Motorists with bad tyres risking lives of all road users

An analysis of tyres replaced at a number of branches of nationwide tyre retailer and car maintenance provider, Advance Pitstop, has shown that a high number of vehicles on our roads are driving on seriously dangerous or defective tyres.

The analysis was carried out as part of leading German tyre manufacturer Continental Tyre Group’s commitment to its ‘Vision Zero’ strategy, a long-term plan to reduce accidents through tyre technologies and innovative automotive systems. Advance Pitstop is a wholly owned part of Continental Tyre Group.

Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland said: “It is really scary to think that these tyres were taken off vehicles that were driving on the roads of Ireland. The badly worn and damaged tyres included the full range of faults that you would expect to find on tyres that have been neglected for some period of time.

“These include tread depth worn down to below the legal minimum of 1.6mm and in some cases worn right down so that the wire carcass of the tyre can be seen; lumps, bulges, and holes in tyres again showing the wire carcass of the tyre; uneven wear with one side of the tyre worn down to dangerous levels due to incorrect balancing and tyre tracking.

“I would describe tyres like these as ticking bombs – nobody knows the ‘when’ or the ‘where’ that one of these tyres could lead to a catastrophic failure. For sure, it would not only be a disaster for the driver and occupants of the vehicle in question, but also for any other unsuspecting road user who just happened to be on the same road at the same time.”

Under the terms of the recently introduced tyre safety penalty point regime, if stopped by a garda the owners of any of these tyres would have been facing a fixed charge notice of €80 and up to four penalty points if the matter goes to court. The regulations came into force in April this year.

Continental Tyres is advising motorists that, in order to stay the right side of the law, it is very easy to carry out a quick tyre check on your car and that this should be done on a regular basis. However, and as the survey of replaced tyres shows, it is advisable that motorists bring their car for inspection by a trained tyre fitter at regular intervals.

In addition to checking for cuts, bumps, or uneven wear on a tyre, motorists can check the tread depth of their tyres very easily with the use of a €1 coin. The gold band on the front face of the coin is 3mm wide so by inserting the coin into the centre grooves of the tyre, you will be able to see how much tread is left on your tyre. The legal limit is 1.6mm.

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