Tyre Safety Month

9 Oct 2017

How often to you check your tyres? Do you know when to change them? 

TyreSafe’s research shows that a quarter of British motorists wait until their tyres are illegal before replacing them. That could mean over 10 million illegal and dangerous tyres on our roads. Around 200 people are killed or seriously injured in tyre-related incidents, over 1000 accidents caused annually, and 2.2 million cars fail their MoT each year due to tyre defects.

Why are tread depth and tyre pressure important?

Adequate tread depth helps remove water from between the tyre and road surface giving a better grip. If tyres are over or under-inflated then handling and grip will worsen, and cause unpredictable handling. Insufficiently inflated tyres are more likely to suffer from a sudden loss of pressure and can damage the tyre edges and wheel rim. Over inflation reduces the contact area between the tyre and the road, providing less grip with the road surface and more wear on the tread centre.

How should you check your tyres?

Tyres should be checked at least once a month, and before any long journey. The legal requirement for cars is 1.6mm across ¾ of the tread width around the whole circumference of the tyre. However, it’s recommended to change them if they get below 3mm, to maintain optimum handling and safety. You can use made for purpose tyre gauges, though a 20 pence piece works just fine. Insert it into the main grooves of the tread. If the outer band of the coin is obscured then it is above the legal limit. Check at least three locations around each tyre, and remember to look at both the inner and outer edges. Check for abrasions, cuts or objects lodged in the rubber which can cause a blow-out. If you’re not sure then get them looked at by a professional.

The correct tyre pressure for your vehicle should be noted in the manual, inside the petrol cap or printed on the ledge of the driver’s door. You can also check online. Correct tyre pressure will vary depending on the load, so if you’re planning a long journey with a heavily laden car then you should adjust it accordingly.

Regular checks and maintenance are simple to do. They will save you money, keep you on the right side of the law, and will help keep you, your passengers and other road users safe on the road.

Visit http://www.tyresafe.org/ for more information on their research, campaigns, and advice on tyre safety.

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