Almost three-quarters of tyre-related motorway incidents could be avoided if drivers carried out simple checks, according to new research.

A study by Highways England and Bridgestone analysed more than 1,000 tyre fragments taken from the British motorway network and found that 74 percent of all blowouts were caused by debris and incorrect inflation.

According to Gary Powell, Bridgestone UK’s technical manager, both these issues could potentially be avoided with ‘correct tyre husbandry’.

Daily, weekly and monthly checks of tyre pressures and condition, he said, would help reduce the number of incidents seen on motorways.

‘With proper vehicle inspection and maintenance programs, many of the failure methods noted should be detectable and preventable,’ he said. ‘In light of these results, we would also advise that tyre pressure monitoring systems are fitted to vehicles that don’t already benefit from this technology. It will assist with the detection of penetrations and deflations.’

According to Highways England, more than 30 people a year are killed or seriously injured in tyre-related accidents, while the cost to the economy of closing a three-lane motorway for up to four hours is estimated to be almost £1.5 million. Getting into the habit of checking your tyres regularly might save some time on the commute, and lives.

‘England’s motorways are the safest in the world but we’re determined to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on them,’ said Richard Leonard, Highways England’s head of road safety.

‘This important research confirms our view that road users must play a bigger role and get into the habit of checking tyre pressures and tread depths and looking out for nails and other debris stuck in tyres before setting out on journeys. These simple checks could save lives.’

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