Of late, road crashes reported at the MVA Fund Call Centre, have indicated that tyre bursts are seen as a worrying trend. Statistics regarding fatalities as a result of tyre-burst related crashes, show an upsurge of 62% between 2017 (5) until June 2018 (8). These fatalities emanated from a total of 42 such crashes in 2017 (29) until June 2018 (13).
Road crashes are attributed to various factors including the condition of the road and the environment, human behaviour (fatigue, drunk driving, and inattentiveness) as well as the condition of vehicles (working lights, tyres). The latter plays a crucial role as motor vehicles remain the most robust and reliable form of transportation in Namibia. In order to maintain their reliability, it is important to maintain the safety and roadworthiness of vehicles by conducting daily or weekly checks to spot possible defects before using the vehicle. These checks include the inspection of vehicle tyres as tyre bursts mainly occur due to improper inflation, overloading, lowquality, speeding and natural wear and tear.
Below is what motorists need to consider when conducting tyre inspections:
1. Check air pressure in the tyres to ensure that the tyres are well inflated as per the manufacturer’s recommendations
2. Check for signs of wear and tear and replace tyres when necessary
3. Check the tyre tread depth in order to ensure optimum traction on the road even in unusual road conditions
4. Do a visual inspection of the tyres to make sure there are no nails or other objects stuck in the tyre that can cause an inflation pressure leak.
5. Lastly, ensure routine replacement, alignment and balancing of tyres. Additionally rotate tyres to aid in the even wear and tear of the tyres.
Amongst all other strategies that are implemented to reduce crashes on our roads, this simple yet important task of inspecting vehicle tyres regularly, can greatly contribute to the reduction of crashes which will ultimately pave the way toward achieving the Decade of Action for Road Safety goal of reducing crashes to 50% by 2020. The MVA Fund therefore, highlighting tyre-safety as a means to curb road crashes, appeals to all motorists to pay caution as failure to conduct regular tyre checks, may mean sustaining severe injuries and ultimately loss of life.
The MVA Fund once again reminds the public to report crashes to the MVA Fund Accident Response Number 081 9682, as doing so can save a life, and to follow us on Facebook or Twitter for road safety tips.