Tyre safety checks are just a few things that you don’t necessarily learn on your driving lessons.
Without only trying to target young drivers, you will be happy to know that this is also the case with experienced drivers...
Read below to see what not to miss out on...
There are three key checks to make to ensure tyre safety: tyre pressure, tyre tread depth and the overall condition.
These checks should be made each month, and before any long journeys, or get into the habit of checking them each time you fill up.
Tyre pressure – you can go to your local petrol station to check your tyre pressure by using the tyre pressure gauge. You’ll find the recommended pressure measured in PSI/BAR in your car manual, inside the fuel tank cover or inside the ledge of the driver’s door.
It’s best to check your tyre pressure when the tyres are cold for e.g. when the car hasn’t been driven for a while - this way you get a more accurate reading.
** HOW TO CHECK TYRE TREAD DEPTH? DO THE 20P TEST! **
Tyre tread depth – always remember to check the tread depth on each tyre.
The minimum depth is 1.6mm and you can easily test this by using a 20p coin (the rim is exactly 1.6mm). Place the coin into the tread, if you can see the rim of the coin then the tyre is approaching the legal minimum tread depth and you should consider replacement.
To check the overall condition is a visual inspection, have a look at it, are there any cuts in the side wall, if there are any stones or nails or anything like that in the thread – if there are just flick them out – it’s hard to see the inside of the tyre sometimes, but if you put the front one on a tilt you can have a look at it. Such damage could cause rapid deflation or even MOT failure.
Potentially dangerous illegal tyres - What does that mean to me?
Have you ever heard of the term 'AQUAPLANING'?
In situations when your tyres have insufficient tread depth to clear the water properly from the road surface, you may experience the particularly hazardous phenomenon of aquaplaning.
In this situation your tyres lose contact with the road surface and travel on top of the water’s surface - and with no contact with the road, you are unable to accelerate, brake or steer effectively, greatly increasing your risk of being involved in an accident.
Independent tests carried out by the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) found that a cars braking ability started to dramatically reduce once the tread depth on the tyres reached 3mm.
To reduce your risk of aquaplaning, check your tyre tread depth regularly.
Did you know that for each illegal tyre you could face three points on your licence and a maximum fine of £2,500 per tyre!
This means that if all four tyres on your vehicle are found to be illegal you could be fined £10,000 (£2,500 per tyre) and 12 penalty points on your driving license.
If you receive six points in your first two years of driving, your licence gets revoked and you will have to retake your theory and practical tests.
So, you could lose your licence for being caught with two illegal tyres.
Of course, these penalties alone should act as a restraint but the safety of drivers, passengers and other road users has to be the ultimate reason for keeping tyre safe.