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Worn tyres in New Zealand linked to more fatal crashes

Worn tyres in New Zealand linked to more fatal crashes

Posted on 25th May 2018 by Russell Phillips

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 Worn tires have been linked to 32 fatal road crashes over the past three years and the Motor Trade Association says vehicle safety should be addressed as part of the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport.

MTA Chief Executive Craig Pomare says the draft policy focuses on median strips and other roading improvements to help bring down the road toll.

“However, the government is overlooking the 9 percent of fatal crashes that are linked to some sort of vehicle fault –often worn tires. Road factors are linked to 10 percent of road deaths.”

Mr. Pomare says worn tires have been linked to a growing number of crashes since the warrant of fitness system was changed in 2014 (up from 107 crashes in 2014 to 166 in 2017).

“It is vital drivers check their tires every few months to make sure there is plenty of treads to get them out of trouble if they need to brake suddenly.  A tire with even half the original thread will still take twice as long to stop as a new tire.”

He says MTA recommends people upgrade their tires once they reach around 3mm of depth, rather than wait until the minimum allowable depth of 1.5mm.

“All the international research shows that the more tread a tire has, the safer you’ll be if you have to brake hard or accelerate out of a dangerous situation on the road.”

Mr. Pomare urges all drivers to check their cars every six months to make sure the brakes, tires, lights, suspension, and steering are all in top shape.  Last year, over half a million vehicles failed their warrant of fitness because their tires were in poor condition.

“If you don’t feel confident about doing the check yourself, take your vehicle into your local MTA workshop,” he said.


MTA represents 3700 professional automotive businesses.