Car Insurance News
Tyre safety 'still insufficient in UK'
12 July 2012
There is still not enough focus on keeping tyres well-maintained and safe for motorists in Britain, with the number of drivers using defective or illegal models still alarmingly high.
Figures released by the Ministry of Justice recently showed that the number of people convicted in England and Wales for driving with dangerous tyres over the course of 2011 was 9,639, a figure TyreSafe chairman Stuart Jackson described as too high.
He added that this data does not take into account the number of people stopped by the police and given roadside warnings but not taken to court, meaning that the real scale of the problem could be even larger.
"Not only is there still a high level of ignorance about tyre care, but perhaps even more alarmingly many motorists continue to drive on tyres that they know are illegal or dangerous," said Mr Jackson.
He pointed out that tyres are a vehicle's main point of contact with the road, meaning they are crucial in ensuring its stability and handling are sufficiently safe.
Under current British legislation, cars must have a minimum of 1.6mm tread depth across the central three-quarters of the tyre, with motorists who fail to comply with this guidance facing a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points on their license.
TyreSafe estimates that some 1,200 fatal accidents were caused last year by defective, under-inflated or illegal tyres.
"The purchase of essential safety items such as tyres cannot be ignored, even with the economic pinch putting a squeeze on household budgets," Mr Jackson argued.
Online tyre retailer Delticom recently stressed the importance of good-quality tyres in ensuring safety systems such as anti-lock braking, electronic stability programmes and predictive emergency braking are all effective.
While these are helpful tools, they are useless unless a vehicle's tyres are sufficiently responsive, the company claimed.
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