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Car Tyre Breakdown: A Critical Issue on Our Roads

Jun 22, 2024 | Industry News, Tyre Maintenance, Tyre Safety

Every year, thousands of motorists face unexpected disruptions due to tyre issues. In fact, more than 41,500 breakdowns on National Highways roads last year were caused by tyre problems – accounting for over 20% of all breakdowns. With such a significant number, it’s crucial to understand how we can prevent these incidents and ensure safer journeys for all. At Tyres24, we are dedicated to helping motorists avoid these inconveniences with our comprehensive tyre services and 24-hour mobile tyre fitting service.

The Alarming Statistics

  • Total Breakdowns Due to Tyres (2021): 41,560
  • Total Breakdowns Due to Tyres (2020): 35,892
  • Breakdowns in the First Half of This Year: 19,300
Tyre Breakdown Statistics Chart
Tyre Breakdown Statistics

These statistics highlight a concerning trend. Despite a decrease in traffic during the 2020 lockdowns, tyre-related breakdowns have surged, emphasizing the need for increased awareness and proactive measures.

The Importance of Regular Tyre Checks

National Highways has launched a campaign urging drivers to perform regular tyre checks, especially before long journeys. Jeremy Phillips, Head of Road Safety at National Highways, underscores the importance of these checks:

“With schools breaking up for summer soon, there will be more people on the roads and taking longer journeys. We are reminding drivers to check their vehicles, particularly the tyres, before setting off. Unsafe tyres put you and others at risk as well as running the risk of attracting a hefty fine and penalty points.”

Key Reasons to Check Your Tyres:

  1. Prevent Breakdowns: Avoid the stress and danger of being stranded on the side of the road.
  2. Safety: Ensure optimal grip, braking distance, and steering capability.
  3. Legal Compliance: Avoid fines of £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre for driving with illegal tyres.

Summer: The Peak Season for Breakdowns

The summer holiday period sees a significant rise in breakdowns. In 2021, July and August witnessed 21,307 and 20,526 breakdowns respectively, averaging 5,000 per week.

Essential Tyre Maintenance Tips

National Highways’ Advice:

  1. Check Tyre Pressures: Ensure they are suitable for the load.
  2. Inspect for Damage: Look out for cuts or wear across the whole tyre, including the sidewall.
  3. Tread Depth: Legally required to have a minimum depth of 1.6mm. Use a 20p coin to check – if you can’t see the raised outer rim, the tread is sufficient.

Refer to the inside of the driver’s door, petrol cap, or your vehicle manual to find the recommended tyre pressure.

Expert Insights

Stefan Hay, Chief Executive of the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA), emphasizes:

“The latest statistics show that tyres remain the most common reason behind breakdowns on the strategic road network. Our research showed that 60% of motorists never check their tyres and lack knowledge regarding tyre management issues.”

By following these guidelines and staying informed, we can significantly reduce the number of tyre-related breakdowns and ensure a safer, more enjoyable driving experience for everyone. Stay safe and check your tyres regularly!