Drivers urged to make 'vital' tyre checks or risk dangerous road safety issues that impact thousands

Drivers urged to make 'vital' tyre checks or risk dangerous road safety issues that impact thousands

WATCH: Penalties 'SURGE' as roads descend into CHAOS

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 21/05/2024

- 14:25

Updated: 21/05/2024

- 14:26

More than 18,000 people have been injured in tyre-related incidents

Road safety experts are calling on drivers to check that their tyres are roadworthy before setting off as more tyre-related incidents sweep across the UK.

Tyre failure is caused by cracked and decayed tyre rubber which can cause incidents on the roads particularly during the warmer months.

An AA survey found that despite more than 180 tyre-related accidents this year, almost half (47 per cent) of drivers do not know how to check their wheels.

Meanwhile, one in 10 road users stated that they expect the age of their tyres to be checked as part of the annual MOT test.

Do you have a story you'd like to share? Get in touch by

Tyre check

Drivers are being urged to check the durability of their tyres in the summer


Some simple checks drivers can do include confirming the date of manufacture of the vehicle's tyres, and visually inspecting the tread and sidewalls for cracks.

Drivers should also regularly check if the spare tyre (if available) is serviceable or if the wheel is heavily corroded.

To check how old a tyre is, motorists can look on the side of the wheel where there is a four-digit number code. The first pair of numbers is the week of manufacture while the second set of numbers is the year of manufacture.

For example, 0720 written on the tyre denotes that they were made in the seventh week of 2020.

The latest Government figures revealed that tyre defects were responsible for the death or serious injury of more than 18,000 people between 2013 and 2022.

Caravan and holiday trailer tyres were noted as being particularly susceptible to failure risks during the summer.

Last year, AA maintenance crews attended more than 620,000 tyre-related faults around the UK.

The majority of the callouts could have been avoided if the driver carried out simple checks before using the vehicle, the AA warned.

Any tyres manufactured after 2000 will have a four-digit code, the AA explained, allowing them to see when they were made.

But, if drivers find a three-digit code, it means they were made before 2000 and should be replaced immediately.

From February 2021, it became illegal to operate a heavy vehicle or certain types of minibus with tyres more than 10 years old.

If a driver is stopped and the vehicle tyres are found to be defective, drivers can be slapped with a hefty fine and given at least three penalty points.


Driver replacing car tyres

Driving with faulty tyres can see motorists get slapped with hefty fines


Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said it is worth remembering that tyres are “your number one safety asset” as they keep drivers on the road.

If more tyres were in better condition, they would be less likely to be affected by road debris and potholes, he explained.

Checking tyre pressures, treads and sidewalls regularly for cracks is “vital” when it comes to keeping your passengers and other road users safe, King commented.

You may like