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New drivers reminded to check their tyres when purchasing their first car.

Tyre safety 02.10.2023
  • RSA, AGS and ITIA urge new drivers to check tyres on Tyre Safety Day, Monday 2 October
  • ITIA dealers offering free tyre checks nationwide during Irish Road Safety Week
  • 1,287 Fixed Charge Notices issued by An Garda Síochána for tyre offences in 2023.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) together with An Garda Síochána and the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA), have teamed up for Tyre Safety Day on Monday, 2 October, during Irish Road Safety Week, to encourage new drivers to check the tyres when purchasing their first car.

Tyres are often the last feature people consider when purchasing their first car, but they are one of the most important checks to make as they maintain a driver’s grip on the road.

As part of Irish Road Safety Week, the ITIA are offering free tyre safety checks. From Monday 2 to Saturday 7 October, drivers can visit any ITIA dealer nationwide for a free tyre safety check, including a pressure check and tread depth inspection.

A recent survey, by Continental Tyres for Tyre Safety Day shows that 71% of car owners are not checking their tyres regularly. 

Defective tyres can be a contributing factor in fatal or serious road collisions. Based on the analysis of road collision reports, the RSA estimates that defective tyres could be a contributory factor in as many as 14 deaths each year.

The RSA, AGS and ITIA are advising first-time car buyers to look for wear and tear on tyres, and to practise regular tyre checks to ensure they are in roadworthy condition. It is recommended that drivers carry out a quick check of their tyres at least every week. Then, once a month, they should take a closer look. Motorists are being encouraged to check their tyres and ensure they are not below the minimum tread depth of 1.6mm (1mm for motorcycles), are not damaged and are inflated to the correct tyre pressure.

Sam Waide, CEO of the RSA, said: “Tyres are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road and their importance is often overlooked. It’s vital to get into the habit of regularly checking your tyres, from the moment you purchase your first car. Ensure your tyres are properly inflated, check the tread depth and confirm they are free from cracks, tears or bulges. If your tyres show signs of deterioration, you should have them replaced immediately.”

Superintendent Thomas Murphy, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, said:Defective tyres are a serious risk to all road users. Collisions can be avoided if you drive at an appropriate speed and ensure your tyres are in a roadworthy condition. You only have around four inches of contact with the road per tyre at any time, it’s imperative that these points of contact are kept in accordance manufacturer’s guidelines – and with the law – for your safety. On Tyre Safety Day, Monday 2 October 2023, members of An Garda Síochána across the country will be carrying out checkpoints in conjunction with Road Safety Authority Vehicle Inspectors. At these checkpoints, we will be engaging with drivers, educating them about tyre safety and, where necessary, enforcing detected breaches of road traffic legislation as it relates to tyres, as well as other offences detected.”

Sue O’Neill, CEO, Irish Tyre Industry Association, said: “ITIA members are experts in tyre health and road worthiness. Paying a visit to your nearest ITIA registered dealer can give drivers peace of mind that their vehicle is safe on the road. Getting your tyres checked only takes a few minutes out of your day and this week our ITIA members are offering free tyre checks. We would encourage all road users to get their tyres checked out this week, particularly drivers who bought their first car this year. To find your nearest ITIA registered dealer nationwide, visit”

As the winter months approach, the RSA is reminding road users that tyre grip will become increasingly important when driving in poor weather conditions.

Some general tips on tyre maintenance include:

  • The minimum legal tread depth for a car is 1.6mm, however, it is recommended you consider replacing them once they are below 3mm. There is 8mm of tread on a new tyre. The legal limit for motorcycles is 1mm.
  • Poor tyre condition can lead to internal rust, rapid deflation or a possible blow out.
  • Look out for cracks, cuts or grazes on the side wall of the tyre, and any visible bulges. Ensure wheels are aligned and balanced.
  • Don’t forget to check your spare tyre.

 Please see the RSA’s Tyre Safety video here.

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

To date in 2023, a total of 136 lives have been lost on the road. This is up 23 compared to the same date last year.