Vehicles must be well-maintained and roadworthy to remain safe on the roads. It is particularly vital to keep safety-critical components, including tyres and brakes, in good condition with regular checks. Use this page to access research on the risks of poor maintenance, and measures to improve vehicle safety through focusing on safety-critical parts.
Young drivers and their tyres
TyreSafe and Ingenie, 04/11/13
One in three young drivers never check tyre tread depth and one in four never check tyre pressure.
Effect of vehicle defects in road accidents
Transport Research Laboratory, 18/04/11
Government proposals to reduce the frequency of roadworthiness testing in the UK from annual to biennial will increase deaths by 16 – 37 annually.
Handling of buses on slippery roads during the influence of side wind
Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, 30/07/08
In order for buses to deal with strong side wind, good front wheel grip is most important, and non-studded winter tyres provided little or no improvement over summer tyres.
Deadly ignorance of tyre tread law
Brake and Green Flag Motoring Assistance, 30/11/07
Two in three drivers (68%) do not know the legal minimum tyre tread depth for their vehicle and stopping distance increases with lower depths.
Heavy vehicle wheel detachment
Transport Research Laboratory, 01/08/06
The report calculates that in the UK there are between 50 and 134 wheel losses from heavy vehicles resulting in damage-only crashes, 10 to 27 in injury crashes and 3 to 7 in fatal crashes.
Tyres should be changed at 3mm
RoadSafe, Mira, Continental, 01/07/05
Cars with tyre tread depths at the legal minimum of 1.6mm require 24 metres more braking distance at 53mph in the wet than those with brand new tyres of 8mm tread, according to tests.