Tyre safety campaign launched by acting Transport Minister

Defective tyres were a significant factor in road traffic accidents assessed between 2008 and 2012, according to a new study.

Defective tyres were a significant factor in road traffic accidents assessed between 2008 and 2012, according to a new study.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe joined the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána to launch a major tyre safety awareness campaign on Monday.
A new report from the RSA has revealed that vehicle factors played a role in 1 in 8 (101) fatal collisions in the period 2008 to 2012.
Defective tyres were the most significant factor, representing almost two thirds (64.1% or 66) of all vehicle factors identified.
This was revealed at the launch of a landmark new report ‘Pre-Crash Report on Vehicle Factors in Fatal Collisions’, the first of its kind in Ireland, which analysed An Garda Síochána Forensic Collision Investigation reports in order to identify the main contributory factors in collisions on Irish roads.
The report was launched on Monday by the RSA, Minister Donohoe and An Garda Síochána.
Some 983 fatal collisions occurred on Irish roads between 2008 and 2012, claiming the lives of 1,077 people. The forensic details of 867 fatal collisions were analysed to identify the cause of the collision – of these, 858 involved a motorised vehicle. Vehicle factors, such as defective tyres, brakes, steering or suspension, were found to have contributed to 101 of these fatal collisions, in combination with behavioural factors such as speeding, alcohol or drug use.
Defective tyres were the most significant factor, representing almost two thirds (64.1% or 66) of all vehicle factors identified as contributory to the collision. The report also found that defective brakes were also a contributory factor in road collisions between 2008 and 2012, contributing to 18 deaths and 6 serious injuries in collisions where a vehicle had defective brakes.
The main findings of the report are:
* Of 858 fatal collisions in Ireland between 2008 and 2012, motorised vehicle factors contributed to 101 collisions (12%)
* Vehicle factors were a contributory factor in 12% of all collisions. Of these tyres were the main contributory factor accounting for 8%.
* Of collisions where vehicle factors were noted the condition of tyres accounted for almost two thirds (64.1% or 66) of collisions
* Defective tyres were more prevalent in single vehicle crashes (74.1%) when compared to multiple vehicle crashes (57.6%)
* 111 people lost their lives and 30 were seriously injured in collisions where vehicle defects were a contributory factor.
* 71 people were killed and 19 were seriously injured in a collision where a vehicle had defective tyres as a contributory factor.
* 18 people were killed and 6 were seriously injured in a collision where a vehicle had defective brakes
* 17-24 year old drivers accounted for almost half (47%) of fatal collisions involving defective, worn, over or underinflated tyres
* The highest proportion of drivers with defective tyres were in Donegal (18.2%), followed by Cork, Kerry and Wexford (9.1% each)
* Losing control on a bend on a regional road and on a road surface that was dry at the time were typical scenarios noted in the investigation reports.
Said Minister Paschal Donohoe: “This 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.
“None of us can predict what will happen when we use the roads – we may encounter other drivers behaving poorly, or weather conditions could be particularly bad. 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.
“To highlight how critical this is to our safety on the roads, work is currently on-going to bring the offence of defective and non-roadworthy tyres within the penalty point system. So I would urge people to take preventative measures by checking their vehicles regularly and ensure they are roadworthy.”
The report also found that over half (51.5%) of the tyres on the 66 vehicles with defective tyres were excessively or dangerously worn and 10.6% were underinflated, some dangerously low. Six per cent were a combination of excessively worn, underinflated, the wrong size or fitted in the wrong direction.
The RSA and An Garda Síochána are advising road-users to get their tyres checked regularly at Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) and SIMI-registered garages and give themselves the peace of mind that their tyres are roadworthy.
Said RSA CEO Moyagh Murdock: “Every driver has a personal responsibility to ensure that the vehicle they are driving is in a roadworthy condition. This means conducting regular walk around checks on the vehicle before a journey to spot obvious issues like broken lights, worn tyres and worn windscreen wipers.
“It also means ensuring your vehicle is serviced regularly by a qualified mechanic, this should be at least twice a year, with one a general health check and one a more detailed check.”

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