‘Abnormally old’ tyre fitted to crash coach
An inquest that opened at Woking Civic Offices yesterday adds substantial weight to the argument for tyre aging laws. The inquest into the crash of a 52-seat coach last September, which claimed three lives, has heard the coach lost control and left the road following the failure of a its front nearside tyre – a tyre manufactured more than 19 years earlier.
In its coverage of the inquest’s opening day, the BBC quoted David Price from Forensic Accident Investigation Services Limited, a tyre expert whose specialist knowledge has previously been used to investigate several high profile accidents, including Richard Hammond’s 300mph crash in 2006. Price confirmed that several of the six tyres fitted to the coach were old and the DOT code on the tyre that burst showed it to be “abnormally old”.
“This is one of the oldest tyres I have encountered failing,” said Price. He told the inquest that tyre manufacturers recommend tyres shouldn’t be fitted to cars if they are six years old, and should be replaced at ten years of age. He pointed out, however, that this was not a legal requirement and did not apply to coaches or lorries – a fact he described as “frustrating”.