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Motorists urged to ‘get to grips’ with tyre safety and avoid fatal consequences

Tyre safety 06.10.2021
  • ITIA dealers offering free tyre checks nationwide

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), An Garda Síochána and the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA), have teamed up for ‘Tyre Safety Day’ on Tuesday 5 October, during Irish Road Safety Week, to remind all road users to check their tyres to ensure they are roadworthy.

Motorists are being encouraged to visit any ITIA dealer for a free tyre pressure check and tread depth inspection.

The RSA is reminding road users that as winter months approach, many motorists will be driving in poor weather conditions in which tyre grip will be increasingly important.

Poor road conditions can lead to loss of grip and increased risk of skidding especially when driving on defective tyres. Motorists should keep tyre pressure at the manufacturer's recommended level and have at least 3 millimetres of tread depth at all times.

Between 31st August 2020 to 1st September 2021 a total of 1,392,488 full NCT tests were completed, 107,012 (7.68%) received a fail result on tyres, this included 35,871 (2.57%) receiving a fail dangerous result as the tyre tread was less than 1.6mm.

Sam Waide, Chief Executive of the RSA, said: “Tyres are the part of your car that is most likely to put you at risk of a fatal collision if they’re not roadworthy. Tyres are your vehicles direct contact with the road and play a key role in road safety. It is extremely important that they are fit for purpose to ensure your vehicle doesn’t lose grip or control.

Based on the analysis of road collision reports we estimate that defective tyres could be a contributory factor in as many as 14 deaths each year. We are calling on motorists to ‘get a grip’ on tyre safety, don’t wait for your NCT to check if your tyres are roadworthy. Do a regular walk-around of your car and check your tyres - look for cuts, cracks, or bulges.

If your vehicle’s tyres show signs of deterioration, you should remove and replace them immediately. Remember, if you don’t have a grip on the road, you don’t have control of your vehicle. Our message to car owners is have your tyres checked regularly, slow down and arrive alive.”

Chief Superintendent Mick Hennebry, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said: “Defective tyres are a serious risk to all road users. Gardaí regularly deal with people who have suffered serious life changing injuries, many of which are caused as a result of people driving with substandard tyres. We are urging motorists to ensure they check their tyres regularly and take action if they notice a problem.

Ensuring you have appropriate tyres on your car will make the roads safer for all road users. Members of the Roads Policing Units across the country will be mounting roadside checks in conjunction with Road Safety Authority Vehicle Inspectors checking tyres on vehicles at the roadside on Tyre Safety Day, 5 October 2021. If you are found to be driving a vehicle with defective tyres you could face up to 4 penalty points if convicted and a fixed penalty of up to €120.”

Sue O’Neill, CEO, Irish Tyre Industry Association, said: “Irish Tyre Industry Association members are experts in tyre health and road worthiness. They are able to assure drivers that their vehicle is safe on the road. By simply taking a few minutes out of your day, you can have your tyres checked and replaced if necessary.

During Irish Road Safety Week our members are offering free tyre checks so don’t wait until your NCT comes around to check the roadworthiness of your tyres, do it today. To find your nearest ITIA registered dealer nationwide, visit”

Please see the RSA’s Tyre Safety Day video here.

You can download a copy of ‘Your guide to Tyre Safety’ here.

Notes to editor:

Some general tips on tyre maintenance:

  • The minimum tread depth of your tyres is 1.6mm (1mm on a motorcycle). Replace with new tyres before you reach this level.
  • The tyre pressure is in the owner’s hand manual or fuel cap.
  • Cuts, cracks, and sidewall damage or bulge are the dangers to look for on a tyre.
  • Don’t forget to check the spare tyre.