Tag Archives: road accidents

Would you buy a part safe tyre that’s cheap?

part worn tyresBefore they can be sold in the UK, part worn tyres are supposed to be tested and stamped as fit for purpose.

Yet we’re told that some 5.5m tyres come into the UK illegally, without being tested.

In fact, a previous study by the TyreSafe charity involving a random sample of 50 part worn tyres over the course of a month found 98% were being sold illegally and 34% were potentially dangerous.

And in case you still don’t believe me that this is a BIG safety problem, this summer eight retailers in North London were successfully prosecuted and fined for selling substandard – and potentially dangerous – part worn tyres.

NB: For ‘part worn’ read ‘part safe’.

But if I asked you, would you buy cheap tyres described as ‘part worn’ would you realise that this is a HUGE safety concern? Or might you consider cheap tyres, possibly thinking it’s the savvy thing to do ie to re-use or repair goods rather than to buy new?

Tyre safety versus motoring economy

Let’s stop and think about this. We’re talking about YOUR personal tyre safety here not tyre economy.

Why would anyone take perfectly good tyres off a car to sell someone else? Then pay to fit better ones? That doesn’t make sense unless they have an ulterior motive. Could it be that the tyres in question came off a car that has been scrapped, involved in an accident or written off even? Could it be that an unscrupulous car dealer could sell you a banger with part worn tyres and possibly switch slightly better tyres to replace bald ones…

The fact is you wouldn’t know. When you don’t know the pedigree of the tyres in question you’d be mad to buy them. Even ones stamped as checked aren’t as safe as new tyres. Would you buy them if they were called ‘part safe’ tyres? This is another good reason to check any used car’s tyres before you buy it, where in doubt. Is there a receipt for the current tyres? Or where were they last bought and when?

The driver/car owner is responsible for tyre care

If you bought a car with part worn tyres fitted and were then involved in an accident that the police got involved in, the driver could be held responsible. And your insurance cover could be at risk. There would be no ‘I didn’t know’ excuse in law.

Never mind the fines, points or worse you could get, could you live with yourself if an ill-advised penny-pinching tyre economy caused a serious injury or worse? I certainly couldn’t.

Here are some tyre safety tips I stand by to help you run safer cars in future.

0300-120-90And because it’s Tyre Safety Month, can ALL readers please remember to check their car tyres regularly*. In particular drivers of nearly new cars – yours use tyre rubber in the same way as older cars but can get neglected. Once again the driver is responsible…

But the message I want to convey in this blog is a simple one.

‘NEVER, NEVER buy part worn tyres no matter how cheap or compelling the sales spiel.’


* If you get your tyres checked at a FOXY Lady Approved tyre centre or garage (and they’re legal) you can then claim a gift membership of FOXY Lady Drivers Club via our Facebook Page.

Here’s the list of FOXY Lady Approved tyre centres.

And here’s FOXY’s Facebook Page.

Should older female drivers be retested?

Every so often there’s a flurry of moans about older drivers, especially when one of them drives the wrong way on a motorway or loses control in a car park.

Somehow these occasional events are more newsworthy than the more frequent serious motorway accidents, usually caused by younger drivers and resulting in fatalities and serious injuries.

Of course we really do need to consider the implications of old age in the light of the ‘baby boomer’ effect which means that the number of drivers over 70 is set to double in the next 20 years and the number of 90 year old drivers to rise by 18% in the next five years.

But just because someone is ‘old’ doesn’t necessarily make them a bad driver, assuming their physical fitness and eyesight is up to the job. So FOXY wouldn’t support any compulsory retesting on an age basis alone. In fact the evidence is that it’s young drivers that are over-represented in accident statistics, causing serious injuries and fatalities as a result of their lack of experience and motoring judgement.

Looking at the statistics behind all this, the facts are that ‘failed to look properly’ followed by ‘failed to judge other’s path or speed’ are the two main causes of accidents for young and older drivers alike. However, when the accident was caused due to a ‘loss of control’ or ‘careless, reckless or in a hurry driving behaviour’ the driver is twice as likely to be young than old.

Leading motoring group the IAM is keen to address these areas in terms of voluntary driver assessments and training, which FOXY supports. Their CEO Simon Best believes that the Government needs a strategy to manage more elderly drivers and make them more aware of the risks they face. The top priority should be non-compulsory driving assessments nationwide, he explains, to help them deal with modern high speed traffic and eliminate any bad habits. Not just that but better training for GPs and other medical staff is also needed.

What about older women?

When I talk to women drivers there is a definite interest in confidence boosting refresher courses to keep us all up to date. Of course we’re all different and some women are more confident and knowledgeable drivers than others regardless of age. However after driving for 20 years or more (and often considerably more) there will be many female (and male of course) motorists who haven’t kept themselves up to date with the latest Highway Code, would like to know more and have many questions they’d like answered, in a female friendly atmosphere and where others like them share the same concerns.

No-one can deny that older women drivers (over 60s+) tend to have more accidents than younger females but their accidents tend to be minor ones such as kerb damage to alloys and bumps in local supermarkets or car parks. More often than not these are caused by a lack of concentration and are then covered by the excess their insurance policy requires them to pay towards any claim. This is assuming they DO claim via the insurer rather than finding out how much it would cost if carried out by a female friendly FOXY approved bodyshop with the right skills and equipment. Which might be cheaper in the end.

Refresher driving courses for women

But perhaps there’s a demand for the equivalent of Vauxhall’s popular Women in the Driving Seat evenings where women drivers come together to learn about car maintenance, self defence and ways to handle road rage.

In this instance, refresher courses would be fun social occasions where women of all ages could share tips about driver concentration, coping with onboard distractions (children, older relatives and SatNovs) as well as the hazards of fast traffic and negotiating busy supermarket car parks.

They’d be able to refresh their knowledge of the Highway Code, have their eyes tested if in doubt, take confidential medical advice and be reminded about driving etiquette whilst learning from the experiences of their female peers.

Why wouldn’t this be a worthwhile exercise for ALL motorists to enjoy, on a regular basis throughout a driving career?

Even better if it came with an insurance discount for all those who had passed the refresher course with flying colours…


Over 80s are safer drivers than we realise

DVLA figures show that there are now more than one million drivers over 80 and it is the one age group (between 80 to 90 years) where the number of women drivers outstrips men by nearly 2:1 (662k women vs 351k men).

Which may go some way to explain why, contrary to common assumptions that the older you are the worse you drive, motorists in their eighties are NOT dangerous, according to the IAM who has analysed the Department for Transport’s ‘Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: 2010’ statistics as well as the DVLA’s licensing statistics by age. I say that because all the evidence there is confirms that women, in the main, are safer drivers than men in terms of severity of accidents.

Believe it or not, the figures show that this 80-90 years old age group is much safer than their more youthful counterparts. In fact the rate of deaths and serious injuries in crashes among drivers over 80 is three times less than the rate for those aged 17-19 years. In 2010 almost one young driver aged 17-19 was killed or seriously injured per thousand licence holders.

The rate of deaths and serious injuries in crashes among car drivers aged 20 to 24 is 36.4 per cent more than the rate for drivers aged 80 or over.

However, drivers over the age of 80 are more likely to suffer serious injuries in a car crash due to their frailty.

IAM chief executive Simon Best explained: “Older people need their cars which give them better mobility and access to more activities and services. Those who wish to continue driving beyond the age of 70 should only be prevented from doing so if there are compelling reasons. Rather than seeking to prevent older people from driving, we should make them more aware of the risks they face, and offer them driving assessments to help them eliminate bad habits. Driving helps older people play a full and active part in society.”

The number of older drivers will continue to rise as the Office of National Statistics predicts that there will be 8.7 million people over the age of 75 by 2033.


NB: In 2006 young male drivers were responsible for 66 per cent of KSI (Killed &/or Serious Injuries) and 74% of fatalities. FOXY Lady Drivers Club believes this makes a mockery of the EU ruling that motor insurance premiums for this male age group are to be reduced this December and young women expected to pay more for their car insurance to pay for male-caused accidents, under guise of ‘equality.’ Rest assured this will also feather the nest of insurers which is why we’ve heard no protests at all from them. We thought insurers underwrote risk not their own profits…

Why distracted drivers should stay cool

According to Sheilas Wheels women are calmer, safer and better drivers than men in the summer.

Yet another provocative headline designed to wind men up ;-).

Too much visual distraction...This because, apparently, men get more distracted and irritable than women in the heat. As the temperature starts to rise so does their temper and their testosterone, when the temptation of totty talent proves irresistible.

After all, men are not famous for their multi-tasking abilities…

Perhaps scantily clad females are equally to blame and should carry a health warning during summer months; something like ‘Look at me and you might crash.’

But what I’d really like to know is whether women aren’t the better drivers in the winter as well?

Could it be that the cold weather slows male drivers down?

In which case turn the air conditioning up to its maximum guys during the summer months and let’s see if it keeps us all safer on the roads no matter the season.


“A lot of guys think the larger a woman’s breasts are, the less intelligent she is.  I don’t think it works like that.  I think it’s the opposite.  I think the larger a woman’s breasts are, the less intelligent the men become.”
Anita Wise

Beware the 18th January on British roads…

According to Saga, 18 January has seen more road accidents involving the over 50s in the last four years, for some inexplicable reason.

19 December is claimed to be the second most unlucky day for the driving record…

They describe typical road accidents as older motorists driving into stationary objects (like cars and walls ;-)) and put this down to poor visibility – either due to the driver’s eyesight or in dark conditions.

So Mum if you are reading this, PLEASE  don’t drive tomorrow and be sure to tell your friends…

And whilst Saga are too polite to mention gender, these sort of accidents do sound more like women drivers than men…


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