July 2008: Motorists urged to ACT on tyres before summer break
TyreSafe advises British motorists to take care of their tyres as the country prepares for the busy summer break.
Before setting off on a long journey, TyreSafe is advising motorists to check tyre pressure and tread depth, as well as the general condition of all tyres, including the spare tyre. TyreSafe has compiled an easy-to-follow three-step process for checking tyre safety, ACT.
With families about to take to the roads for their summer break, making sure that tyres are in good condition and inflated to the correct level is fundamental to driver and passenger safety, and can have a significant effect on vehicle handling.
The three fundamental principles of ACT are:
Condition of tyres and wheels
Current tread depth legislation requires that car tyres must have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread in a continuous band throughout the central three-quarters of the tread width and over the whole circumference of the tyre. TyreSafe recommends that motorists consider changing their tyres before the legal limit.
Under-inflated tyres can overheat, while over-inflated tyres can lead to poor vehicle handling. With soaring fuel prices and the cost of car maintenance in the spotlight, it is also important to remember that maintaining the correct tyre pressure helps to maintain optimum fuel efficiency.
Given the unpredictable weather that often plagues the British summer holidays, it is vital that motorists are aware of the potential dangers of low tread depth. When driving in wet weather, the tread pattern of the tyre helps to evacuate water. As the tread begins to wears down, the tyre gradually loses the ability to evacuate all water from the road surface, and the lower the tread depth the greater the risk aquaplaning. Tread depth also has a significant effect on braking, with performance tests indicating that a vehicle braking in the wet with low tread will require a much longer braking distance.
Motorists preferring to have their tyres checked professionally can take their vehicle to any of Tyreshoppers approved fitting partners, who will be able to provide tyre safety advice and information.
For more information on the work of TyreSafe, visit www.tyresafe.org.