April 11, 2010 19:00 ET

Bike Insurance Warning for Unsafe Tyres

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - April 11, 2010) - Defective tyre related motorbike accidents have increased by 28% according to new Department of Transport figures obtained by tyre safety organisation TyreSafe.

As a result of dodgy and illegal tyres, MOT failures have also increased to 26,000 a year – that's 75 every day.

April is Tyre Safety Month and Tyre Safe, the UK's leading tyre safety organisation, is warning that motorcyclists are taking dangerous and unnecessary risks with their lives by failing to look after their tyres properly.

Bike insurance specialist Swinton Bikes has added that as riders bring their bikes out of winter storage, they should carry out a thorough inspection before heading out onto the road – or else face the prospect of having to make a costly insurance claim.

Anthony Aronin, head of Swinton Bikes, said: "As the weather improves and bikers get back on the road after a long winter, it is vitally important that they check their machines are in good condition and are working properly – including tyres, brakes and other safety features. These DfT figures show a worrying jump in the number of tyre-related accidents, and we would urge every biker to make sure their tyres are in a road worthy condition."

The latest road casualty figures available from the Department for Transport show that in 2008 there was a 28 percent increase in the number of motorcycles involved in an accident where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor. This dramatic rise took the tally to a three-year high of 88 accidents.

The level of neglect is further demonstrated with analysis of VOSA's MoT data. These figures show that in 2008/9 tyre related defects contributed to more than 26,000 motorcycle MoT tests being failed, equivalent to nearly 75 failures every day. This total represents an increase of just under 1,500 failures over the previous year and more than 2,500 when compared with 2006/7.

Throughout April, tyre and motorcycle dealers across the UK will be hoping to help motorcyclists become safer by offering free tyre safety checks. The checks will include a visual inspection, looking in particular for any cracks, cuts or bulges in the tyre which can make it both dangerous and illegal.

Examiners will also look for any irregular wear patterns which can be a sign of problems with other components, set-up or riding style. Pressures will be checked against the recommended levels with any necessary adjustments made for any pillion or pannier loads. Finally, the tread depth will be examined to make sure the tyre has sufficient tread to remove water from the road surface and meets the legal minimum tread requirements.

About Swinton

  • With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
  • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
  • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
  • With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

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