By Denna Bowman
With the summer holidays upon us, etyres has issued a clear safety warning to all motorists – give all five tyres a thorough check.
A flat tyre is not only an accident waiting to happen but could also blow your car insurance no-claims bonus, according to the UK’s leading online tyres retailer.
Every year 40 people are killed and dozens more are injured in crashes caused by defective or wrongly inflated tyres.
Vehicle owners must check for signs of damage, tread depth – the legal minimum limit is 1.6mm – and make sure the tyres are properly inflated.
And the RAC also encourages drivers not to ignore the fifth wheel – the spare.
The motoring organisation advises motorists that the spare should be discarded after six years, whether used or not, because as the rubber dries out over time it may distort and fail.
RAC spokesman Philip Gomm said recently that: “Tyres deteriorate with age. Just because it has sufficient tread, this doesn’t make it safe. Check carefully for signs of cracking and ageing.
“If in doubt, ask an expert. Manufacturers recommend that tyres be replaced if they are more than 10 years old, and drivers can find the date of production stamped into the rubber of the sidewall. Unfortunately, only half the driving population know this information is there.”
Meanwhile, under-inflated tyres reduce fuel economy by up to 10% because of the extra rolling resistance to the road, which in the best of circumstances accounts for 20%-30% of fuel consumption.