Checks could prevent tyre-related deaths say Highways England

Up to 75% of motorway incidents related to tyre failure could be prevented if drivers carry out simple checks, according to new research by Highways England and tyre company Bridgestone.

More than 30 people were killed or seriously injured in motorway accidents in 2016 due to illegal or faulty tyres. But an 18-month study says commuters, commercial drivers and other road users can do a lot more to help reduce accidents through regular checking.

A technical engineering team from Bridgestone analysed 1035 tyre segments from cars, vans, commercial vehicles and motorbikes were retrieved from the M1, M6, M40, M5 and M42. The most common cause of tyre failure was down to road/yard debris penetration (56%), followed by poor inflation (18%) and poor vehicle maintenance (8%).

Bridgestone technical manager Gary Powell, said: “With proper vehicle inspection and maintenance programs, many of the failure methods noted should be detectable and preventable.”

Richard Leonard, Highways England’s head of safety, added: “We want our network to be safe and reliable. You have to visually inspect [the tyre] because a defect can be on the inside wall. Its seeing it as a key part of the safety of your vehicle.

“It’s about education. We are trying to push this message out – it is everyone’s interests to address these incidents.”

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