Are we unwittingly flirting with death on the road?
New research has revealed that a UK average of 1075 accidents per year occur as a direct result of tyre neglect. According to tyresafe.org, tyre faults such as age, cracking, tread depth and damage have significantly contributed to the annual accident figures, which is more than brake problems contribute at an average of 1052 accidents per year. Further, 20 per cent of MoT failures are caused by poor tyre condition and in the last five years, over 10 million tyres were found to be illegal. Ben Field, of Vintage Tyres, is clear about the relationship between the MoT and accident figures: ‘The tyres I would count as dangerous, but aren’t technically illegal, will be higher than the 20 per cent cited.
Current provisos for tyre safety at MoT are bizarrely lax. The cracking and crazing associated with tyre ageing will often only count towards an ‘advisory’ and tyre hardness, and age, isn’t acknowledged.’
Laws state a tyre must be fit for purpose and free from defects which might damage the road or endanger any person. Tyresmust be correctly inflated, compatible with the other tyres fitted, not have any lump, bulge or tear in excess of 25mmor 10 per cent of the sectional tyre width, whichever is greater, and which is deep enough to reach the ply or cord. No ply or cord should be exposed and tread depth must be at least 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the centre three-quarters of the tread and around the entire circumference.
Ben continues, ‘To uphold the law the MoT needs to assess the cracking and rubber hardness that comeswith age and lack of use.’ PC and Vintage Tyres will be writing to the DfT to ask why it isn’t the case.
‘Provisos for tyre safety at MoT are bizarrely lax’
Are your tyres safe and fit for purpose?