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Tyre Shopper: Supporting Tyre Safety Month

Did you know that October is Tyre safety month? The charity TyreSafe organise this annual month-long campaign which aims to educate motorists on the importance of regularly checking your tyres.

Why is tyre safety important?

Tyres are often overlooked when it comes to vehicle maintenance but they are one of the most critical safety features when braking as they are the only part of the car that is in contact with the road.

What Should be checked and why?

There are three main areas motorists are being urged to check, these are:

  • Air pressures – regularly checking your tyre pressures, ensuring they are inflated to their recommended pressures extends the life of the tyres, improves safety by reducing the chance of a blow-out and helps to maintain fuel efficiency.
  • Condition – check your tyres by looking for bumps, bulges or splits in the rubber. All of these things can increase the risk of a blowout.
  • Tread Depth – are your tyres above the minimum legal limit? Check your tyres either with a tread depth gauge or by simply placing a 20p coin in the grooves of your tyres, across the central belt. If the outer band of the coin is hidden, then your tread limit is legal.

How often should tyres be checked?

Tyres should be checked regularly to ensure they are roadworthy. Tread depths and pressures should be checked at least once a month.

Physical signs of damage such as bumps, cracks or cuts in the tyres are a sign that the tyres could be dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible.

What is the minimum legal tread depth?

The legal limit in the UK is 1.6mm of tread, once a tyre reaches this level it needs replacing immediately. Ideally, tyres should be changed before they reach this point.

Why is tread depth important?

The tread depth is important as it is the grip your tyres have on the road. If the tread depth is reduced it can lessen the grip, particularly in wet conditions causing longer stopping distances when braking.

Low tread depths can increase the risk of aquaplaning; this is when water builds up under your tyres. A good tread depth would disperse the water more effectively.

Why is tyre pressure important?

Incorrect tyre pressures reduce the amount of grip on the road which can make the vehicle difficult to control when driving. It can also increase tyre wear, fuel bills and the risk of an accident.

Here at Tyre Shopper, we recommend that these simple tyre checks are carried out regularly to ensure the safety of all road users.

Louise Helsby

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