DANGEROUS TYRES BLIGHTING OUR ROADS, WARNS CARDIFF TYRE BOSS
15 May 2015
The manager of a tyre and vehicle maintenance centre in Hadfield Road, Cardiff, is urging motorists to check the condition of their tyres ahead of the half-term getaway.
Andrew Davies-Llewellyn, Centre Operations Manager of ATS Euromaster Cardiff, says that nearly three quarters of the tyres his team have replaced this year have had less than 1.6mm of tread remaining – meaning they were illegal when customers drove onto the forecourt.
“Motorists are gambling with their own safety, plus that of their passengers and other road users,” he warns. “A vehicle with illegal tyres won’t be able to stop quickly and is at constant risk of suffering a catastrophic tyre failure. We’re seeing increasing numbers of AA and RAC recoveries being towed into our centre because of blow-outs.”
Andrew says that illegal tyres are being found on all vehicle types and ages – including premium cars, family run-arounds, vans and even taxis.
“A motorist came in the other day and we pointed out she had four illegal tyres, but she wasn’t interested in replacing them. I wish I could say it was an isolated incident, but it’s become commonplace.”
A bald tyre, or one with the steel cords visible, is a ticking time bomb which risks losing its structure with every rotation. As the only part of a vehicle in contact with the road’s surface, the impact upon vehicle handling and stopping distances is significant.
“My team are experts in tyre safety, but all we can do is give honest advice and offer the best deal we can – we’re not the Police, we can’t force drivers to fit new tyres.”
With the half-term getaway fast approaching, Andrew is urging owners to spend a few minutes checking their tyres now, before making long journeys with their family.
“A lot of people don’t realise, but if you’re involved in an accident and are found to have an illegal tyre on your vehicle then you risk your insurance policy being declared void, because your vehicle is illegal for road use.”
Andrew, 30, has worked at ATS Euromaster for three years and has been in the tyre industry since he was just 15. He heads a five-man team at the Hadfield Road centre, which has 8 bays and undertakes everything from tyre and fast-fit work, to vehicle servicing and MOTs. It is one of eight ATS Euromaster centres located within 20 miles of Cardiff, and more than 340 nationwide.
ATS Euromaster advises motorists to check their tyre tread depth, condition and pressures at least once a month and before any long journey. Motorists can also call into any ATS Euromaster centre for a free tyre safety check – with no obligation, and no appointment required.
Department for Transport statistics from 2013 show that illegal, defective or underinflated tyres were the most common vehicle defect contributing to accidents in Great Britain where a Police officer attended the scene.
Tyres and the law
If you drive with damaged or extremely worn tyres you risk being fined, receiving points on your driving license, invalidating your vehicle insurance policy and endangering lives.
Car and van tyres must be fit for purpose. This means being compatible with the tyres fitted to the other wheels, not have any lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial failure of the structure, not have a cut or tear in excess of 25mm or 10% of the sectional width of the tyre, whichever is the greater, and which is deep enough to reach the ply or cord. Furthermore, no part of the ply or cord can be exposed.
The remaining tread depth must also be at least 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the centre three-quarters of the tread and around the entire circumference.
For expert tyre advice visit your local ATS Euromaster centre or www.atseuromaster.co.uk/tyres
About ATS Euromaster
Birmingham-based ATS Euromaster Ltd, part of the Euromaster Group, was established in 1965 and operates approximately 345 centres, more than 820 service vans and employs nearly 2,600 people, providing coverage across Great Britain. It is the country’s largest comprehensive tyre distributor, supplying tyres for cars, vans, trucks, buses/coaches, materials handling equipment, agricultural machinery and construction plant. The company’s expertise also extends to car and van service, maintenance and repair (SMR), including: menu-driven servicing, Class IV & Class VII MoT tests, brakes, batteries, shock absorbers, oil, exhausts, fault diagnostics and air-conditioning servicing. ATS Euromaster is accredited by both safecontractor and the Contractors Health and Safety Scheme (CHAS) and has been granted a Royal Warrant as tyre specialists to Her Majesty The Queen. It is also an official ‘industry partner’ to the Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence programme. For further information visit: http://www.atseuromaster.co.uk
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