Under pressure… motorists delaying tyre repairs as cost of living crisis bites
North Wales Police are urging drivers to ensure their tyres are fit for purpose as the winter months approach.
New research has however found that many UK motorists could be delaying critical tyre maintenance, as the cost of living crisis bites
October is National Tyre Safety Month – organised by charity TyreSafe, the annual campaign encourages road users to regularly check their tyres on a regular basis.
Although the campaign raises awareness through education, anyone found to be driving with illegal tyres could face three penalty points on their licence, and a potential fine of up to £2,500 per tyre.
Research commissioned by the UK’s leading independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, they surveyed 1,004 motorists on whether they have delayed making vehicle repairs or improvements amid the cost of living crisis.
Of those surveyed, one in ten (11 per cent) stated that they had put off replacing their tyre when the tread is low. Meanwhile, 7 per cent of survey respondents also stated that they have put off making a tyre change due to a puncture.
This means that of the almost 36 million people with a full driving licence in the UK, up to 4.2 million drivers are possibly deferring critical tyre safety maintenance, while up to 2.5 million motorists are potentially putting off fixing a puncture.
TyreSafe’s research has revealed that on average 153 people are killed or seriously injured every year due to defective tyres, contributing towards 150,000 tyre-related convictions in the past 3 years.
Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, commented: “Our research has laid bare that far too many motorists have decided to put off potentially critical maintenance on their tyres.”
“While we recognise the financial issues many motorists will be facing during such difficult times, taking a chance with your tyres is simply not worth the risk when your own, and other road users’ safety is at risk.
“Furthermore, failing to replace tyres that need to be replaced could let motorists down financially in the long term.”
“Indeed, investing in tyres with a high specification, which are appropriate for the season, will help with your vehicle’s fuel economy.”
“This will help motorists save money in the long run – especially when this is accompanied with more economical driving habits.”
Sergeant Leigh Evans of the Roads Policing Unit said: “Making sure your tyres meet the required standards isn’t just a legal requirement, it’s also key to ensuring your safety on the road.”
“So with the winter months only around the corner it is essential that people are safe when out and about on the roads.”
“Defective and under inflated tyres is a serious problem which affects steering, braking, fuel efficiency and the stability of the vehicle. It is quite shocking when we see vehicles that have under inflated and dangerous tyres.”
“Ideally tyres should be checked once a month and before any long journeys.”
“This should include checking the air pressure, overall condition and tread depth which is at least 1.6mm.”
“The best way to find this is by looking at the tread depth indicator, in the grooves of the tyre which is set at 1.6mm.”
“If the tread becomes level with this it is time to change the tyre.”
“It is also worth checking the tyre and removing any stones or other objects embedded in the tread and look out for any bulges, lumps or cuts.”
“Any weakness to the tyres – such as bulges or cuts, could mean a higher risk of a blow out at higher speeds, and a serious loss of control.”
“It is essential that drivers are aware that it is their responsibility to ensure that the vehicle they are using is road legal before commencing a journey.”
He added: “Our regular road safety checks are done as part of our ongoing commitment to keeping the roads safe.”
“With winter fast approaching we would like to remind drivers to check the condition of their vehicles. We will be carrying out unannounced checks over the coming weeks.”
Anybody who may have information regarding vehicles that they believe are being driven whilst in a dangerous condition can report them to North Wales Police on 101, or alternatively via the live web chat service http://www.north-wales.police.uk/contact/chat-support.aspx
Further information regarding Tyre Safety Month can be found on the website www.tyresafe.org
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