Tyre-related hazards on motorways

A detailed study by Bridgestone and Highways England found that 30 people were killed or seriously injured in accidents on motorways during 2016 due to tyre related faults.

 
The study reported that approximately 3/4 of tyre samples tested showed that debris penetration, or poor inflation, were the leading causes of tyre failure.
 
The study concluded that drivers can decrease their chances of experiencing a motorway breakdown and indeed of having an accident by carrying out regular tyre safety checks. Richard Leonard of Highways England said that the research confirmed their view in that road users should develop the habit of routinely checking tyre pressures and tread depths, whilst also looking out for debris stuck in tyres before setting off on a journey.
 
The lower the tyre’s tread depth, the less of a barrier between the road and the inner tyre, so there is a greater risk that debris will puncture your tyre.
 
Protyre’s garages will carry out a free tyre check on your vehicle and, when necessary, recommend the best type of tyres from a range of manufacturers such as; Pirelli, Falken, Sumitomo and Bridgestone. Our tyre professionals will check that your tyre tread depth is legal and above 1.6mm and that your tyres are in good condition.
 
In our experience, low mileage drivers may consider that their tyres are safe when the tyre tread depth is sufficient, however, the age of the tyres may cause the rubber to crack in the sidewall caused by oils and chemicals in the rubber gradually breaking down. Cracked tyres should be replaced. Manufacturers recommend a shelf life of 5 years for tyres.
 

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Tyre related motorway breakdowns on Britain’s roads in one year have been recorded as being in the region of 34 000. That's almost 100 breakdowns per day due to tyre faults. These statistics show the importance of regular checks as lives depend on them.
 
Plans to create new ‘smart motorways’ by converting around 300 miles of hard shoulder will increase capacity on Britain’s motorways, but concerns have been raised as to whether this will be a safe thing to do. The RAC claims that the move will place the lives of thousands of motorists at risk each day.
 
By converting the hard shoulder into a traffic lane, motorists with a vehicle fault or in any kind of emergency will have no choice but to pull up into an emergency lay-by area or to come to a standstill in an active motorway lane, which would, of course, be terrifying and dangerous. The emergency lay-bys will be a mile and a half apart which is considered by many to be too far. These Smart motorways will place an even greater importance on the need for motorists to check the condition of their tyres.
 
For peace of mind and safe motoring, just book a free tyre check with Protyre. Our qualified fitters will always give you the advice and help you need to stay roadworthy. Protyre’s website can also be used to locate the best tyres for your vehicle using our easy to use tyre search function.

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David Sholicar

David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and ...

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