‘There are lies, damned lies and statistics.’ Mark Twain claimed Benjamin Disraeli said this in the 19th Century. True, some say that statistics can be misleading but they can also be sobering, to say the least. Take, for example, this figure, released in September by the Department for Transport. Apparently, illegal, defective and underinflated car tyres caused over 1,210 road casualties in Great Britain during 2010. Over the last five years, 164 motorists have died as a result of having defective car tyres, 18 of those deaths occurring in 2010, according to the Road Casualties in Great Britain report.
What can be done about this? Well, October is Tyre Safety Month. Not for profit organisation TyreSafe was established in 2006 and is now one of the UK’s leading tyre safety organisations. As its chairman Stuart Jackson says, “The latest figures are truly shocking and emphasise why we need ongoing action, education and awareness about tyre safety issues.”
TyreSafe is working hard to ensure that we are informed about the importance of looking after ourselves and the safety of others by looking after our car tyres. As part of Tyre Safety Month, drivers will be given a free tyre safety check. Where? Hundreds of tyre dealers and garages are taking part, so try your local ones.
There are also a number of online resources, to show you how to carry out critical car tyre safety checks quickly and easily. An enlightening online video, of a car being driven on ice, demonstrates the benefits of winter tyres.
Stuart Jackson continues, “If all drivers took just a few minutes every month to check their tyre pressures, condition and tread depth, we could help prevent this needless injury and loss of life. Our website contains some really simple guides to help drivers understand what to look for.”
Tyre Safety Month is as much about education as awareness. The abovementioned website has material that will leave you fully informed about your car tyres and safety. You can learn about checking your tyres’ tread depth and ensuring they contain the correct tyre pressure. There are also TyreSafe’s ‘Magnificent 7 Car Tyre Safety Tips’.
As we all know, the tail end of the summer season heralds the onset of poorer weather. We should also bear in mind that the need for car tyre safety monitoring will continue ad infinitum…it won’t go away when November blusters its way in. In the short term, you can take a look at the TyreSafe web site. In the longer term, you may want to consider investing in a set of winter tyres. Or you could reflect on the wisdom of looking after the tyres you already have, keeping them in prime condition and being aware of the need to replace then as and when necessary.
The bottom line is this. As has been said time and time again, your car tyres are all that are ultimately keeping you on the road. Assuming you have no desire to become a statistic, neglect them at your peril. Why not take a look at keeping your tyres safe– it might just be a life-saving bit of browsing.