Kwik Fit | Thursday 1st October 2015 9:00am
Every week? Every month? Or so long ago you can’t remember? When was the last time you checked your tyres?
Today marks the start of Tyre Safety Month, the annual campaign organised by TyreSafe which aims to highlight to drivers the importance of making regular tyre checks, not just during the month of October but all year round.
Tyre Safety Month exists because not enough drivers are checking their tyres as often as they should be. Afterall, your tyres are the only part of the vehicle that make contact with the road and roadworthy tyres are crucial to both your safety and that of fellow road users.
However, we recently commissioned a survey which found that just over a third of drivers (36%) check their tyres on a monthly basis, while a fifth said they either never check their tyres or do so just once a year. Our research also revealed that as many as 3.6 million motorists wait until their car fails its MOT due to poor tyre condition before having them changed*.
This year’s Tyre Safety Month campaign, which is supported by Kwik Fit, is designed to make drivers ACT – by asking drivers to check their Air pressure, Condition and Tread once a month. So when did you last do it? If you can’t remember, its time to get out there and ACT!
Always make sure your tyre pressure is at the correct level. Check the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle which can be found in your vehicle handbook. It is often also printed in the driver’s door jamb.
Check your tyres for any signs of irregular wear or damage such as lumps, cuts and bulges. Make sure you also check the tyre sidewall as not all damage occurs in the tread area.
Make sure your tyres have adequate tread remaining around the complete circumference of the tyre. The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on car tyres is 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the tyre tread. However, tyre performance will gradually deteriorate before reaching this limit - at 1.6 millimetres in wet weather it takes almost 40 per cent further to stop at 50 mph than it does at 7mm**. This is equivalent to 8 car lengths of reduced stopping distance.
Not only do illegal tyres leave you at risk of three penalty points and up to £2,500 in fines should you be stopped by the police, but even more importantly, they can seriously compromise your vehicle’s safety and handling. As the weather turns colder and wetter this October, remember to check your tyres and ask yourself: when was the last time you did it?
* Research carried out by ICM amongst 2,003 UK adults.
** Source: MIRA
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