As part of this year’s Tyre Safety Month campaign, motorists are being urged to consider the risks involved in inadequate safety checks on their vehicle’s tyres and the potentially fatal consequences if they need to stop in an emergency.
This month, we are supporting TyreSafe and their annual campaign to remind motorists of the benefits and importance of tyre safety checks. But also, to consider the literal message 'If your tyres don’t stop you, what will?' As the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, tyre safety is crucial for safe and effective braking.
Protect yourself and your passengers by ensuring that all the tyres on your vehicles are fit for purpose before embarking on your journey.
• 1 in 5 motorists have NEVER checked their tyres.
• 1 in 4 vehicles on the road have illegal tyres.
• 2.2 million+ MOT failures are due to tyre defects annually.
• 15,000+ tyre-related convictions in the past 3 years.
• £600m-£1B wasted in unnecessary fuel due to underinflation.
• 153 people were killed or seriously injured due to defective tyres.
1. Tyre Pressure
Make sure all tyres have the correct pressure. This information can be found in the vehicle handbook, and often on the inside of the fuel filler cap or driver's door sill. Failing that, a quick online search of the vehicle's make, model and year will do the trick.
Check the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle on the Tyre Safe website. Simply enter your registration! Click here.
Under-inflated tyres can provide up to 50% less contact with the road.
This can result in reduced vehicle control. Low pressure also reduces the lifespan of your tyres and uses more fuel. Over-inflated tyres can result in similar outcomes. Although they may use less fuel.
2. Tyre Tread
Ensure that your tyre’s tread depth is at least 1.6mm for a car. We recommend 3mm for consistent wet weather performance. This must be across the central ¾ around the whole circumference.
For motorcycles over 50cc, 1mm across ¾ of the width of the tread pattern and with visible tread on the remaining ¼. For bikes under 50cc, all the grooves from the original tread pattern must be clearly visible.
Place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves in at least three locations around each tyre. If the outer band of the coin is still visible, the tyres may be under the 1.6mm legal minimum.
3. Tyre Condition
Vehicle tyres will drive over their fair share of glass, stones, and other roadside debris. So it's important to check them for any punctures, cracks or bulges as these are strong indicators of tyre damage.
If there are any irregularities, then the tyre should be checked by a professional and repaired if needed. In some cases, the tyre may still need to be replaced even if the tread depth is still within the legal limit. Additionally, remember to check the age of your tyres. Most manufacturers will recommend that a tyre more than 10 years old should be replaced.
4. Vehicle Overloading
Overloading a vehicle can cause excessive heat and wear on the tyres. It is essential to ensure that the vehicle's overall weight does not exceed its Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) Rating. This can be found on the VIN plate or on the inside of a door frame.
The excessive heat and wear on a vehicle's tyres will compromise the handling and could lead to a blowout. Not only putting the driver/rider at risk, but their passengers and other road users in danger too. Not to mention the potential for fines, penalty points and even prison sentences in more serious cases.
Are you confident that all the necessary tyre safety checks have been made on your vehicle?
By ensuring tyre safety, you are helping to keep yourself, your passengers, and all other road users safe. With the current concerns around the cost of living, you can save yourself money by ensuring that your vehicle is regularly maintained, and any wear and tear is addressed.
If you feel unsure about your routine tyre safety checks or safe driving/riding practices, IAM RoadSmart is here to help. Our courses and approach to safe motoring prepare drivers and riders to be conscious of their actions while driving.
This includes spatial awareness and stopping distances. Especially when travelling in adverse road conditions coming into the winter months. Our Advanced Driver and Rider courses help drivers to become more vigilant.