Donohoe and RSA express concern over driver attitudes to tyre safety

1st October, 2015

Irish Road Safety Week to focus on tyre safety, Child Safety and Cycling Safety


Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD along with the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have expressed concern at driver attitudes to tyre safety, as a survey conducted by the Authority has revealed that 1 in 8 drivers (14%) have bought part-worn tyres in the past. The survey of 1,000 motorists, conducted in November 2014, also showed that motorists are not checking their tyres regularly, despite knowing how to do it.


8 out of 10 (79%) drivers stated that they know how to check the air pressure of their tyres, yet 1 in 10 check this less than once a year or not at all. Similarly, 1 in 8 drivers check the condition and tread depth of their tyres less than once a year or not at all, despite 72% of drivers knowing how to perform this important check.


Tyre safety, child safety and cycling safety are the focus of this year’s ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ which was launched today (Thursday 1 October) and will see a week of road safety activities taking place nationwide from Monday 5 October to Sunday 11 October. In support of Irish Road Safety Week, the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) will be providing free tyre checks to motorists at participating garages on National Tyre Safety Day on Wednesday 7 October. Details are available on


Speaking at the launch of ‘Irish Road Safety Week’, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD said: ‘’Irish Road Safety Week’ is an important event in the road safety calendar as it gives us an opportunity to review our behaviour on the roads. If we all looked at how we use the roads every day, I have no doubt that we would find room for improvement. So this week, consider what small change you could make to make the roads safer for yourself and others. In particular, as the weather starts to get that bit colder, I would urge road-users to ensure they check their tyres regularly. Tyres are the only thing between you and the road, so it is critical that they are in good condition and that the tread depth and air pressure are checked regularly.’


The RSA is reminding road-users that roadworthy tyres must be the right type and size for the vehicle, be properly inflated, free from defects and have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm.


Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority said: ‘We are concerned with the level of part worn tyres being used on vehicles, some are on sale for as little as 10 euro. When you consider that tyres are your only contact with the road, you really have to ask yourself is this the value you place on your family’s life?’


‘The RSA will soon be publishing a report, based on an analysis of forensic data that shows the quality of tyres plays a much bigger role in fatal collisions than previously thought. So it is really worrying that people are not prioritising safety when they purchase tyres. Your safety, along with the safety of your passengers and other road users, could depend directly on the condition of your vehicle’s tyres. If you drive with tyres in poor condition, you really are putting your life at risk. You may save a few euro in the short-term, but at what price? Get them checked and give yourself and your passengers the peace of mind that you’re travelling safely.’ Moyagh added.


Mr Paddy Murphy, Acting President of the ITIA said: ‘We all know how important it is to keep our car and its tyres in top condition, yet many of us don’t make it a priority. As winter approaches and the weather starts to get worse, it really is critical that your tyres are in the best condition possible, as well as being suitable for the car you’re driving. If you are unsure what to do or how to check them, get down to your local participating ITIA garage next Wednesday and get them checked by an expert, for free. It could be the difference in the event of a collision.’


‘Irish Road Safety Week’ will kick off on Monday 5 October with the Annual Road Safety Academic Lecture which will be held in the Royal College of Physicians. The focus of this year’s lecture is ‘Cycle Safety’ and research will be presented on helmet-wearing and the types of injuries that present as a result of a collision. ‘National Tyre Safety Day’ will take place on Wednesday 7 October with free tyre checks on offer in participating garages. On Friday 9 October, Beep Beep Day, which focuses on road safety for pre-schoolers, will be taking place in crèches and pre-schools around the country.


The RSA will also be giving away 3,000 bicycle lights on their Facebook and Twitter pages throughout Irish Road Safety Week, while the road safety educational initiatives will be travelling the length and breadth of the country to teach children, students, parents and guardians about road safety.


Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the RSA encouraged people to play their part in keeping our roads safe from death and injury: ‘To date this year, 119 people have died on our roads, 20 fewer than the same period last year. We can all play a role in keeping our roads safe by changing our behaviour for the better. Small changes can make a huge difference, for example, reducing your speed, making sure you and your passengers are safely restrained in the car, or keeping your vehicle, motorcycle or bicycle in roadworthy condition at all times. So this week, think about what you can do to be a better, safer driver and play your part in reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads.’


A full list of activities taking place during ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ is available on You can get involved on social media by using the hashtag #IRSW2015


A copy of ‘Your Guide to Tyre Safety’, which includes information on buying second hand tyres, can be downloaded here.



Notes to Editors:

The survey, which was conducted among 1,000 motorists in November 2014, found that:


  • 8 in 10 (79%) motorists stated that they know how to check the air pressure of tyres, and 7 in 10 (72%) stated that they know how to check the wear of tyres/tread depth
  • Male drivers were much more likely to state they knew how to do each of these checks compared to female drivers
  • 3 in 10 (29%) drivers stated that they check the air pressure of their tyres at least once per month, while a smaller proportion, just over 1 in 5 (22%), stated that they check the wear/tread depth at least once per month
  • Overall, over 8 in 10 motorists check the air pressure of tyres every 6 months or more often, but about 1 in 10 drivers stated that they do this check less often than once a year or in fact never do this check
  • Overall, 3 in 4 motorists check the wear/tread depth of their tyres every 6 months or more often, but about 1 in 8 drivers stated that they do this check less often than once a year or in fact never do this check
  • About 1 in 8 (14%) motorists state that they have bought part worn tyres in the past, and 1 in 10 motorists (10%) state that they are likely to buy a part worn tyre rather than a new tyre in the next month
  • Younger motorists, aged under 24 and 25-34, were more likely than any other age group to have bought part worn tyres in the past.