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Poor tyre maintenance is main cause for car accidents in UK

Autocar logo Autocar 03/10/2017 Sam Sheehan
© Tim Graham/Getty Images

Poor tyre maintenance was the most common reason for car accidents in Britain last year, new figures published by the Department for Transport (DfT) have revealed.

Across the 12-month period, 446 accidents were linked to defective tyres, beating faulty brakes to the top spot by 81.

Low pressures, tread that has worn below 3mm and damage are listed as the main tyre issues, suggesting many motorists are neglecting to regularly check the condition of their car’s tyres.

Andrew Jervis, co-founder of car repair website ClickMechanic, recommended better and more regular maintenance to reduce the chances of tyre failures or blowouts.

“Some UK drivers are not servicing their car regularly or conducting simple checks, such as measuring the air pressure in the tyres,” he said.

“All drivers should follow their manufacturer’s recommended schedule and ensure that any anomalies are assessed by a professional as soon as possible.”

Are part-worn tyres safe?

Poor tyre maintenance is main cause for car accidents in UK © Autocar Poor tyre maintenance is main cause for car accidents in UK Jervis's comments echo those of TyreSafe, a UK organisation that promotes tyre safety. Earlier this year, it produced the results of a study that suggests the purchase of part-worn tyres was also contributing to issues, with 58% of tested used tyres having defects.

Chairman Stuart Jackson said: “Motorists depend on tyre dealers to supply and fit this safety critical component in a roadworthy and legal condition but are instead being duped into buying a product that could potentially be life-threatening. Even if sold legally, TyreSafe urges Britain’s motorists not to buy part-worn tyres for the sake of their own safety and other road users.”

Despite tyres ranking top for cars, of all vehicles – including bikes, buses and bicycles – the DfT’s figures showed that faulty brakes were the most common reason for collisions.

Defective steering or suspension was the next most common contributor, ranking higher than poorly and over-loaded vehicles.

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