Road users have been urged to properly look after their tyres to prevent accidents. The warning comes following an 18-month tyre debris study into the reasons behind tyre-related breakdowns and accidents on the UK’s motorways.
In 2016, more than 30 people were killed or seriously injured in motorway accidents caused by illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres. However, research carried out by Highways England and Bridgestone Tyres has concluded that road users help reduce these accidents.
During the project, staff from Highlands England provided more than 1,000 pieces of tyre debris from motorways across the West Midlands to a technical engineering team from Bridgestone to analyse.
The study found that as many as 75% of motorway incidents related to tyre failure could be prevented if drivers and motorcyclists regularly carry out simple tyre pressure checks. Under-inflation of tyres and poor vehicle maintenance accounted for 26% of tyres sampled, while 56% failed due to road debris penetration.
Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, commented on the findings:
“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 out for nails and other debris stuck in tyres before setting out on journeys. These simple checks could save lives.”
Gary Powell, a technical manager at Bridgestone who oversaw the study said:
This report has taken a great deal of time and effort, involving a painstaking process of collecting tyre debris over 18 months and analysing it in depth thereafter. In conclusion, some simple tyre checks can save lives, not to mention reduce the risk of a stressful breakdown on a motorway.
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