By Denna Bowman
TyreSafe is reminding drivers to make sure their tyres have sufficient tread depth to cope with the snow and icy conditions sweeping the country.
Without adequate tread depth tyres will be ineffective in the snow, causing drivers to lose traction and find they are unable to steer, brake or accelerate properly.
At best this could mean the driver is forced to abandon their car by the roadside and at worst, could result in a serious accident.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of Tyresafe, said: “By taking suitable precautions before the snow falls, drivers can continue to drive safely.
“In many parts of Europe, drivers do not experience similar levels of disruption in the snow as they are more used to checking their tyres.
“By making these checks today, drivers will be much better equipped to tackle whatever weather we experience over the next few days.”
In addition to checking their tread depth, drivers can significantly improve their safety in the winter by fitting cold weather tyres.
These are designed to operate more effectively and provide added safety in temperatures below seven degrees Celsius.
They contain more natural rubber than standard “summer” tyres, meaning they have extra grip in cold, wet, icy conditions, and enable significantly shorter stopping distances.
“Cold weather tyres give drivers a major safety enhancement over the whole winter period, not just when the snow falls,” continues Jackson.
“As they are designed to work best at temperatures below seven degrees, they are very favourable from October through to March so should be seriously considered by all safety conscious motorists.”
Current UK law states that tyres should have at least 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference.
TyreSafe recently launched its ‘lifesaver in your pocket’ campaign to show drivers how to check their tyre tread depth using a 20p coin.
Drivers who fail to comply with this legislation significantly increase their chances of being involved in an accident but also face a fine of £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.
For more information about the safety benefits of cold weather tyres or tips on how to check your tyre tread depth visit www.tyresafe.org