31% of tire explosion accidents took place in June and August
The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) called on motorists, particularly those travelling far distances on international highways, to carry out continuous tire inspection of their vehicles’ tires to ensure that they are proper & sound.
Engineer Hussain Al Banna, Director of Traffic, RTA Traffic & Roads Agency, called on motorists not to ignore inspection of tires or changing defective ones before setting off on their travels. He also cautioned them against buying or fitting used tires stating that tire-related accidents were in most cases fatal, especially when coupled with high speed since the driver could lose control and the vehicle might overturn violently. He also called upon travellers to ensure the soundness and travel worthiness of the spare tire and re-check the air-pressure inside.
The Traffic Department concluded the Tire Safety campaign, which was launched in coordination with Michelin Tires early June this year at RTA Customer Service Centers at Al Barsha, Deira and Umm Al Ramool where the Traffic Awareness Section held awareness programs at customer service centers covering free tires tests, distribution of educative tire brochures and distribution of discounted purchase vouchers on some tire brands.
“The first quarter of this year witnessed five traffic accidents triggered by tire explosion but fortunately these accidents resulted in no fatalities this year whereas in last year the same number of accidents reported resulted in one fatality,” said Al Banna.
He pointed to the continued drop in fatalities associated with traffic accidents caused by tire explosion as statistics show that fatalities dipped from 7 cases in 2009 to 5 cases in 2010. “In July and September 2010 about 31 per cent of accidents were attributed to tire explosion; which means that this type of accidents soars in the summer season which witnesses higher numbers of passengers travelling by road. Over the last few years we used to launch tire safety educative campaigns during the pre-travel period covering diversified events & places and we made considerable successes in educating passengers on the importance of tire safety,” continued Al Banna.
He directed drivers sustaining tire explosions during driving to remove their feet off the acceleration pedal as well as the brake as any attempt to stop the vehicle all of a sudden might result in the vehicle overturn. He further added: “The best thing to do by the driver in this situation is to maintain the vehicle stable and avoid overturn through controlling the steering wheel and leaving the vehicle move in a straight line, and when the driver is confident that the danger is over, then he can apply the brake gently to curb the moving vehicle.
“Tires command much of the attention of highway security & safety experts as they figure it out as one of the key factors responsible for dangerous accidents since tires are the sole contact point between the vehicle and road. A marginal lapse in the tire specifications might result in fatal traffic accidents.
“Drivers are required to comply with the specifications and measurements specified by car manufacturers as far as the basic measurements of tires are concerned, stick to quality & safety brands, avoid buying used tires even if they look pretty good in shape and ensure that all sizes of all tires fitted to the vehicle are symmetrical and that brakes are in good shape before the new tires are mounted,” added Al Banna.
“The driver should have some knowledge to read the symbols imprinted on both sides of the tire in order to select & buy the best tire for the vehicle. Such knowledge includes tire manufacturing date which consists of four numbers preceded by (DOT); the first two numbers are placed to the right side of the Year, and the last two numbers reflect the Week of that year in which the manufacturing was made. For instance if the date of manufacturing is written as 2109, it means that the tire was manufactured on the 21st week of the year 2009.
“The driver can identify the appropriate pressure of the tire from the number that appears besides the expression (MAX PRESS); which means the maximum inner air pressure of the tire, or from the label affixed near the driver’s door. The letter written beside the word TEMPERATURE refers to tire heat resistance which has to be (A) in order to suit the high temperature level prevailing in various Emirates of the UAE. It is imperative to check the air pressure at least every two weeks preferably in the morning when tires are cool or after the vehicle stops for at least two hours. It is important to avoid inflating or deflating the air pressure while the tire is hot, and ensure the valve cap is remounted after the air pressure is being reset.
“Overloading the vehicle is dangerous. Some people believe that travelling by road is an opportunity to load many things on the vehicle; which is quite a wrong idea as overweight tends to translate into a road disaster which can at best inflict damage to the vehicle and cause a lot of difficulties to the driver.