Worn tyres linked to more crashes
Worn tyres have been linked to 32 fatal road crashes over the past three years and the Motor Trade Association says vehicle safety should be addressed as part of the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport.
MTA Chief Executive Craig Pomare says the draft policy focuses on median strips and other road improvements to help bring down the road toll.
“However, the government is overlooking the 9 percent of fatal crashes that are linked to some sort of vehicle fault –often worn tyres. Road factors are linked to 10 percent of road deaths.”
Mr Pomare says worn tyres have been linked to a growing number of crashes since the warrant of fitness system was changed in 2014 (up from 107 crashes in 2014 to 166 in 2017).
“It is vital drivers check their tyres every few months to make sure there is plenty of tread to get them out of trouble if they need to brake suddenly.”
He says MTA recommends people upgrade their tyres once they reach around 3mm of depth, rather than wait until the minimum allowable depth of 1.5mm. “At 1.5mm you have half the stopping distance of a new tyre.
“All the international research shows that the more tread a tyre has, the safer you’ll be if you have to brake hard or accelerate out of a dangerous situation on the road.”
Mr Pomare urges all drivers to check their cars every six months to make sure the brakes, tyres, lights, suspension and steering are all in top shape. Last year, over half a million vehicles failed their warrant of fitness because their tyres were in poor condition.
“If you don’t feel confident about doing the check yourself, take your vehicle into your local MTA workshop,” he said.
You can view some road toll graphs related to vehicle factors here.