Wednesday 13 March 2013

Get A Grip - The Dangers of Part Worn Tyres

In this age of austerity one type of business which appears to be on the up are the outlets that trade on part-worn tyres.

In the past these tended to be restricted to seedy locations, underneath railway arches, but nowadays they seem to be rolling out in more obvious areas sporting colours and bunting which would be the envy of the more famous, high street favourite like Kwik-Fit, ATS, Tyrewise and the rest.

Whilst we can understand, in these challenging times, that the pennies are tight and we sometimes have to shop around for bargains, what price is safety?

In 2012  a study was carried out by  Tyresafe, one of the UK’s leading tyre safety organisations, dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers associated with defective or illegal tyres. The study, which involved the purchase of 50 random part-worn tyres from retailers across the UK, found that 98% were being sold illegally as they did not meet current requirements.
Of the tyres examined it was discovered that 33% contained faults which could prove to be fatal.
In 2012 there were more than 1200 road casualties where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor.

In another study compiled by Birmingham City Council, among the failures were tyres which had nails embedded, illegal tread depth, exposed cords, inadequate markings and one tyre which was 17 years old.

In the USA according to Safety Research & Strategies,
This as you can imagine means for lots of surplus tyres as a whole country changes tyres at least once a year. Tyre fitters usually buy these by the container load and sell them on as part worns at a cheaper price”.

“A tyre that can appear new on the outside can be compromised internally as the material and chemical properties of the tyre have changed significantly, increasing the risk of catastrophic tread / belt separation.  Think of those old rubber bands in your desk—when new and fresh they are very elastic, as they age the rubber properties change.  Stretching will result in cracking and they break much easier and more quickly then when they were new.  Yet, age does not automatically disqualify a tyre from the used tire market. Often—but not always—used tyres are older than new tires and stored, before sale, in conditions that may contribute to rapid deterioration”.

So where do the part-worn tyres originate?

According to one source on the web – “Certain countries (namely Germany) require by law for drivers to use winter tyres.  
Other areas include tyres removed from car wrecks or have had a puncture too close to the tyre wall for a reputable tyre trader to fix the puncture.

Why risk your own life along with fellow passengers and not forgetting other possible road travellers
So you have to ask yourself – is it worth it?

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Malcolm McNeill

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About the author
Malcolm McNeill is a well established IT consultant based in Glasgow, Scotland. His brainchild website was only launched in late 2012 but can now boast of many satisfied customers worldwide


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