Drivers to blame for rise in tyre-crash stats
Omani and Saudi Arabian drivers take the most care with their tyres
Almost half of drivers in the GCC do not know how to check their own tyres increasing the potential for fatal accidents in the region.
Abu Dhabi traffic police recorded 41 accidents caused by blown tyres in the first six months of 2011, an increase of 37% from last year. The figures also reveal that 13 people were also killed in the same period, up from ten last year.
A new survey from Bridgestone suggests that driver ignorance of how to properly maintain their vehicle tyres is a major factor in similar rises across the GCC.
Covering more than 5,000 drivers, the survey revealed that one in four respondents (26%) do not check the condition of their vehicle’s tyres. The principal reason for failing to do so was a lack of knowledge, with almost half of those who didn’t check (44%) answering: “I do not know how”.
In the UAE, this figure has even greater with Dubai and Abu Dhabi with 68% and 63% of drivers respectively answering that they couldn't check their own tyres.
Drivers in Muscat were the most likely to check their tyres (87%), followed by four out of every five drivers in Doha and Riyadh conducting tyre checks (79% and 77% respectively). Kuwait had the lowest results, with less than two thirds (63%) checking their tyres, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi fared little better (67% and 68% of respondents respectively).
“The results are worrying with regards to the number of people potentially travelling in unsafe vehicles,” Shoichi Sakuma, president of Bridgestone MEA, said. The survey was conducted during the Bridgestone Tyre Safety and Eco Station road show which toured major GCC cities from February to July this year.
More than half (53%) of all survey participants did not know that there was a relationship between tyre safety and eco friendliness. Driving a vehicle on properly inflated tyres helps to reduce rolling resistance, which aids in reducing fuel consumption.
"A few moments to check your tyres will significantly reduce the possibility of leading to an accident, and will render the vehicle slightly more fuel efficient, saving you money,” Sakuma said.