New study suggests drivers need to make more maintenance checks when it comes to their vehicles
New alarming figures have revealed that 32 people were killed or seriously injured in accidents on UK motorways in 2016 because they’d suffered a tyre failure. The sad thing is, around three in four of them could have been prevented if the driver had carried out a simple maintenance check of the rubber on all four tyres.
In a unique study which took 18 months to complete, Highways England and Bridgestone looked in depth at motorway tyre failures, which involved studying pieces of debris collected from the motorway of failed tyres.
In total, 1,035 pieces of tyre were collected by officers from Highways England from the M1, M5, M6, M40 and M42. These tyre segments were then sent over to Bridgestone’s technical team for analysis.
A diagnosis of failures were detected that were determined by the following causes:
- 56% due to punctures
- 18% due to under inflation
- 8% due to poor maintenance
- 1% percent due to manufacturing defects
- 1% percent due to excessive heat
- 16% percent couldn’t be diagnosed
According to Highways England, these results show that 26% of tyre failures were caused by a lack of maintenance and the reason why they are now pushing the message – “simple checks save lives”.
Not only do tyre-related crashes endanger lives but they also cost money as a result of having to close the motorway following such an incident.
On many occasions the officers were able to collect pieces of tyre because the motorway was closed, with the cost for closing a three-lane motorway for 4 hours standing at around £1.5 million.
Technical manager for the tyre company Bridgestone said the report involved “a painstaking process of collecting tyre debris over 18 months and analysing it in depth later” and also went on to say that with the right vehicle inspections and possible maintenance programs in place, a good number of the failure methods pointed out should be noticeable and preventable.
Mr Powell has also suggested that vehicles with no tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) be equipped with this technology, as it can detect deflation and not only help with under inflation and poor maintenance, but may also provide the 56% of drivers who suffered a puncture the early warning needed to make them aware of the damage and could potentially save lives.
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