How the state of our roads is impacting tyre safety


Hang on! It is still 2016 and not 2060 – so no hovering cars yet

It is often said that success is not the destination, but rather the road that you're on. If I could change this slightly I would say success is not the destination but rather the road which you travel using a set of new locally manufactured tyres

But on a serious note though, since our civilisation, never has a public infrastructure system such as our roads been pivotal in paving the way for interconnectivity and demonstrating the feats of human civil engineering.

That is why I consider, quite fittingly I may add at that, that roads next to the greatest invention ever...the wheel, are the life-lines or veins of our economy pumping the precious cargo that boosts the economic viability of our major cities.

How fitting that these two entities should go hand-in-hand.

As is with any “life sustaining” system, its full efficiency relies heavily on its health, or in this case it’s conditioning.  Allow me to shock you into consciousness with a few stats. According to the latest eNaTIS vehicle population statics, there was a total of 10 765 998 self-propelled vehicles which drove on our national roads throughout our nine provinces as of 30 September 2016.

Now you and I form part of this number right?

So think about this for a moment; all these vehicles irrespective of their class have one thing in common; they all interact with the road through tyres!

Yes no matter how advanced our cars may become, tyres will always be the one common design feature which are cars use to travel...that is of course until hovering vehicles become an actuality. 

So the guy driving what he considers a classic, a euphuism for classic piece of crap has a lot in common with your half-a-million German sedan. You both use a set of round tyres to get from point to point B!

I for one Am terrified at the prospect that at any given time during my journey, I could be driving alongside, behind or in front of a vehicle with slippers — worn out tyres!      

For South African road users this fact has always been a dormant apprehension. Let’s just say our awareness of the integral role tyres play towards safety especially in the context of our road conditions has been for a long time dangerously non-existence.

Tell the everyday South African motorist that his or her only points of contact with the road are the size of our palms then a response of utter stupefaction stemming from ignorance is the result. Sad but true.    

The only hint of positivity we can clinch on until our knowledge of tyre care grows is the fact that the tyres produced in our country are designed with added robustness to cope with our rugged conditions.

This, however, though does mean that all the ownership rests on the tyre manufactures to guarantee our safety on the roads. Every year road fatalities cost the country and estimated R3 billion.

According to Arrive Alive South Africa's road fatalities are frighteningly high with about 40 deaths occurring on our roads every day. One cannot help but think that if every South African took the responsibility to ensure that their tyres were in proper working conditions, a lot of these fatalities could be lessened.

Tyres provide our only point of contact when we are in transit and thus, they must be inspiration behind our driving habits and practices if we are going to truly transform our roads into life-lines of our economy they ought to be.