Bank Holiday motoring blues can be avoided this spring with some simple tyre checks before heading off, advises TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation.
Indeed, breakdown recovery associations are bracing themselves, as they do every year, for countless tyre related call outs as millions of motorists take to the roads for a quick getaway over Easter, shortly followed by the May Bank Holiday.
In fact, punctured or torn tyres was the second most common reason for calling out the AA in 2011.
“Spending just a few minutes checking your vehicle’s tyres could ultimately save you hours of hassle following a puncture or blow-out. However, what’s more important is that an unchecked tyre might be unsafe, putting the driver, passengers and other road users in very real danger,” said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.
Two of the main things to bear in mind include air pressure and the overall tyre condition. Having the correct air pressure is particularly critical because of the increased vehicle weight from extra passengers and luggage being transported. Therefore, vehicles may need to have their tyres inflated to a higher pressure to stay safe.
Many vehicle manufacturers actually specify that tyre pressures should be increased when the car is fully laden with passengers and luggage, such as suitcases, bikes and roof boxes. If the pressures are not adjusted accordingly and the tyres run under-inflated, excessive heats builds up inside the tyre which can lead to premature tyre failure.
Meanwhile, the condition of the tyres should be visually inspected. Remove any objects which have become embedded in the tread. If you find any cuts, lumps or bulges, get a professional to check your tyres immediately.
It’s also sensible, considering the inclement British weather and its fondness for the sharp downpour, to check tread depth so that the tyres can cope with wet roads.
Current UK law requires drivers to have at least 1.6mm of tread across the central three-quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference.
And to help motorists, TyreSafe has devised its 20p test for tread depth. All drivers need to do is insert a 20p coin into the main grooves of the tyre. If the outer band of the coin is visible when inserted, then the tyre may not have sufficient depth and should be checked by a qualified specialist. Full details of how to take the test can be found by visiting the TyreSafe website www.tyresafe.org
“Don’t let the state of your tyres put a dampener on your Bank Holiday fun. It’s quick and easy to check them and will leave you free to enjoy what really matters,” added Jackson.
TyreSafe is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of correct tyre maintenance and the dangers of defective and worn tyres.
In 2009, TyreSafe was awarded with the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in recognition of its achievements in raising awareness about the dangers associated with driving on defective and worn tyres.
TyreSafe supports the government’s ACT ON CO2 campaign which promotes Smarter Driving tips to help cut CO2 emissions from driving.
TyreSafe is a signatory to the European Road Safety Charter which aims to reduce road fatalities.
TyreSafe is a supporter of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety which aims to make roads safer and save lives.