Defective tyres and brakes contributed to road deaths between 2008 and 2012

A new report from the Road Safety Authority (RSA ) has revealed that vehicle factors played a role in one in eight (101 ) fatal collisions in the period 2008 to 2012.

This was revealed at the launch of a landmark new report ‘Pre-Crash Report on Vehicle Factors in Fatal Collisions’, which analysed An Garda Síochána forensic collision investigation reports in order to identify the main contributory factors in collisions on Irish roads.

Some 983 fatal collisions occurred on Irish roads between 2008 and 2012, claiming the lives of 1,077 people. The forensic details of 867 fatal collisions were analysed to identify the cause of the collision.

Vehicle factors, such as defective tyres, brakes, steering, or suspension, were found to have contributed to 101 of these fatal collisions, in combination with behavioural factors such as speeding, alcohol, or drug use. Defective tyres were the most significant of these, representing almost two thirds of all vehicle factors identified as contributory to collisions. The report also found that defective brakes were a contributory factor, contributing to 18 deaths and six serious injuries.

Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the Road Safety Authority, said: “This report shows that tyres are the parts of your car that are most likely to put you at risk of a fatal collision if they’re not roadworthy. Don’t assume you can tell if there’s a problem just by looking at them – you can’t. I would strongly recommend that you check your tyres at least once a month.

“The easiest way to do this is to call into your local garage and get your tyres checked by an expert. Most will probably do this free of charge. When purchasing tyres, invest in tyres that will last and I would urge people not to purchase used tyres, you just can’t be sure of their history and this will cost you more in the long run.”

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