A Guide to Tyre Safety
When you’re driving your car around, there’s four parts of it that are constantly in contact with your surroundings.
It’s your tyres of course, which are always on the road. Or at least they certainly should be, unless you’re James Bond.
And you’re not James Bond.
We digress. Winter is here which means that it’s definitely time for you to remember how important your tyres are and that you need to be taking excellent care of them.
But how? And why?
Why it’s important to check your tyres
According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (they exist, look them up), 64% of drivers don’t know how to check their tyre tread depth. Which is hard to believe, but not as surprising as the news that 85% don’t even know how to check their tyre pressure.
Another eye-opening statistic is that 6% of fatal motorway accidents in the UK happen because of an under-inflated tyre.
Having tyres that aren’t inflated right affects how your car handles and also how much fuel or charge it uses up and how much wear and tear occurs. And this matters because not having the right amount of tyre tread is not only illegal but it’s also dangerous.
Well maintained tyres improve your car’s ability to brake, reducing your stopping distance in dry conditions and prevents the likelihood of aquaplaning in wet conditions.
How to check your tyres are safe
Now you know that it’s important, here’s what you need to do.
- To check your tyre tread, you need to be aware of the legal requirements, which are that your tyres need to have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm, though this can vary and it’s your responsibility to know what applies to your tyres. Experts meanwhile recommend at least 3mm.
- Check them twice a month by examining all four tyres in two places along each groove. This might seem annoying, but it could save a life, including yours. You can use a 20p coin to check your tread depth, simply place the coin into the groove and if you can still see the band around the outside of the coin, your tyre is not legal.
- To check your tyre pressure, do this when they are cool, so before you have driven anywhere. This means you should really have a tyre pressure gauge at home, but if not you can check your pressure at petrol stations, where it’s normally free.
There’s no one-side-fits-all ‘right’ tyre pressure, so you need to be guided by what your manufacturer recommends in your manual.
These can vary by season or by what the load in your vehicle is, so be sure to check your manual even if you think you’re got the pressures memorised.
Being a responsible driver means looking after yourself, your vehicle and everyone around you, and checking your tyres is a quick and very easy way to make sure you’re doing your part all year round, not just during winter.
Posted on: 10th December 2020