Drivers urged to tread carefully

The rising cost of living could see motorists rejecting new tyres in favour of cheaper, part-worn tyres described by safety experts as ‘death traps’.

Research conducted by the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, has revealed that nearly 40% of the 1,000 drivers surveyed said they would consider purchasing part-worn tyres in an effort to save money as the financial squeeze tightens.

This potentially represents over 14 million motorists out of the 35.9 million drivers in the UK.

According to TyreSafe, on average, 159 people are killed or seriously injured every year as a result of defective tyre related accidents. It also discovered that 63% of part-worn tyres were unsafe to return to the road, and 93% were non-compliant.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “The importance of purchasing high quality tyres cannot be understated. Adequate tread depth is essential for safe driving on wet roads and facilitates effective acceleration, cornering and braking. Conversely, many part-worn tyres deliver longer stopping distances and reduced manoeuvrability, making them potential death traps.

“Therefore, we would urge hard-pressed drivers who are hesitating to purchase new tyres to ask themselves whether the additional cost of new tyres is worth putting yourself, as well as other road users, at risk.

“Drivers should also consider the cost per millimetre of usable tyres, rather than merely the initial purchase price. New tyres are normally sold with around eight millimetres of tread depth, whereas part-worn tyres have as little as two millimetres of tread.”