Defective tyres have a significant impact on road deaths in Ireland, says new report

More than half of road deaths in Ireland caused by faulty tyres were young drivers under 24, says report

Defective tyres have a significant impact on road deaths in Ireland, says new report

Andrew Matthews / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Over half of road deaths in Ireland which were caused by defective tyres, were young drivers aged under 24, according to a new report.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is encouraging all motorists to check their tyres at least once a month after they discovered that 71 deaths were caused by faulty tyres between 2008 and 2012.

Vehicle factors played a role in 1 in 8 fatal collisions in the aforementioned period with defective tyres being indentified as the most dominant factor. Faulty breaks were also cited as a factor in road deaths, but on a lower scale compared to tyres.

Research Manager at the RSA, Maggie Martin, said that younger male drivers driving on regional roads are those most at risk. She also explained how better maintained tyres could have prevented the serious impact in some of the collisions.

''If you take other factors out of it. If you were to remove the tyres given the fact that they could have had inappropriate speed, they could have been speeding, they could have had alcohol. If they had good tyres it might not have had the same impact.''

Transport Minister Paschal Donoghue said:

''This is one of the reasons why research like this is so important. What it has been demonstrated to me now is that the quality of tyres is a very significant factor in influencing how road worthy a vehicle is.''

Among the main findings of the report are:

- Vehicle factors were a contributory factor in over 10% of all collisions. Tyres were the main contributory factor accounting for 8%.

- Defective tyres were more prevalent in single vehicle crashes when compared to multiple vehicle crashes

- 71 people were killed and 19 were seriously injured in a collision where a vehicle had defective tyres as a contributory factor

- 18 people were killed and 6 were seriously injured in a collision where a vehicle had defective brakes 

- 17-24 year old drivers accounted for almost half of fatal collisions involving defective, worn, over or underinflated tyres