Press release

‘Don’t become a statistic’ – tyre safety advice for drivers

More than 11,000 tyre-related incidents took place on England’s motorways and major roads last winter, statistics released today reveal.

Tyre safety advice for drivers

The incidents include punctures and blow outs which put road users and road workers in risk of danger. Most took place between October and December.

The statistics have been released by the Highways Agency in support of Tyre Safety Month, this October, which is organised by Tyre Safe, a non for profit UK tyre safety organisation that raises awareness of the dangers of worn, unsafe or defective tyres. Also as part of the month, Stuart Jackson, the Chair of Tyre Safe, presented Highways Agency Traffic Officers in the North West with special tyre safety gauges to hand out to drivers to give practical advice about tyre safety.

This year the focus of Tyre Safety Month is urging drivers to ensure tyres are ready for wet weather by checking that they have enough tread. This can be done easily using a 20 pence piece: if you can see the outer rim of the coin when it’s inserted into the main grooves of the tyre then they should be checked by a tyre professional.

Simon Sheldon-Wilson, Highways Agency Director of Customer Operations said:

It’s important to ensure that your tyres are ready for winter and that includes the kind of wet weather we saw last year. By checking your tyres at least once a month, you can make sure you have enough tread to control your vehicle in wet conditions and avoid aquaplaning at high speeds which could lead to disastrous consequences.

There were 11,057 tyre related incidents on motorways and major A roads in England last winter – don’t become a statistic and check your tyres are safe today.

Stuart Jackson said:

Last year was the wettest winter on record. Ahead of any wet weather we may encounter this winter, we’re reminding drivers to check that their tyres’ tread depth is deep enough to manage driving in wet conditions.

Having adequate tread depth means the tyres will be able to handle wet weather much better, remaining in control and reducing the real risk of aquaplaning.

Tyre Safe has published a short film online that compares the handling of two vehicles with different tread depths. This illustrates how important it is to have enough tread on your tyres to drive in wet conditions.

Short Film

Tyre Safe has also organised free tyre safety checks at participating local tyre dealers. For more information about that offer and more about the campaign visit:

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 1 October 2014