A road safety and breakdown organisation in the UK is urging motorists to make regular checks on their tyres, to ensure tread depths are sufficient and pressures are correct.
Road safety officer Neil Worth from GEM Motoring Assist said: “We rely on our tyres to keep us safe on journeys. After all, they provide the only contact between the car and the road surface. In an extreme situation, correctly inflated tyres with good levels of tread will allow all the other safety systems on a car to work at their most effective.”
Inadequate tread or incorrect pressure mean the safety systems on your vehicle will not work as efficiently. Therefore, regular safety checks are important.
Failure to do this can result in a fixed charge of €80 and two penalty points if paid within 28 days, or four penalty points and €120 if it goes to court and results in a conviction.
There are economy benefits from properly inflated tyres too. Incorrect inflation increases the chances of damage to a tyre, and under-inflated tyres create more resistance on the road, leading to an increase in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Use a simple gauge to check tread depth. The legal minimum tread depth for a car is 1.6 mm across the central three quarters of the tread width and around its entire circumference.
Check for any cuts, tears, swellings and bumps. These could be caused by potholes or by hitting the kerb. If there is anything to give you cause for concern, get the tyre checked by an expert as soon as possible.
Check pressure using a tyre pressure gauge or the air machines found on most garage forecourts. Pressures for your car can normally be found in the owner’s manual. You may also find the pressure marked on the driver door pillar or inside the fuel flap. Otherwise, look up the pressures you need online.
Do not forget to check the condition of the spare tyre. It is often the forgotten tyre until you suddenly find you need it.