Parents urged to focus on tyre safety

12.00 | 22 August 2014 | | 4 comments

TyreSafe is urging parents to pay more attention to the condition of their vehicle tyres after one of its members found that more than 30% of cars dropping off children at a Shropshire primary school had illegal tyres.

TyreSafe points to DfT stats which show that more than 1,200 road casualties are caused each year as a result of a car travelling on illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres.

Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, said: "The start of the new academic year means more cars on the roads, particularly at peak times of the day.

"Many of these cars may be used less frequently so it’s essential that their tyres are checked to ensure that they are roadworthy and legal so that the precious load is transported in a safe manner."

TyreSafe is encouraging parents to carry out three tyre checks – pressure, tread and general condition. The not-for-profit organisation says that pressures should be checked to ensure that tyres are inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended settings.

Tread depths should be examined to ensure they exceed the UK’s minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference. And general condition should be inspected to ensure they are free from lumps, cuts and bulges, and any foreign objects embedded in the tread should also be removed.

Stuart Jackson concluded: "Making these vital safety checks only takes a couple of moments but could make the world of difference to the safety of you and your children.

“Of course, this isn’t just a one time job; it’s something that we all should be doing on an ongoing basis at least once a month."



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    These occasional warnings about tyres would lead us to believe that we are all driving around in our vehicles with a time bomb at all four corners, always teetering on the verge of a catastrophe in which case why do we not see, on a daily basis, drivers apparently struggling to control their cars; cars wondering off course; tyres bursting etc. What I see instead is speeding, tailgating, carelessness, impatience etc. all the usual triggers for accidents and all down to the person behind the wheel. The tyre condition is important but so for example, is brake efficiency. Let’s keep it in proportion. Failures in the vehicles themselves do happen, but I would suggest it’s not the biggest threat to life and limb on the road.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    I once drove with friends to the South of France in a 1936 Austin tourer not used since WW2. Punctures every 100 miles! Under-inflated tyres overheat which can cause side wall and tread failure. More importantly, why not mention the age of the tyres? Very important

    For tyres manufactured after 2000, there are usually four digits after the DOT code which the first two specify the week of manufacture, and the second two specify the year. For example: 5007 = 50th week of 2007. Before 2000, there were only 3 digits, again the first two would specify the week, and the third the year. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, as some tyre manufacturers use only three digits still, or * or – or other notations. 7 years or so is supposed to be the safe limit, depending on usage and exposure to sunlight.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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    If this is a significant problem then the reasons for it happening need analysing properly. Let’s assume that it’s mainly the ladies doing the school run and that checking the tyre treads and pressures is a dirty job at the best of times. This would leave a person to suppose that the job wouldn’t have a high priority among this particular group due to the mess involved and the difficulties in actually carrying out the procedure.

    A wise person might then think that a simpler, cleaner way of checking the tyres needs to be devised so that the excuses for not doing the checks would be significantly reduced. I’m sure with the vast resources of the tyre industry behind them TyreSafe could come up with some interesting ideas.

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
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    I can understand a sudden tyre blow-out being the primary cause, or trigger, for an accident, but under-inflated tyres? That may be a factor in determining whether an accident ensues once an unrelated chain of events has begun i.e. losing control at speed or panic-braking etc. but not in itself a primary cause. In any event how would the accident investigators know for sure?

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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