Motorists looking to save money may want to think twice about purchasing used tyres after a survey revealed that over half of second-hand tyres are unfit for purpose.
The study, which was conducted by the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA), is being run as part of Ireland's National Road Safety Week.
Kevin Farrell, ITIA president, said: "We carried out a detailed study of second-hand tyres bought from outlets across Ireland and the findings were quite startling.
"Of 134 tyres bought and examined, 51 per cent were described as dangerous or not fit for purpose."
Mr Farrell suggested that purchasing second-hand tyres could be putting peoples' lives at risk.
He described the practice as a "false economy and in many cases a danger".
The news comes during the UK's Tyre Safety Month, an event organised by the not-for-profit organisation TyreSafe.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, said: " We've devised a number of ways to help people to check their own tyres, but there really is no substitute for having a qualified professional offer their expertise and make a significant contribution to helping make our roads a safer place."
During the checks, experts will examine the tread depth of tyres to ensure they conform to safe and legal limits.
Tyres will also be checked to guarantee they are inflated to the correct level and do not have any lumps, bulges or cuts.
Drivers were recently reminded of the importance of checking tyre safety after the Department for Transport issued statistics revealing an increase in tyre-related deaths on Britain's roads.
The figures showed that, in 2011, 205 people were killed or seriously injured in accidents which involved an illegal, defective or under-inflated tyre, which is eight per cent more than in 2010.
Mr Jackson suggested that this increase serves once again to highlight the importance of checking tyres.
"October's tyre safety month is the perfect opportunity to carry out some basic tyre checks and help put a stop to this needless loss of life", he said.
He went on to state that some drivers may be using their tyres longer than they would otherwise or are using second-hand tyres in a bid to save money as the economic climate worsens.
"But our message is clear. You can't compromise or take chances with tyre safety. By trying to save a few pounds, you could actually pay a much higher price in the long-run", he said.
Checking tyres is particularly important during the winter months, he suggested, as cold conditions can cause further issues.
The UK's Road Safety Week takes place between 19-25th November and is sponsored by the road safety charity, Break.
Julies Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: "Road Safety Week is a great opportunity to work together to make our streets safer, greener, more pleasant places."
The event hopes to highlight the importance of road safety not just for motorists, but for pedestrians and cyclists too.
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