Report: Tire failure linked to high number of fatal traffic accidents

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About a third of the cases involved worn tires, while in about a fifth of the accidents the tires were not suitable for the prevailing weather conditions, according to the Finnish Crash Data Institute (OTI).

This week the Tire Association, the Finnish Road Safety Council and the police are organizing roadside tire inspections in Helsinki, Pori, Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Rovaniemi. Image: Kiira Ikävalko, Yle

According to the latest annual report from the Finnish Crash Data Institute (OTI), in the period 2011-2020, 15 percent of fatal road accidents in Finland were attributed to tire-related defects.

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About a third of the cases involved worn tires, the report noted, while in about a fifth of the accidents, the tires were considered unsuitable for the prevailing weather conditions.

Meanwhile, according to a new report from the Tire Specialists of Finland (ARL), more than 350,000 cars in Finland have defective tires, but most owners do not recognize the defects.

The report describes these drivers as a “risk group” as their driving behavior has to take into account bad tires. For example, the grip of worn tires decreases sharply in rainy weather, resulting in longer braking distances and an increased risk of accidents.

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“If it rains and you have bad tires, you have to reduce your speed,” said ARL chairman Jarmo Nuora.

The report includes the results of ARL’s fall 2021 roadside tire inspections. The checks were carried out at 19 different locations in Finland and examined the tires of more than 4,200 cars.

Roadside tire inspections

This week, ARL, the Finnish Road Safety Council and the police are organizing roadside tire inspections. They will take place in Helsinki, Pori, Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Rovaniemi.

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The aim is to remind drivers of the importance of tire safety, to provide information on how to check the condition of the tires and to encourage drivers to use tires suitable for the prevailing weather conditions.

Fewer cars with bad tires

Over time, the condition of car tires in Finland has improved significantly.

According to ARL, in 1997 24.4 percent of motorists drove with bad tires. However, cars with insufficient tires accounted for just 8.5 percent of the sample in 2021.

Despite the improvement, Nuora expressed concern about the future due to the global economic situation.

“Will people be forced to save on tires if there are other mandatory costs and prices rise,” Nuora asked.