Megan’s Story: Underinflated Tyres Can Be Fatal
Millions of drivers are unknowingly putting their own safety – and the safety of others – at risk because of underinflated tyres. Incorrectly inflated tyres significantly increase the risk of a disastrous blow out on the road and can lead to serious and fatal collisions.
TyreSafe have shared with us the tragic story of Megan Byrne:
This is Megan’s story
22-year-old Megan Byrne was travelling to her hometown in her yellow car, on Thursday 20th February 2020. She had been staying with her boyfriend in Manchester and was on her way to visit some friends for lunch and then to see her mum. Megan was a primary school teacher, and this was half-term week.
The weather on Elton Road at Belthorn was raining with high winds. As Megan approached a left-hand bend, she lost control of her car, crossed onto the opposite lane, and collided with a large family car. The impact of the crash was so severe that Megan died at the scene.
Police collision investigators confirmed that Megan was driving within the speed limit and was wearing a seat belt at the time. However, two of the tyres on Megan’s car were underinflated, a major contributory factor in the crash.
Megan’s crash highlights the importance of tyre safety checks and shows how driving with underinflated tyres can have tragic consequences. Your tyres are your only contact with the road and need to be in the best condition possible since the total surface area isn’t much bigger than half an A4 leaflet!
TyreSafe’s campaigns aim to raise awareness of the importance of regular tyre maintenance: Air pressure; Condition; and Tread depth – or ACT. TyreSafe encourages motorists to check their tyres at least once a month, every month, and especially before long journeys.
The key message is to ACT – don’t ignore your tyres and check:
- Air pressure: Use an accurate tyre pressure gauge to check tyres’ air pressure is at the recommended settings. Check the vehicles owner’s handbook or fuel filler cap.
- Condition: Lumps or bulges in a tyre may indicate internal damage and increase the risk of a catastrophic failure. If these, or cuts and cracks, are found while checking a tyre, the tyre may need replacing and professional advice should be sought.
- Tread depth: Tread depth should be checked with an accurate gauge to ensure it is above the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm. If you don’t have an accurate tread depth gauge available, a 20p can be used as a guide to how close your tread is to the limit.
Megan's tyres were run flats and the light was on on her dash board. She knew they needed to be checked but visually they looked okay. All too often people say, "They're run flats, they will be fine," but a run flat tyre should only be driven for 50 miles and while travelling at no more than 50 miles per hour. A better description of a run flat is a 'get you home tyre.’
Research from TyreSafe shows that approximately one in five drivers have never checked their tyres for signs of damage or wear even though any driver found to have unsafe tyres could face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre. Poor tyre quality and maintenance is one of the leading causes of MOT failures and accidents on the road and costs the economy approximately £83m a year.
Protyre are on the Board of Trustees for TyreSafe and work closely with them in order to promote the importance of regular checks and proper tyre maintenance, as such we offer free tyre checks at all of our garages. Book today to give yourself peace of mind motoring and to keep you and your passengers safe on the road.
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