For this year’s annual October-long Tyre Safety Month, TyreSafe is asking Britain’s motorists What’s Stopping You?.
Regular tyre safety checks reduce the risks of an incident while on the roads, but an estimated one-in-five drivers have never checked the tread on their tyres, a startling number which rises to one-in-three among young drivers. Checking and maintaining tyres also reduces the cost of motoring as underinflated tyres will wear quicker and cause your vehicle to use more fuel.
The question What’s Stopping You? is to remind every driver of the benefits and importance of tyre checks but is also a prompt to highlight that your tyres are the only point of contact between the road and your vehicle. It is tyres which are crucial for safe and effective braking and cornering.
Correct tyre pressures reduce the risk of experiencing a rapid deflation, and also ensure optimal braking and handling. Correctly inflated tyres also last longer and use less fuel. You can find the recommended pressure in your door shut, fuel filler cap or owner’s manual and you can top up with air at most service stations.
Check your tyres for any bulges, lumps or cuts and remove any stones or objects from the tread. If something doesn’t look right, have it inspected immediately by a tyre professional. Make sure that you carry out these checks once a month, and before long journeys.
Your tyres’ tread is critical for acceleration, braking, steering and cornering. The legal minimum limit for car tyre tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tread around its entire circumference.
To check your tread, place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the coin is obscured then your tread is above the legal limit. If the outer band of the coin is visible, then your tyres may be illegal and unsafe