Figures produced by the Department for Transport (DfT) suggest about 3% of all fatal road crashes and 2% of crashes leading to serious injury are caused by defects on vehicles.
Norwich Union Risk Services (NURS) fleet risk specialist, Steve Palmer, said that during the winter months it is vital that drivers carry out regular checks on the condition and pressure of their tyres, including the spare.
He said: ‘Although legally tyre tread must be at least 1.6mm deep, it is now widely recognised that stopping distances can be dramatically affected if the tread is allowed to drop below 3mm.’
According to research by Norwich Union, Britain’s rainy days result in 40% more road crashes. Studies have shown that it can take about an extra 26 feet to stop from 50mph when tyres have been allowed to wear down to 1.6mm from 3mm.
Palmer added it was essential drivers did not rely solely on those servicing their vehicles to spot potentially dangerous defects, saying: ‘Tyres should be checked at least once a week, and lights and indicators must continually be kept clear of grime.’