That’s according to research announced today (24 April) at the Commercial Vehicle Show, by Highways England and Bridgestone, and follows what is said to be the largest tyre debris study ever undertaken.
The 18-month study analysed tyre debris from England’s motorway network: almost three quarters of the samples involved poor inflation or debris penetration issues – problems which could be avoided with better tyre husbandry.
Thirty-two people were killed or seriously injured in motorway accidents in 2016 due to illegal or faulty tyres.
Richard Leonard, Highways England’s head of road safety, said: “England’s motorways are the safest in the world, but we’re determined to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on them.
“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.”
Bridgestone and Highways England are partners in the multi-agency road safety charity Tyresafe. They worked together on the research over 18 months, from the beginning of 2016 to last summer.
Highways England staff provided Bridgestone’s technical engineering team with more than 1,000 samples of tyre debris from the M1, M6, M40, M5 and M42.
More than half (56%) failed due to road/yard debris penetration; 18% due to poor inflation; and 8% due to poor vehicle maintenance.
“With proper vehicle inspection and maintenance programmes, many of the failure methods noted should be detectable and preventable,” said Gary Powell, Bridgestone’s technican manager, who oversaw the debris analysis project.
“In light of these results, we would also advise that tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are fitted to vehicles which don’t benefit from this technology already. It will assist with the detection of penetrations and deflations.”
To see a video giving more details of the study, click the link below.