An estimated 6 million tyres on the road have illegal tread, according to TyreSafe’s recent Tread Depth Survey, meaning many drivers risk three penalty points and a fine, which can be up to a maximum of £2,500, for each defective or illegal tyre. As well as the risks posed by illegal tread on tyres, almost 542,287 drivers are just two tyres away from an automatic driving ban and almost 100,000 who have nine points are just a single tyre away, according to a recent IAM RoadSmart report. These numbers have risen recently – the number of drivers with nine points on their licence has risen 8 per cent in the last year – indicating an urgent need for drivers to pay closer attention to road safety both in their driving behaviour and attention to vehicle maintenance.
TyreSafe and the National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) have entered a new partnership to promote safe and sustainable biking. The mutual support between the organisations focuses on the need for extra emphasis on vehicle maintenance and a reduction in the number of avoidable defects identified by the rate of motorcycle MOT failures, surprisingly comparable with that of cars; a third fail their first inspection according to DVSA data. Of all the defects leading to an initial MOT failure, the largest proportion of those classified as ‘dangerous’ are tyres at 29 per cent.
A landmark new study by TyreSafe, Imperial College, London, and National Highways has revealed that more than half of tyres replaced in the UK have illegal or borderline tread depth. The tyre safety charity said the eye-opening data underscores the urgent need for increased awareness and action. TyreSafe published the report on tyre maintenance and safety practices among motorists, which is available to download now, ahead of the country’s Road Safety Week.
TyreSafe has partnered with Brake ahead of Road Safety Week 2023 (week commencing 19 November). TyreSafe said the partnership aims to support Brake’s ‘Let’s talk about speed’ campaign, which challenges drivers and passengers to be open about issues related to speeding. TyreSafe describes the week as a significant platform to raise awareness about the critical importance of safe driving practices and the devastating consequences of speeding. Brake’s 2023 campaign highlights the risks associated with driving too fast and on defective tyres.
Bridgestone spread the tyre safety message to hundreds of motorists across October with free tyre safety checks and postcards at two events during Tyre Safety Month. Bridgestone said it communicated the messages to hundreds of motorists at Roadchef’s Norton Canes Services on the M6 Toll in Staffordshire on 19 October, carrying out free safety checks throughout the day. The company repeated these activities at Ireland’s Japfest in Mondello Park, where it encouraged young drivers to get into the habit of checking their tyres regularly.
TyreSafe chair, Stuart Lovatt, has appeared on two episodes of the Driving for Better Business podcast. Lovatt provided a range of tyre safety insights, covering first the impact of tyre safety on fleet managers, and secondly a look at company cars and grey fleet, with tyres for electric vehicles, part-worn tyres and October’s Tyre Safety Month all discussed. Lovatt gave tips on mitigating risk, saving money and staying safe when driving for work. Both episodes are embedded below, or you can access them on the Driving for Better Business website and via various podcast platforms.
TyreSafe exhibited at the ADINJC & Intelligent Instructor National Conference & Expo (Newark Showground, Nottingham; 8 October), continuing its mission to connect with road safety stakeholders. Almost 1,000 driving instructors and trainers from across the country attended, with a wide range of educational seminars, presentations, and dedicated zones covering various aspects of the driver training industry. TyreSafe has committed to supporting the promotion of road safety information and resources within the driver training community, and said that it welcomed hundreds to its stand, from which it was sharing tips, guidance and information about the crucial role tyres play in overall road safety. The organisation recently formed a new partnership with Intelligent Instructor, signalling its intent to build its relationship with instructors.
With wet autumn weather yielding treacherous driving conditions, road safety charity TyreSafe is urging drivers to remain diligent and prioritise safety on the road. The Met Office’s yellow weather warnings for heavy rainfall mean roads can pose significant challenges for motorists, but quality tyres in good condition can significantly improve safety in deep water. A TyreSafe video, embedded below, demonstrates how well-maintained tyres can help avoid aquaplaning.
A survey of 2,000 UK car owners conducted online by Research Without Barriers on behalf of Bridgestone generated some damning figures for tyre safety. Of the drivers surveyed, 81 per cent admitted to never checking their tyres, and only 14 per cent described them as the most important safety feature on their cars. Other headline statistics from Bridgestone’s research include 54 per cent not knowing that driving on illegal tyres is an extremely dangerous act, only 31 per cent of motorists admitting to being well informed on road safety matters and just 12 per cent checking their tyre treads once a fortnight, the recommended interval between checks. For more on this story, click through to the consumer tyre advice website from the Tyrepress team, WhatTyre.
TyreSafe’s annual briefing demonstrated the organisation’s current strategy to expand the distribution of tyre safety information and resources via a broad range of stakeholders. This strategy was exemplified earlier in the year when it announced its partnership with Intelligent Instructor, the resource hub for driving instructors. The dynamic collaboration aims to empower Intelligent Instructor’s vast audience with the latest tyre safety advice and guidance to promote safer driving practices among driving instructors and their learner drivers. In return, TyreSafe said it would gain invaluable opportunities to disseminate their crucial tyre safety message through newsletters and targeted communications.
TyreSafe has held its annual briefing with a slick online presentation designed to demonstrate its direction under a new chair. Presenting contributions from a veritable rollcall of regional and national road safety and risk management stakeholders, chair Stuart Lovatt and TyreSafe manager Jason Simms detailed the last 12 months of TyreSafe’s activities, which have included a tyre safety demonstration day at Mira, the development of new and existing partnerships with road safety organisations such as National Highways, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), Roadsafe, and several fire and police service representatives, and a range of events in local communities around the country. Lovatt explained how TyreSafe’s work is of crucial importance to the Safe System Approach, the widely accepted strategy on reducing the number of fatalities, casualties and incidents on Britain’s roads. Emma Burley, Tyresafe communications lead, also introduced the 2023 Tyre Safety Month Campaign, ‘Be Safe and Save’, indicating another way in which TyreSafe is tweaking its approach in 2023. The campaign emphasises how maintaining the good condition of tyres fitted to cars also reduce costs to motorists, a tyre safety message designed to resonate deeply in the cost-of-living crisis. TyreSafe also unveiled its latest national tread depth survey, conducted with the assistance of members at the point of replacement. Before launching into the briefing, Lovatt and Simms also paid tribute to previous chair Stuart Jackson, who stepped down after 14 years at the helm last year, prior to Lovatt’s election.
Halfords has attended its first on-ground tyre safety event, marking its tenth anniversary as a member of TyreSafe. The company provided free tyre safety checks to motorists in Blackburn on Friday 28 July at ASDA. Aiming to champion tyre safety and raise awareness of crucial tyre checks in the local community, 75 per cent of tyres received advisories, with perishing a major issue alongside the more commonly understood inflation and tread depth defects. Halfords has recently extended its involvement with the tyre safety organisation, appointing Morgan Jamison, its head of marketing, to the TyreSafe Steering Committee.
Over a third of UK drivers (40%) cannot confidently carry out a tyre tread check, according to new research by automotive marketplace eBay. The research, commissioned by eBay UK and conducted by Toluna, surveyed 2020 total respondents with driver’s licences carried out by Toluna in April 2023, found that more than half (53%) of 18 – 34-year-olds don’t know how to check that their tyre tread is within the legal limit. Apparently, older generations also lack confidence when it comes to tread depth checks, with more than a third of 35-54 year-olds revealing the same knowledge gap.
A recent analysis of over 38 million MOTs conducted in 2021 has found that almost one in five resulted in failure, with tyres the most common cause. Poor condition tyres or not meeting the legal requirement of at least 1.6mm of tread depth contributed to 1,101,839 MOT failures across the UK in a single year. Furthermore, the driver-side front tyre tread depth accounted for more than a quarter of these, the equivalent of 368,853 MOT failures, One Sure Insurance found.
Breakdown cover provider Start Rescue has added its voice to the automotive industry chorus singing a tyre safety message to the motoring public. With 20 per cent of all requests for roadside help it receives being tyre- or wheel-related, Start Rescue is particularly focusing on the hazards of driving on ageing tyres, something that campervan and classic car owners need to look out for.