Thousands of UK families face a flat Easter as tyre-related callouts – over one of the busiest periods on UK roads – are likely to hit one every 45 seconds, according to research by AA Tyres.
And with more than 15 million cars on the roads over the Easter period, almost four million motorists could be “dicing with death”, as separate research provided to the AA by TyreSafe, the not-for-profit organisation raising awareness of tyre safety, reveals that one in four cars and vans on UK roads in 2015, was driven with an illegal and dangerous tyre.
The AA is expected to handle at least 7,500 tyre-related callouts over the Easter period across the UK, based on 2015 figures. That equates to almost 80 every hour, or one every 45 seconds.
Tyre-related problems are the second most common reason why drivers call for AA assistance, with more than 500,000 over the past 12 months. And it’s not surprising given that up to 10 million motorists were potentially driving with an illegal and dangerous tyre last year, according to TyreSafe’s research.
Tyre-related incidents can have devastating consequences. TyreSafe research revealed that over the past five years there has been an average of 1135 tyre-related casualties a year, and of those, 198 people were killed or seriously injured. Over the four-day Easter period that would equate to at least 12 tyre-related casualties, of which at least two people will be killed or seriously injured.
David Bruce, of AA Tyres, comments: “A puncture can’t always be helped, but thousands of motorists could be facing a miserable start to their Easter holidays if a tyre blows because it is worn, poorly inflated or damaged. And it could be far more life-altering than the misery of being stuck on the hard shoulder when you should be arriving at your Easter getaway destination.
“Tyres shouldn’t be considered optional extras. They are the only contact your vehicle has with the road. Sub-standard tyres could turn your vehicle into a potential death trap and it’s shocking how little attention many car owners pay to the condition of their tyres. For example, a recent AA-Populus survey for AA Tyres showed that of almost 19,000 AA members, who responded, nearly a quarter (25%) admitted to not checking tyre pressures for at least two months at a time.
“It’s vital that car owners recognise the importance of checking the condition of their tyres on a regular basis. It could literally be the difference between life and death.”