Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority are urging motorists to check their tyres regularly, as faulty tyres are linked to 10% of deaths on the road each year.
For Tyre Safety Day on Wednesday, Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) dealerships nationwide will be offering a free tyre safety check.
Galway TD and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton said that it’s incredible important that motorists ensure that their tyres are fit for driving on.
“This is especially important as the winter months approach, and we face into poor weather conditions. For example, driving in wet or icy conditions can lead to loss of grip and increased risk of skidding, especially when driving on defective tyres.”
As part of Tyre Safety day today, Gardaí will be conducting roadside checks in conjunction with vehicle inspectors from the RSA on motorists’ tyres.
People caught with defective tyres on their vehicle, below the minimum depth thread of 1.6mm for cars and 1mm for motorbikes, could receive four penalty points, along with an on the spot fine of €120.
Chief Superintendent Mick Hennebry from the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said “Gardaí regularly deal with collisions in which people are killed or suffer serious life-changing injuries. Some of these collisions involve people driving with defective tyres.”
“Such collisions can be avoided if you ensure your vehicle is roadworthy and you drive at a safe speed. Ensuring you have appropriate tyres on your car will make the roads safer for all road users.”
To date in 2021 a total of 108 lives have been lost on the road, nine fewer than in the same period last year.
Between August 31 of last year, and September 1, 2021, almost 1.4 million NCT tests were carried out, and of those more than 100,000 vehicles received a fail grade for their tyres.
This included 35,871 (2.57%) receiving a fail dangerous result as the tyre tread was less than 1.6mm.
Sam Waide, Chief Executive of the RSA, said that “Based on our analysis of Garda forensic road collision reports we estimate that defective tyres could be a contributory factor in as many one in ten fatal crashes annually, resulting in approximately 14 deaths each year.”
“We are calling on motorists to ‘get a grip’ when it comes to tyre safety, don’t wait for your NCT to check if your tyres are roadworthy. Conduct a regular walk-around of your car and check.”
“Take your car to the local forecourt or ITIA dealer and check the pressure. If your vehicle’s tyres show signs of deterioration, you should have them replaced immediately.”