Uncertainty about the safety and logistics of foreign travel means more holidaymakers will drive to other parts of the UK. YouGov data shows 47 per cent of British holidaymakers are planning to visit another part of the country in 2021, with many relying on their vehicle to get them to their destination. This rise in longer car journeys has prompted TyreSafe to remind drivers that there are more tyre-related incidents on the roads in summer than at any other time of the year.
Only one in six drivers remembered to check their tyre pressure before setting off on a long journey, according to research commissioned by Highways England. Yet one in five motorway breakdowns are caused by worn or incorrectly inflated tyres and nearly a third of drivers confessed that they’re not confident checking tyre pressure.
On 1 February 2021, new legislation banning tyres aged over 10 years on the front steered axles of lorries, buses and coaches along with all single wheels of minibuses (9-16 passengers seats) came into force. The ban also includes horseboxes over 3.5 tonnes.
New research released today (31 March) reveals that the impact of the pandemic has resulted in the average driver reducing their mileage by 42 per cent over the last year. However, there has not been an equivalent drop in the amount of pothole damage to the nation’s vehicles.
Driving safety charity TyreSafe has given drivers a timely reminder to spare a thought for their vehicles’ tyres in the days and weeks before lockdown ends. Many vehicles won’t have been used much since Christmas and most of those that have are likely to have only been used for short trips. While it’s tempting to put maintenance checks on hold, TyreSafe is advising drivers to check their vehicle’s tyres during lockdown to potentially save themselves money in the long run and reduce the risk of a tyre-related incident when they do return to the roads.
A new YouGov survey commissioned by Protyre suggests that over 30 per cent of parents could be using dangerous tyres to ferry around their children. The online survey marks this year’s Tyre Safety Month campaign from TyreSafe and its members. Simon Hiorns, Protyre retail director, said that the findings “raise concerns about how much the public are taking on board the importance of tyre safety.” He added that the company wants to “remind parents and motorists generally that tyre safety is just as important as things like seat belts and child car seats.” Protyre also revealed that the proportion of tyres demounted at its branches below the legal tread depth continues to be above 50 per cent. This, it states, shows that the need for tyre professionals to communicate the importance of checking tyre safety remains high.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is urging the Government to remove the six-month MOT extension with immediate effect, following the Prime Minister’s announcement that further social distancing measures will be relaxed from 4 July.
Following the news that the DVSA will restart heavy vehicle testing from 4 July 2020, Tyres & Accessories understands that the government Department for Transport (DfT) is consulting on ending the rolling MOT extension initiated at the start of lockdown in March 2020. While DVSA published a statement on 19 June 2020 relating to restarting HGV tests, DfT has not yet answered T&A’s car MOT-related questions on the subject.
However, when we approached the National Tyre Distributors Association for a tyre industry perspective on the reports, the NTDA gave is full support to proposals to end the current temporary car MOT extension currently being given to the expiry dates of MOT tests as they become due. Specifically, the NTDA called for government to “restart with immediate effect” the normal MOT process.
The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) has postponed its 2020 National Tire Safety Week campaign, which was scheduled to take place between 18 and 24 May, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michelin has issued special guidance for haulage companies and own-account operators parking fleets for extended periods during the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows a survey by the Road Haulage Association which revealed 46 per cent of the UK’s trucks – around 240,000 vehicles – are now parked up with no work.
The UK Government exemption on MOTs for six months from 30 March 2020, may have come as welcome news to many motorists, but the NTDA has also raised serious concerns about its impact on future vehicle roadworthiness. The fact that the emphasis has been placed on motorists to ensure their vehicles are kept in a roadworthy condition, further raises concerns. In short, the NTDA believes this general exemption will create long-term problems.
Tread depth is essential to keep a vehicle in contact with the road in wet conditions and it remains a legal requirement, despite the introduction of a six-month exemption on MoT for Britain’s motorists. TyreSafe is reminding motorists that a tyre being driven below 1.6mm is illegal and if found by the police could result in a fine of up to £2,500 and three-points being added to a driver’s licence – per tyre.
The love and attention some motorcycle riders show their machines borders on obsessive, and this dedication to keeping bikes in top working order is reflected in MOT pass rates. Only 16.9 per cent of bikes fail their initial MOT tests, compared to 33.6 per cent of cars and 42.2 per cent of goods vehicles. But when motorcycles do fail, it’s often for problems that could have easily been rectified beforehand. Tyres are the leading ‘dangerous’ defect.