More than 15,000 breakdowns per year on English motorways are tyre-related, according to statistics released by the Highways Agency.
The Agency is supporting the launch of Tyre Safety Month in October – a campaign organised by not-for-profit group TyreSafe. It encourages drivers to make monthly checks on their tyre pressures to ensure they remain safe on the road. By driving on correctly inflated tyres, motorists also help their tyres to last longer and reduce their fuel bills.
The Agency’s incident logs show that between April and June 2013, 3,852 breakdowns on its network were tyre-related. Almost 30% of these had an impact on live traffic lanes.
Traffic management director Simon Sheldon-Wilson said: “By taking a few minutes to check your tyres, you could save yourself the distress, cost and possibly very serious consequences of having a tyre blow-out at high speed. A tyre failure can happen suddenly in fast-moving traffic, putting everyone at increased risk.
“Tyre debris in live lanes can cause danger for others, and our staff have to stop traffic and cross the carriageway to retrieve it.”
TyreSafe chairman Stuart Jackson added: “If driven while they are under-inflated, tyres are much more likely to overheat and suffer from a rapid deflation. This type of event can be extremely dangerous and make the car very difficult to control.”
To support TyreSafe’s campaign, the Agency will be sharing revealing CCTV footage throughout October showing the impact of tyre failures. The footage demonstrates the shocking consequences of a blow-out on a heavily laden vehicle, the financial consequences of a lengthy clear-up operation for a stranded vehicle following a tyre failure and the work traffic officers have to do to clear tyre debris from live lanes.
For more information about tyre safety visit www.tyresafe.org