It’s a common refrain: “Do as I say, not as I do!” and it seems to be one that female motorists use when it comes to tyre maintenance, according to a survey by Michelin tyres and Mumsnet.
For, while 98 per cent of motoring mums believe that all drivers should take responsibility for the safety of their tyres, in reality only 27 per cent admit they get to grips with the job.
We are left to assume that this very important task falls to their partners!
The survey also revealed that over a third of mums could not say with confidence what the legal minimum tyre tread depth was, while 62 per cent admitted they weren’t confident about the penalty for running on tyres that fell beneath this tread depth. And when it comes to checking tyre pressure, just 37 per cent said they did it twice a year!
Jamie McWhir, UK car and 4×4 technical manager for Michelin tyres, explained: “Every motorist should know that the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, which is about the depth of the rim on a 20p piece. Driving on tyres without enough tread is dangerous and it can lead to points on your licence and fines of up to £2,500 for each tyre.
“This isn’t just an issue for Mumsnet users, though – too many motorists across the board don’t know enough about tyre maintenance and safety.
“Tread should be checked regularly because wet grip can decrease as tread wears down, even above the legal limit, so speeds and driving style should be adjusted accordingly.
“Pressures should be checked every month and before every long journey. Running under-inflated tyres is dangerous because there it affects cornering, handling and braking. Not only that, under-inflated tyres significantly increase fuel consumption.”
Tyre labelling, which rates tyres according to how they perform in terms of wet braking, fuel efficiency and road noise, was introduced two years ago, with the intention of helping motorists make a more informed choice when they order their new tyres. However, according to the survey of Mumsnet users, only 19 per cent said this was important to them, while
65 per cent said they were prepared to pay extra for a high quality tyre brand.
Mr McWhir added: “Running tyres that are at the right pressure and in good condition saves money and saves lives. Checking your tyres is easy, and Michelin would urge all motorists to spend just a few minutes a month doing just that.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office