x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Motorists should be aware of tyre risks

In the summer temperatures of the UAE, a worn tyre can be deadly

Every day we find vehicles on UAE roads with their tyres blown out, and rubber and metal remains strewn all over.

Such blowouts can be a horrifying experience as they come without warning and often lead to casualties because most drivers do not know how to control a vehicle when it happens. These accidents, which can cause dozens of fatalities a year, are avoidable.

The condition of a vehicle's tyres is critical to its safe use. We are repeatedly reminded to the importance of checking tyre pressures and replacing worn and dangerous tyres. Unfortunately, too many motorists are oblivious about the condition of their vehicle tyres, which leads to many accidents.

According to statistics, low-quality tyres caused 20 deaths and 151 injuries in the UAE in the first eight months of last year. A year before, 23 people were killed and 159 were injured during the same period because of faulty tyres.

One of the reasons why the problem persists is because worn and secondhand tyres can be bought in the market. People with low income and lorry operators particularly have a tendency to buy those tyres, which can cost about a quarter of the price of new ones.

A worn tyre can be deadly, especially in the UAE's summer temperatures. Campaigns and warnings that those driving vehicles whose tyres are not roadworthy would be fined have failed to curb this issue. Tougher measures are necessary.

As The National reports today, tyre dealers found flouting rules on imports will face jail and a fine of up to Dh30,000, with the violating tyres confiscated.

The guidelines, issued by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology, will also make sure that vehicle tyres meet all technical specifications.

Given that the life expectancy of a well-maintained tyre is up to five years, the running cost can be a small sum when compared to the risks involved.

If drivers cannot afford to replace bad tyres on a vehicle, they really cannot afford to drive at all. Cheaper tyres are not that cheap if they cost lives.