More than 30 people were killed or seriously injured in motorway accidents in 2016 due to defective or under-inflated tyres.
Yet three quarters of motorway incidents related to tyre failure could be prevented if drivers carry out simple checks, Highways England says.
The highways authority joined worked with tyre manufacturer Bridgestone to examine tyre debris on the motorway network over an 18-month period.
Taken from cars, vans, commercial vehicles and motorbikes, almost three-quarters of the 1,035 tyre blowout samples analysed showed poor inflation or punctures.
Under-inflation of tyres a key reason for blowouts, along with poor vehicle maintenance, both of which accounted for 26 per cent of the entire sample.
Richard Leonard, Highways Englands head of road safety, said: “Englands motorways are the safest in the world but were determined to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on them.
“This important research confirms our view that road users must play a bigger role and get into the habit of checking tyre pressures and tread depths and looking out for nails and other debris stuck in tyres before setting out on journeys.
"These simple checks could save lives.”
During the project, staff working for Highways England at depots across the country handed over 1,000 pieces of tyre debris from motorways to a technical engineering team from Bridgestone to analyse.
The findings from 1,035 tyre segments retrieved from the M1, M6, M40, M5 and M42 revealed:
• 56 per cent of tyres failed due to road/yard debris penetration
• 18 per cent failed due to poor inflation
• 8 per cent failed due to poor vehicle maintenance
• 1 per cent of tyres failed due to manufacturing defects
• 1 per cent of tyres failed due to excessive heat
• 16 per cent of the tyres couldnt be specified to one particular problem
Bridgestone technical manager Gary Powell said: “This report has taken a great deal of time and effort, involving a painstaking process of collecting tyre debris over 18 months and analysing it in depth thereafter.
“With proper vehicle inspection and maintenance programs, many of the failure methods noted should be detectable and preventable.
"In light of these results, we would also advise that tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are fitted to vehicles which dont benefit from this technology already. It will assist with the detection of penetrations and deflations.”