Paralysed driver warns "never buy part-worn tyres"


A driver paralysed from the chest down in a serious road accident has been told that the part worn tyres he bought in good faith were a major contributory factor to his near-fatal crash.

"I thought I was saving money with part worn tyres but I've paid a terrible price," said Keith Johnston, 41 from Tyne and Wear. "If I knew then what I know now, I would never have bought part worn tyres. "Unfortunately for me it's too late but I would urge other drivers to steer clear of part worn tyres and always opt for brand new ones."

His accident took place last February when he was driving his Renault Scenic near Carlisle. In freezing temperatures, he lost control of the car on a bend and rolled down a ditch. All of the tyres on the car had recently been purchased in a part-worn condition and a police investigation found that the rear tyres were found to have an illegal tread depth even though they had only been on the car for a couple of months.

Keith had always bought part worn tyres and replaced them every few months. He has already spent several months undergoing intensive rehabilitation in hospital but he is hoping to return home shortly when he will have to adapt to his new life with round-the-clock care.

"My life has changed forever but I hope that some good can come out of it. My message is think again if you are considering fitting part worn tyres," said Keith.

We have covered this issue before, highlighting the worrying proportion of part-worn tyres that are sold in illegal condition. Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe commented: "All tyres suffer from wear over time but TyreSafe always advocates the fitting of brand new tyres as the safest option. "It's impossible to know the history of part worn tyres and the true extent of any damage which may have occurred inside the tyre."

While there are legitimate reasons why a decent tyre is being taken off a car and resold (e.g. the original owner fancies upgrading to wider wheels and tyres), most people do not take a tyre off their car when it is still in good condition. Any potential buyer of a part-worn tyre needs to ask themselves why the previous user was happy to get rid of it.