Replacing road tyres after 10 years is surely wise and part of maintaining a car in a roadworthy condition?

Andy Goves says "a tragic incident with loss of life. The age of the tyres must have been a factor leading to the blowout and underpins our concerns, aired on the V8 Register website, about classic cars with old (in some cases the original) tyres". More

How old can tyres be before it is wise to change them?
Over time the suppleness of the rubber reduces so that by around 7 to 8 years old the ageing effect on the rubber will have reduced the flexibility of the rubber to something that begins to have characteristics similar to that of wood with consequent adverse effects on handling and ride. More

How to read the tyre wall age markings? More

Posted: 190301
BBC News online reports "a motorway crash that led to the deaths of five people could not have been "reasonably" avoided, an inquest heard. The driver of the converted horsebox that veered off course after a tyre blowout could not have done anything differently, an investigator said. Avon Coroner's Court heard there was no legislation requiring a tyre to be replaced at a certain age and its poor condition would not have been obvious. Report

The crash happened on 16th September 2017, when a tyre blowout caused the adapted Mercedes 1820 box van, to steer to the right and crash through the central reservation barrier. It collided with two cars travelling in the opposite direction on the M5 between junctions 14 near Falfield and 15 near Almondsbury.

Forensic collision investigator PC Sharon Little told the inquest the vehicle was "found to have no significant defects before the collision that could have been considered dangerous". She said: "the great age of the tyres was a significant factor in how the tyre burst. There was nothing readily apparent that the tyre was close to bursting. It was not possible for the driver to realise there was a problem that day. The driver could not have done anything to avoid the tyre blowout or the steering". She added "the tyre was 18-and-a-quarter years old and had suffered structural deterioration because of ageing" and she "was mindful to make a report that could have influenced future legislation on tyre conditions, but said she was reassured "steps are being taken" following evidence from a Government representative" ".

Comment - In this case we don't have the facts as to what was the cause of the tyre blowout - was it a consequence of prior physical damage to the tyre wall from driving over a rough edge or kerb? But the forensic collision investigator did note tyre age was a factor in the tyre burst so deterioration of the tyre wall structure because of age may have been one of those factors. In the case above the tyres were reported to be over 18 years old. But to meet the legal requirement in the UK a keeper of a vehicle must maintain the vehicle in a roadworthy condition, and insurance policies will have a similar condition, so replacing road tyres after 7 to 8 years and certainly by 10 years old is both wise and a responsible way to maintain a vehicle in a roadworthy condition.