Tyre Safety Month
• Air pressure: Use an accurate tyre pressure gauge to check tyres’ air pressure is at the recommended settings. Check the vehicles owner’s handbook or fuel filler cap.
• Condition: Lumps or bulges in a tyre may indicate internal damage and increase the risk of a catastrophic failure. If these, or cuts and cracks, are found while checking a tyre, the tyre may need replacing and professional advice should be sought.
• Tread depth: Tread depth should be checked with an accurate gauge to ensure it is above the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm. If you don’t have an accurate tread depth gauge, a 20p can be used as a guide to how close your tread is to the limit if you don’t have a tread depth gauge available.
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TyreSafe is encouraging the UK’s drivers to Look Who’s Talking and get into the routine of checking their tyres at least every month this Tyre Safety Month. TyreSafe’s annual campaign throughout October aims to address the issue of more than half of Britain’s motorists driving on poorly maintained or defective tyres. In doing so, they are increasing fuel consumption, tyre wear and the risk of an incident on the road. That results in the UK’s drivers wasting at least £600 million annually on fuel, while nearly 170 are regrettably killed or seriously injured in tyre-related incidents. That average number of casualties has been consistently higher than those caused by mobile phone use while driving over the past five years. Driving without the correct amount of air in tyres makes a vehicle more difficult to control and reduces the amount of grip it has on the road. It also increases fuel bills, tyre wear and the risk of being involved in an incident. Lumps, bumps, cracks and cuts are a sign your tyre may be dangerous and need replacing. All tyres should have a tread depth above the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm to ensure the tyre remains in contact with the road in the wet. Over 27% of tyres are already illegal when they are replaced and over 70% of tyres are below 2mm when replaced. Drivers are also being encouraged to sign up to TyreSafe’s social media channels to receive regular tyre safety advice and get involved by sharing the Don’t Ignore Your Tyres message with others and post a photo of yourself carrying out #TyreChecks The Tyre Safety Month message is being supported up and down the country throughout October with local participating tyre dealers offering a FREE tyre safety check. TyreSafe Chairman, Stuart Jackson said: “Look Who’s Talking and the supporting strapline Don’t Ignore Your Tyres highlight the core challenge that needs to be overcome to reduce the number of tyre-related incidents – behaviour change among motorists. While it might sound like an elementary campaign title, feedback from our partners, in conjunction with what TyreSafe team members also witness first-hand, underlines there is still a need for basic education of a significant proportion of drivers. “There may be a section who consciously choose to ignore road safety messages but there is good reason to believe a far larger number would act on the advice if they were made aware of it. We encourage all motorists to support Tyre Safety Month and increase awareness of tyre safety in Britain.” These are three simple checks which motorists can do themselves: • Air pressure: the vehicle manufacturer provides at least two air pressure recommendations – one for light loads and another when fully loaded. Use an accurate pressure gauge and to ensure the vehicle’s tyres are at the correct settings • Condition: Every tyre should be free of cuts, lumps or bulges. If you see anything unexpected, have it inspected by a professional • Tread depth: in Britain, the legal limit for a car tyre’s tread depth is 1.6mm. Adequate tread helps keep the tyre in contact with the road, especially in the wet, and reduces the chances of aquaplaning To take part in Tyre Safety Month or for further information on tyre safety, log on to tyresafe.org
This article was posted on 1st October 2019
Part Worn Tyres Economics
Many drivers buying part worn tyres do so in the belief that they offer better value for money when compared with new tyres. However, this isn’t necessarily so and buyers should consider the cost per mm of useable tyre, rather than just the initial purchase price. New tyres are normally sold with around 8mm of tread depth, whereas part worn tyres may have as little of 2mm of tread. With a legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in the UK, the cost per mm of useable tread of part worn tyres can be considerably more than that of a new tyre. Equally, part worn tyres will need to be replaced much sooner than a new tyre meaning further expenditure will be required. Drivers should remember that not only is it dangerous and unsafe to drive on tyres with less than 1.6mm of tread but it is also against the law and can result in fines of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points per tyre.
Article care of: www.tyresafe.org
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. How often should my tyres be checked?
A. Tyres should be inspected at least once a month and before any long journey. Checks should include checking the air pressure, overall condition and tread depth. And don’t forget to check the spare or the compressor and sealant if no spare was fitted!
Q. What should I do when checking my tyres?
A. Tread depths should be checked to ensure they meet the legal minimum regulations. Pressures should be checked in line with the vehicle manufacturers’ recommended settings. Take care to increase the pressure if the vehicle is heavily loaded as shown in the car makers recommendations. The tyres should also be given a thorough visual inspection to look for any cuts, lumps or bulges. Also look for any objects embedded in the tread which should be removed.
Q. What is the minimum legal tread depth?
A. Current UK law requires car, van and LCV drivers to have at least 1.6mm of tread across the central three-quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference.
Q. What are the fines for driving with illegal tyres?
A. Drivers who fail to comply with the regulations face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.
Q. Why is tread depth important?
A. Adequate tread depth is essential for good grip on wet roads as the tread pattern helps to remove water from between the tyre and the road surface. Drivers with insufficient tread depth face longer stopping distances, reduced grip and an increased risk of aquaplaning.
Q. Why is correct tyre pressure important?
A. To stay safe on the road your car needs to have the correct tyre pressure. If the tyres are under or over inflated then handling and grip will worsen, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable car behaviour. Tyres with insufficient air are also more likely to suffer from a sudden rapid deflation and will suffer premature wear on the outside edges of the tyre.The wheel rim and tyre will be more susceptible to impact damage. Over-inflation results in less comfortable ride, a reduced area of contact with the road giving less grip in the day and accelerated wear on the tread centre . The benefits of a properly inflated tyre, include reduced running costs and longer tyre life.
Q. Where can I find the correct pressure for my tyres?
A. The vehicle manufacturers’ handbook contains this information, as well as it being available inside the fuel filler cap or driver’s door sill. Many tyre retailers will also be able to provide this information.
Q. What causes irregular wear?
A. Irregular wear can be caused by a number of factors. Repeated scuffing of tyres against kerbs, misaligned steering, aggressive driving, the over- or under-inflation of the tyre, worn suspension parts, are just some reasons. There are so many variables that there is no one single answer. Tyres should be checked regularly for any signs of wear and replaced accordingly.
Q. What do the sidewall markings mean?
A. The sidewall markings provide descriptive information about the tyre. The most important markings for drivers in the UK are size and type, aspect ratios load and speed indices (service description). For more information visit: TyreSafe.
Q. What is tyre labelling and what does it mean?
A. From 1st November 2012 all new car tyre labels will display three key measures that will rate the tyre’s fuel efficiency, wet braking performance and exterior noise emission characteristics. The labels will help explain to motorists how tyres perform in these three key areas and help them make a more informed choice about safer and more environmentally friendly driving. For more information visit: Tyre Labelling.
Q.Should I fit four new tyres at a time?
A. It’s better to fit all four tyres at the same time but if that is not possible then fitting two tyres at a time, and as a pair to get the best handling and grip on each axle, is the next best option. As a last resort, then a single tyre can be replaced. In all circumstances, seek the advice of an expert tyre retailer before replacing any tyres.
Q. Which is the best axle to place new tyres on?
A. New tyres on the rear axle provide better driver control on wet roads. This is because tyres with deeper tread are better at displacing water and give better grip. If the new tyres are fitted at the front the car, then it is more likely to oversteer when grip is lost in wet weather, which is much harder to control than understeer. Oversteer is when the rear of the car slides sideways, and understeer is when the front of the car slides.
Article care of: www.tyresafe.org 14/10/19
picture c/o www.tyresafe.org.
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