Defective tyres largest ‘vehicle factor’ in fatal road crashes
Recent analysis carried out by the Road Safety Authority has indicated that tyres are a significantly larger factor in fatal road collisions than identified previously, far outweighing other vehicle defects.
Between 2008 and 2012, there were 983 fatal collisions on our roads, claiming the lives of 1,077 people. This staggering amount is equivalent to the population of various locations across Ireland including Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath, Johnstown, Co.Kildare and Ennistymon, Co. Clare.
‘Vehicle factors’ accounted for approximately 14% of fatalities.
Tyre condition amounted for almost 70% of these factors and defective tyres were more frequent in single vehicle rather than multi-vehicle crashes.
Issues with tyres would include:
- Worn threads
- Ill-fitting tyres
- Dangerously worn tyres
With over 10% being dangerously under-inflated, ill-fitted or the wrong size entirely.
The RSA also combined the state of the tyres with behavioural issues due to fatigue, distraction or alcohol or illegal substance intake, as predominant factors in these fatal collisions.
The research of the RSA went on to highlight the following:
- 21 vehicles involved in fatal crashes which were deemed to have defecive tyres had lost control on a bend.
- A total of 18 people were killed, with 6 seriously injured due to collisions involving a vehicle with defective brakes.
- 22 people were killed and 6 seriously injured in collisions where a vehicle had other defects including cut suspensions, wipers not working or inefficient lights.
- The county with the largest proportion of culpable drivers who had defective tyres was Donegal, with 18.2% of the total figure.
Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe told RTÉ the report “highlights just how important it is that every aspect of a vehicle, whether a car, truck, van or motorcycle, is in proper, roadworthy condition.”
“But we can take personal responsibility for ensuring our vehicle is properly maintained so that we can rely on our tyres responding to the conditions as they should or our brakes working when they need to.”
He is also working on bringing in defective tyres as a penalty-points offence.