170 motorists a week convicted over defective tyres
New figures from the Ministry of Justice reveal that an average of 170 motorists a week were convicted in 2012 for offences relating to the roadworthiness of their tyres.
In total 10,228 car owners found themselves in front of Magistrates last year, with 8,919 being successfully prosecuted after they were found to have tyres in a dangerous or defective condition.
"These latest figures are incredibly worrying and reflect the on-going challenge that we have in terms of raising the awareness about the importance of driving on safe and legal tyres," commented TyreSafe chairman Stuart Jackson.
"Regular checks which only take a few minutes to complete should be made at least once a month, yet it's clear from these latest figures that many drivers are simply not taking these precautions, risking not only prosecution through the courts but more importantly, their safety on the road."
One of the most important checks for drivers to carry out on their tyres is ensuring they all meet the minimum legal tread-depth requirement. With a fine and three penalty points endorsable for each tyre found to be under the limit, drivers can quickly find themselves looking at a potential ban should they be found to be driving with four illegally worn tyres.
TyreSafe recommends a quick and easy test to ensure your tyres meet the required 1.6mm of tread depth. Simply insert a 20p coin into the tread grooves and if the outer band is not obscured, the tyre may be below the legal limit.
The organisation also suggests drivers pay attention to the condition of tyre sidewalls and look out for structural defects such as bulges, cuts and lumps, which could potentially cause a blow-out at high speeds.
Even ensuring tyres are inflated to the correct pressure will ensure a car accelerates, stops and steers in the safest and most efficient manner possible.
Those concerned about the state of their tyres can find more information at TyreSafe's website.