The Road Safety Authority (RSA), An Garda Síochána and the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA), have joined forces to warn all road users to check their tyres, as research has found that defective ones are a contributory factor in 14 road deaths annually.
Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the RSA, said that research carried out by her group showed that there is no component in a vehicle that is as likely to contribute to a crash as tyres.
Ms Murdock said: “Your tyres are the only point of contact between your car, van, or SUV and the road, and yet their importance to a vehicle’s safety and fuel economy is often overlooked.
“Each month 8,500 vehicles are classified as being dangerously defective for ‘Tyre Tread’ and ‘Tyre Condition’ across the NCT and CVRT testing systems. Driving on dangerous or under-inflated tyres puts your life and the lives of other road users at risk so don’t wait until your NCT comes around to check the health of your tyres, get to an ITIA dealer this week,” she added.
Assistant Garda Commissioner David Sheahan, National Roads Policing Bureau, added: “Defective tyres are a serious risk to yourself as the driver and your passenger.
"Gardaí encounter many tragedies on Irish roads and have to deal with people who have suffered serious life-changing injuries. Many of these can be avoided if your vehicle is roadworthy and you drive within the speed limit.
“Have your tyres checked regularly, reduce your speed and together we can make the roads safer. Members of the Roads Policing Units across the country will be mounting roadside checks in conjunction with Road Safety Authority Vehicle Inspectors.”
Motorists can call in to any ITIA dealer for a free tyre pressure check and tread depth inspection. Fergal Eiffee of the association told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that free checks will be carried out at any time, not just this week.
When asked about the cost of replacement tyres, Mr Eiffee said “What cost do you place on a life?”