Tyre Safety Month- Are you ready for ACTion?
The safety and maintenance aspect of tyres is so important that there is even a national UK charity-TyreSafe- set up to raise awareness of the importance of correct tyre maintenance and the dangers of defective and illegal tyres.
October sees the launch of their Tyre Safety Month campaign which is urging motorist ‘Don’t chance it-CHECK IT!’.
They have created a memory-jogging acronym Are your tyres ready for ACTion? – Air pressure, Condition and Tread.
It is a startling fact that according to the TyreSafe surveys, one in five drivers have never checked their tyres, and the number of illegal tyres on Britain’s roads is at around 10 million and could increase.
Why is tyre safety so important?
Tyre issues can cost time, money, and lives! Tyres are of fundamental importance to road safety as they provide the only contact that a vehicle has with the road. It is the tyres that stop your vehicle, not the brakes. It is important for everyone’s safety to check them and keep them in good condition.
In 2018, 169 people were killed or seriously injured in the UK incidents where tyre-related defects were a contributory factor.
Basic checks can make all the difference. Correct tyre maintenance will not only help to reduce the risk of an accident, it can also save you money. Underinflated tyres increase fuel consumption and wear.
Check it out!
Check your tyres and tyre pressures, (including the spare), on cold tyres, at least once a month or daily for commercial vehicles, and before any long journeys. Find your pressure settings information in the handbook, fuel filler cap or door frame. Pressures can vary depending on load, speed and types of tyres.
Give each tyre a visual inspection to check condition and look for any bulges, lumps or cuts and remove any stones and loose objects stuck in the tread.
Best Before Date– Tyres have a date stamp on the side- so if you plan to re-fit with ‘part-worn’ re-fits- do check this date. The first two digits tell you the week number and the last two indicate the year the tyre was manufactured. Even with MOT extensions during lock-down, you have a legal responsibility to maintain your car and keep you and your fellow road users safe.
Tread depth on tyres should be at least 1.6mm to be legal and safe. You could face a £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points for each tyre! The depth can easily be checked using a 20p coin. Place it in the main grooves of your tyre and at several points around its circumference. If the outer band is covered then your tyre pressure is ok, if you can see the outer band then get the tyres checked by a tyre professional.
The tyre inflation pressure inside your tyres is critical as this is what allows the tyres to support the load, absorb the bumps and grip the road. Check your tyre pressure with an accurate gauge. A properly inflated tyre is not only safer, but it will reduce your running costs and tyre life. Under or over inflated tyres can affect the handling and grip, causing erratic vehicle handling.
Under inflated tyres will suffer from heat damage, additional wear and tear on the outer edges, have less contact with the road surface making them less stable and will use more fuel.
Over inflation gives less shock absorption, resulting in a more uncomfortable ride, less grip and faster wear on the tread centre or increased impact breaks.
Safe tyres save lives! For further information go to www.tyresafe.org
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