By KEVIN LADYMAN Editor & PublisherPosted April 08, 2018 11:07:54Tire swing is the practice of swapping tires in and out between cars.
The wheels have to be the same size, and they must be of the same diameter.
For many, this is a practical solution, especially for those with smaller wheels.
But the practice is dangerous, with one in five people injured in a crash, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).
A new Australian research paper is shedding some light on how to reduce the risk of an accident, and how to save a life, when driving with a damaged tire.
The study looked at the numbers of collisions involving tyres, including fatalities, injuries and property damage.
“We found that for every million kilometres driven with a tyre swing, there was a 1 in 2,000 chance of a collision,” said lead author of the paper, Professor John Dolan, from the University of Western Australia.
“The rate of death is around 50 per cent.”
The paper also looked at what happens if you swap out a tire, but do so before a collision occurs.
There was no change in the rate of deaths or serious injuries.
The paper, entitled The Cost and Safety of Tire Shifting, looks at the average cost of replacing a vehicle’s tire, with a range of estimates based on data from insurance companies.
Professor Dolan said the average price of replacing tyres was about $200.
That’s based on a study that found that the average annual insurance premium for a driver who did not swap tires in the first year of insurance was about 1 per cent of the insured vehicle’s value.
However, Professor Dolan says the rate could be much higher for people with a large disability, who are less likely to be insured.
He said people with multiple injuries or disabilities were more likely to need to swap tires, and are also more likely, because of the cost of replacement, to have their vehicle towed.
The researchers also looked into the risk factors of tire swing.
The research shows that people who have a lower propensity to swap tyres were more at risk of being involved in a collision, particularly in heavy rain, in which tyre swaying can occur.
Professor Dola said the research was important because it shows that tire swing was a risk factor for people who drive frequently.
“[It] shows that if you are driving a vehicle for long periods of time, the risk for accident is likely to increase with your frequency of driving,” he said.
“It’s a real issue for motorists in Australia, and it’s one that we’re all going to have to work hard to reduce as a society.”