The Motor Trade Association is calling on the Government to improve policing of vehicle safety, following figures linking 32 fatal crashes over the past 3 years to worn tyres.

Statistics from the Transport Agency show the percentage of crashes over the past 7 years that were related to vehicle factors, and specifically, tyre tread.

Figures reveal 9 per cent of fatal crashes are linked to some sort of vehicle fault.

Over the past 3 years, 32 fatal crashes were related to worn tyre tread.

A total of 464 crashes, including those in which resulted in minor or serious injury and those which did not result in injury, were related to worn tyre tread.

The figures used by the Motor Trade Association in their analysis was drawn from the Transport Agency’s crash analysis system.

The Association said vehicle safety should be addressed as part of the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport.

Chief executive Craig Pomare said the draft policy focused on median strips and other roading improvements aiming to bring down the road toll – however largely overlooked another vital area.

“The Government is overlooking the 9 per cent of fatal crashes that are linked to some sort of vehicle fault – often worn tyres,” he said.

Road factors were linked to 10 per cent of road deaths.

Pomare said worn tyres had been linked to a growing number of crashes since the Warrant of Fitness system was changed in 2014.

“It is vital drivers check their tyres every few months to make sure there is plenty of tread to get them out of trouble if they need to brake suddenly. A tyre with even half the original tread will still take twice as long to stop as a new tyre.”

Craig Pomare, Motor Trade Association Chief Executive

MTA recommended motorists upgrade their tyres once they reach around 3mm of depth – rather than wait until they hit the minimum allowable depth of 1.5mm.

Drivers should also have their cars checked every six months to ensure the brakes, tyres, lights, suspension and steering were all in top shape, Pomare said.

Over half a million vehicles failed their WOFs last year because their tyres were in poor condition.