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Simple checks could save lives, says Highways England

Almost three-quarters of motorway incidents related to tyre failure could be prevented if drivers carry out simple checks.

Man checking tyre pressure

Simple tyre safety checks could save lives, Highways England is warning.

More than 30 people were killed or seriously injured in motorway accidents in 2016 due to illegal or faulty tyres but an 18-month study by Highways England and Bridgestone says that commuters, commercial drivers and other road users can do a lot more to help reduce accidents through regular checking.

Bridgestone analysis of more than 1,000 pieces of tyre debris from motorways found under-inflation of tyres a key theme, along with poor vehicle maintenance, both of which accounted for 26% of the entire sample.

Samples also showed reckless driver practices, including temporary ‘space-saver’ spare tyres run to destruction along with a number of potentially lethal and illegal ‘string’ repairs – completely unsuitable at any speed, let alone 70mph speeds on motorways.

Richard Leonard, Highways England’s head of road safety, said: “This important research confirms our view that road users must play a bigger role and get into the habit of checking tyre pressures and tread depths and looking out for nails and other debris stuck in tyres before setting out on journeys. These simple checks could save lives.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.