As the sunshine-and-showers summer ebbs away and rain continues to lash many parts of the country, it is important to remember that sunny spells, interspersed with downpours make for very hazardous driving conditions.
Roads are at their most slippery when the weather breaks after a long dry spell, because the fine grit on roads tends to polish the surface, coupled with a greasy build up of tar, rubber and oil deposits.
It is not surprising that tyre problems are the number one reason for AA call-outs, but even more worryingly, a third of the failed tyres have been below the legal 1.6mm tread depth limit. Tread depth is important for traction and the grooves in your tyres are there to help channel water away.
John Snowling, AA patrol of the year, warns motorists: “We often advise drivers to be prepared for winter driving but it’s just as important to be prepared in the summer, too.
“It’s vital to make sure that your car’s tyres are in good condition. Worn tyres are not only more likely to suffer a blow-out, especially in high temperatures, but in the event of a sharp summer downpour a worn tyre is likely to aquaplane, meaning a significantly increased stopping distance and loss of control.”
How to check your tyre tread depths
Tyres have tread wear indicator bars built into them. These cross ribs are evenly spaced around the circumference of the tyre in its main longitudinal grooves. They are barely visible when the tyre is new, but gradually begin to appear as the tread wears down. If more than one or two of these are visible, it indicates the tread has worn down to approximately 1.6mm and the tyre needs replacing.
Denna Bowman, Head Office