The Danger With Part-Worn Tyres
Sometimes it needs a horrible story to make someone stop and think what they are doing, or plan to do in the future. It’s like saying the best way to learn is to make a mistake, or see someone else do it.
This is a case of the latter.
41 year-old Keith Johnston from Tyne and Wear suffered terrible life-changing injuries in a crash involving his Renault Megane Scenic in February this year and is now permanently paralysed from the top of his chest down, only able to move his arms and neck. Apart from the severe physical injuries he has also experienced damaging emotional scars, often enduring nightmarish flashbacks to that fateful day when he was driving near Carlisle.
At the time of the accident, temperatures were well below freezing and he lost control going round a bend. His car bumped across the road and rolled down a ditch. Keith was severely injured but there was one saving grace as the four passengers in the car escaped uninjured.
A police investigation blamed Keith’s tyres as a major contributory factor in the accident.
All of the tyres on the car had recently been purchased in a part-worn condition, the front pair having only been recently fitted but the rear tyres were found to have an illegal tread depth even though they had only been on the car for a couple of months.
Buying part worn tyres and replacing them every few months was something that Keith had always done, unaware of the safety risks associated with buying used tyres.
“I thought I was saving money with part worn tyres but I’ve paid a terrible price,” said Keith. “If I knew then what I know now, I would never have bought part worn tyres. Unfortunately for me it’s too late but I would urge other drivers to steer clear of part worn tyres and always opt for brand new ones.”
Keith is hoping to return home soon after having already spent several months undergoing intensive rehabilitation in hospital, but he will need round-the-clock care when he does.
“My life has changed for ever but I hope that some good can come out of it. My message is; Think again if you are considering fitting part worn tyres,” said Keith.
Keith’s situation has been highlighted by TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation, who recently revealed the alarming findings of an ongoing investigation it carried out with Auto Express magazine into part worn tyres.
In the investigation they bought 50 part worn tyres and had them inspected by an independent tyre expert. Of those 50 tyres, 98% of them were being sold as illegal, and over a third were found to contain other potentially dangerous forms of damage or non-compliance with part worn tyre legislation.
One of them even had a metal object penetrating 5cm through the tread, meaning that it was likely to result in sudden and total tyre failure had it been fitted to a vehicle, and others broke safety standards by including dangerous and unsafe repairs, exposed cords, bead damage and evidence of runflat damage.
Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe: “All tyres suffer from wear over time but TyreSafe always advocates the fitting of brand new tyres as the safest option. It’s impossible to know the history of part worn tyres and the true extent of any damage which may have occurred inside the tyre. Only by choosing brand new tyres can you be sure that it is free for any hidden dangers and able to offer the safest driving possible.”
Keith certainly wishes he had!