Tyre safety: BSD say age is a key factor

A safety organisation in Dubai has advised operators to check the production date of their vehicle's tyres, due to a spate of accidents from failed rubber.

Some tyres should never go near a truck?s axle again as heat breaks the rubber down
Some tyres should never go near a truck?s axle again as heat breaks the rubber down

A safety organisation in Dubai has advised operators to check the production date of their vehicle's tyres, do to a spate of accidents from failed rubber.

Build Safe Dubai issued a notice which quoted an apocryphal story about a family who were killed in Ras Al Khaimah after a car tyre burst, sending the vehicle into the path of an oncoming truck. The reason for the failure, according to the organisation was that the tyre was outside the validity period.

The memo said "Vehicle tyres have a four year validity period from period of first use. After that the tyre expires and may burst in use."

However, the UK's Tyre Industry Council refutes these claims. A spokesperson pointed to a statement in a pamphlet entitled ‘Car tyre safety and the driver's responsibility' which states: "There is no known technical data that supports a specific tyre age for removal from service."

However, the document also points out that in the interests of safety a number of vehicle and tyre manufacturers recommend that tyres (including spares) that were manufactured more than a certain number of years previously be replaced with new tyres, even when they appear to be usable from their external appearance and the tread may not have reached the minimum wear out depth.

Though it is followed with the caveat "Consumers should note that most tyres would have to be removed for tread wear-out or other causes before any prescribed age is reached. A stated removal period in no way reduces the consumer's responsibility to replace tyres as needed." Both parties agree that checking for rips, cuts and tread depth regularly is vital.

On the subject, Dubai police have issued a statement saying; "Check the tyres of your vehicle daily to make sure that they are in very good condition.

"Very good tyres are necessary because they represent the only points of contact between the vehicle we ride and the surface of the road. The safety of tyres affects the degree of control of the vehicle and the time it takes to come to complete a stop."

The statement adds that 47 people were killed in the Emirate over the last twelve months due to defective tyres, yet curiously having them is one of the very few violations that will not result in black points.

Despite this, it remains law in the UAE to change tyres on roadgoing vehicles every four years in Dubai.

The chronological age of any tyre can be found on the sidewall. A four-digit number indicates the week and the year the casing was pressed.

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