Tyresafe: More Cars Likely to Run on Part Worns
One in 10 drivers is more likely to buy part worn tyres compared with 12 months ago, according to new research conducted by TyreSafe. In response to the findings the tyre safety group warned that not only are part worn tyres false economy, but they could pose a significant safety hazard to drivers and other road users and “the number of tyre related deaths and accidents on the UK’s roads could be set to rise.” In 2008, illegal, under-inflated or defective tyres contributed to the deaths of 34 drivers and the injuries of more than 900 other motorists.
TyreSafe’s research found that as many as one in six drivers had bought part worn tyres for their car at some point. It also found that younger drivers are much more likely to compared with older drivers. One in five drivers aged between 18-34 said they were more likely to buy part worn tyres compared with 12 months ago, whereas only one in twenty drivers aged over 55 said they were more likely to buy part worns.
“Tyres play a critical role in vehicle safety and consequently, some very strict requirements exist regarding the sale of part worn tyres,” warns Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “If part worn tyres are bought from an unreliable source or do not meet the required standards, drivers could be placing themselves and other road users in significant danger. We understand the financial pressures being faced by many motorists but the risks associated with fitting part worn tyres are too high and we would always recommend fitting brand new tyres.”
One of TyreSafe’s primary concerns with part worn tyres relates to the internal structure of the tyre. Regulations require that part worns must be free from large cuts, bulges and lumps and must not have any of their plies or cords exposed. However, without a thorough examination of the internal components of the tyre using an x-ray machine, TyreSafe claims it is impossible to tell what unseen damage may have occurred.
Among the many regulations regarding part worn tyres, they must be permanently marked as such. They must also have at least 2mm of tread depth around the whole tyre and the original grooves must be clearly visible in their entirety. Any repairs to the tyre must have been carried out in accordance with British Standards BS AU 159.
Part worn tyres can come from a variety of sources meaning that it is extremely difficult to understand their history. Some are removed from vehicles which have been written off following an accident; others are put back into service having been changed by their original owner; and others arise from situations where drivers switch between a set of summer and winter tyres and choose to refit brand new tyres rather than refitting their old set.
TyreSafe conducted its research via telephone interviews as part of an Omnibus survey over the weekends of 20/21 and 27/28 February 2010.
• 253 out of 1563 (16%) of drivers admitted they had at some point bought part worn tyres for their car
• 104 out of 911 (11%) of drivers said they were more likely to buy part worn tyres compared with 12 months ago
• 45 out of 217 (21%) of drivers aged between 18-34 said they were more likely to buy part worn tyres compared with 12 months ago
• 18 out of 356 (5%) of drivers aged over 55 said they were more likely to buy part worn tyres compared with 12 months ago