By Denna Bowman
With increased traffic expected on the roads this summer as more families opt to holiday in the UK, motorists are being urged to check their tyres.
Tyresafe is encouraging vehicle owners to monitor the pressure, tread depth and general condition of their tyres before they set off on long journeys.
Driving on correctly inflated tyres with with sufficient tread depth is fundamental to both driver and passenger safety, according to the tyres safety organisation.
Motorists can significantly reduce the risk of causing an accident or having to change a tyre mid-route by factoring in time to check their tyres and act on any problems well in advance of their departure date.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, said: “By making tyre safety a priority when planning a driving holiday, motorists can help to ensure that they experience a safer, trouble-free journey.
“TyreSafe is advising families to make sure their tyres are inflated to the correct level, as indicated in the manufacturer’s handbook, and to remember that when the car is fully laden with passengers and luggage, it may be necessary to increase the pressure to the recommended level for the vehicle when fully loaded.
“It is also important to check that a tyre’s tread depth is at least 1.6mm, the UK’s legal minimum, as driving on tyres with illegal tread has a substantial effect on stopping distances in the wet.”
Driving on under-inflated tyres causes motorists a number of difficulties, including premature tyre wear, erratic handling and reduced fuel economy. More significantly, the extra heat build-up inside the tyre when under-inflated can lead to a blow-out, potentially causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Tread depth is essential to safe braking in the wet. As tyre tread wears down, it gradually loses the ability to evacuate water from the road surface, increasing the risk of aquaplaning. Drivers can incur fines of £2,500 and three penalty points per illegal tyre.
“Checking the general condition of tyres is also vital to safe driving,” continues Jackson. “Taking a few minutes to remove any stones or foreign objects from the tread and check that there are no cuts or bulges in the tyre sidewall could prevent roadside misery at a later stage.”