Despite safety recommendations stating that tyres should be checked once a month and before long journeys, 13% of respondents said they do not check their tyre pressure at all, while 16% never check tyre tread. This figure rises to 20% for 18-24 year olds.
And yet, the statistics found that 78% of men said they were completely confident they knew how to check the overall condition of the tyres on their vehicle by themselves. Women were less confident at 43%.
Worn or unsafe tyres can increase the chances of road accidents, yet the survey results suggest the majority of drivers aren’t doing the few basic checks necessary to ensure their tyres are in good condition.
October will see tyresonthedrive.com work with safety group TyreSafe to promote Tyre Safety Month. October was chosen to highlight this issue as it is the wettest month in the UK. As tyre performance worsens during wet weather, this makes October the perfect month to really show people how vital it is that their vehicle tyres should be checked regularly.
Figures just released on September 25 by the Department for Transport found that there were 968 casualties in the UK caused by illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres in 2013, of which 18 people were killed.
This figure is down slightly from the 1,238 road casualties in 2012, caused by illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres of which 25 people were killed and 169 seriously injured.
Additionally, drivers face three penalty points on their driving licence for having defective tyres.
Attitudes towards purchasing new tyres were also concerning, with 63% of respondents admitting they were a necessary expense but overall only four out of ten believing that their tyres were important for road safety.
Age again had an effect on this result with only 24% of 18-24 year olds appreciating that tyres are imperative to road safety compared to 62% of over 55s.
Commenting on the findings, Dominic Clark, CEO and founder of tyresonthedrive, said: ‘It’s worrying that a high percentage of drivers say they are confident at checking the tyre pressure and tyre tread of their vehicles, but so few of them actually do it on a regular basis.
‘Tyre safety is so very important and regular maintenance can prevent accidents, as well as saving money by being fuel-efficient. We hope our survey findings show how important it is for drivers to check their tyres regularly. We understand it’s easy to forget to do basic maintenance when we all have busy lives but the consequences of not checking far outweigh doing a two minute check.’
Tyresonthedrive also published three top tips for checking tyre health:
Tread depth – is the tread above the legal requirement of 1.6mm?
The average driver won’t have a tyre gauge to hand, so instead use the 20p test! The outer band of a 20p coin measures exactly 1.6mm, so place the coin between the grooves of your tyre and if the outer band is visible then your tyres need changing.
Tyre Pressure – are your tyres at your vehicle’s recommended PSI?
It’s incredibly quick and easy to measure your vehicles tyre pressure using a foot pump or a pump at a garage. Make sure you know the recommended PSI and check the tyre pressure every month or before you go on a long journey.
Overall health – have you noticed any significant changes to your tyres?
Can you see any bulging, cracks or discolouration? If so, get your tyres checked out immediately.