Illegal tyres cause road deaths

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Colin Windell

More than 60% of second-hand tyres in South Africa are illegal. Considering your life depends on little more than four hand-print sized pieces of rubber keeping you on the road, it is like playing Russian Roulette with all chambers loaded.

The choice between an illegal, worn-out tyre and a safe tyre could be a matter of life and death especially when you consider the various terrains and conditions we drive on. This is especially relevant when we get flash rains that make the road surface slippery. Although second-hand, worn-out tyres appear to be more cost effective, they reduce the performance of a vehicle by increasing stopping distances, raising the risk of skidding and increasing the risk of blow-outs.

At the launch of Transport Month earlier in October, President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “It pains me that our country continues to experience around 14 000 road deaths each year.”

“With more than 60% of second hand tyres in South Africa deemed illegal, road users need to understand the dangers of driving on unsafe, worn-out tyres. Unsafe second-hand or worn-out tyres are one of the major culprits that cause fatal consequences for road users,” says Darren Hayes-Powell, Group Managing Director at Goodyear South Africa.

Transport plays a critical role in sustaining our economy and commuting people to various destinations, therefore it is vital that we focus on the condition of tyres. A simple check at the end of each week will keep you on top of the safety and wear performance of your tyres. As you park, move the steering wheel to the left or right to expose the front tyres when you exit the vehicle. This will give you easy access and view of your front tyres.

 

Check your rear tyres as they may also wear differently depending on how you drive. These simple checks can ensure that you keep yourself, your passengers and the pedestrians around you safe as you drive.

Darren Hayes-Powell, concluded:  “Always make sure that your tyres are in good condition, that they are not worn out and if buying a second-hand tyre, that the tread wear indicator is visible, and there is no bulging on the side of the tyres. Park your car with the front tyres at an angle to make it easier to check their tread depth. This simple exercise, combined with a stringent quality check, can be the thin line between life and death.”