doing so, they can significantly reduce the risk of breakdowns and enhance overall road safety.

Surge in Tyre-Related Incidents Raises Safety Concerns on UK Roads
June 14, 2024
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