Checking tyres saves lives

Daily walk round checks could save lives. Those are findings of a joint 18-month consultation into tyre failures on UK motorways conducted by Highways England and tyre manufacturer, Bridgestone. The research, which examined over a 1,000 failed tyres, found that road/yard debris penetration was the most common reason for tyre failures (56%); 18% failed due to poor inflation.

In 2016, 32 people were either killed or seriously injured in motorway accidents caused by illegal or faulty tyres. And it’s not just human tragedy, there’s also an economic price to be paid when HGV tyres fail. Closing two lanes of a busy motorway for two hours to enable a recovery operation to be completed costs in excess of £135,000; shut down three lanes and that figure rises to £1.5m. It’s clear that making those daily checks should be an important part of a driver’s daily work routing

Gary Powell, Bridgestone’s Technical Manager added: “With proper vehicle inspection and maintenance programmes many of the failure methods noted should be detectable and preventable.”

Highways England head of road safety Richard Leonard added: “This important research confirms our view that road-users must play a bigger role and get into the habit of checking tyre pressures and tread depths and looking for nails and other debris stuck in tyres before setting out on journeys. These simple checks could save lives.”