Tyre Safety Checks Not a Priority for UK Motorists –Statistics Reveal
Numbers don’t lie. For all the tyre safety awareness campaigns undertaken by varied agencies, statistics reveal that in 2012, on an average more than 170 motorists were convicted every week for driving on defective tyres deemed illegal by tyre laws in the UK. Given that defective tyres greatly increase chances of motor accidents and endanger lives of drivers and passengers and pedestrians, the gravity of the situation cannot be ignored. And it points to the need for creating stronger awareness about the importance of tyre safety checks.
Statistics Obtained from the Ministry of Justice
The figures have been obtained from the 2012 records of the Ministry of Justice. According to these records, a whooping 10,228 car owners faced prosecution in Courts across England and Wales throughout 2012 on account of their tyres being defective and dangerous. Out of this, the number of successful prosecutions was 8919, that is an impressive 87% success rate. Impressive? That’s worth pondering over.
“These are Extremely Worrying Figures” Says TyreSafe
Stuart Jackson, Chairman TyreSafe, UK’s leading tyre safety organization frankly admitted that these figures are extremely worrying. Mr Jackson added, “It is clear we have a tough challenge ahead of us in the area of raising awareness about the dangers of driving on defective tyres.”
Tyre safety checks take just a few minutes and go a long way in ensuring safety on the roads. Besides, such checks need be carried out just once a month. However the statistics make it clear that majority of the UK motorists are not sparing time for those crucial checks. And in the process, they are risking prosecutions and more importantly lives- their own and those of others.
Crucial Tyre Safety Checks You Must Undertake
One of the most crucial tyre safety checks to undertake is that of the tyre tread depth. This becomes particularly important as the weather from now on will get progressively wetter. The minimum tread depth for your tyre should be 1.6mm across the central 3/4th area of the tyre around its entire circumference. If the tyre tread has worn down below 1.6mm, the tyre is deemed illegal by law. Tyres with reduced tread depth have compromised grip and increase braking distances significantly, more so on wet roads. The chances of accidents increase exponentially when you are driving on such tyres.
TyreSafe has devised a simple 20p test to determine the tyre depth. Insert a 20p coin into the tyre grooves. If the outer band of the coin is clearly visible it indicates that the tread has worn down below the minimal level. It is recommended to replace such tyres immediately.
Pay Attention to Air Pressure and Appearance of Tyres
Inflating your tyres to the recommended air pressure levels is crucial to ensure tyre safety. In fact an additional benefit of the right air pressure is enhanced fuel efficiency that increases your fuel savings.
Routine tyre checks should also include evaluation of the tyre appearance. Tyres with visible cuts, lumps and bulges compromise safety. Such tyres need to be professionally evaluated and repaired or replaced as per the advice of your mechanic.