30 Aug How much do you really know about tyre safety?
Tyres are among the most important features of a car when it comes to keeping us safe, but how much attention do you pay to the rubber between you and the road when you’re in the driving seat? The fact is, tyres are an often overlooked aspect of vehicle safety.
To test people’s knowledge in this crucial area, automotive parts repair experts Kwik Fit recently launched a #TyreChallenge quiz asking questions relating to this topic. To help you swat up on your tyre knowledge, here are some useful pointers.
Don’t let your tread depth dip below 1.6mm
In many countries, including the UK, the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. This means that if you’re found to be driving on tyres below this level, you risk being fined and getting points on your licence. So, it’s essential to keep tabs on your tread and to replace your tyres before they dip below this cut-off point.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that many safety specialists advise drivers to change their tyres once the tread depth falls below 3mm. This is because tread below this level can increase stopping distances by as much as two extra car lengths.
Remember to check your tyre pressure regularly
Checking tyre pressure on a regular basis may seem unnecessary, but in fact this can play an important role in preventing accidents. Over or under-inflated tyres are at an increased risk of blowouts and they provide reduced grip on road surfaces, meaning you have less control over your car.
Because of the dangers posed by incorrectly inflated tyres, it’s important to get into the habit of checking pressure. Make sure you do this when the tyres are cold in order to get an accurate reading.
Look out for tell-tale signs of damage
From stray screws and nails to pieces of glass, there are all manner of objects on the roads that can do serious damage to tyres. Often, these things become embedded in the rubber without drivers noticing – until people find themselves with a flat or a blowout when they’re on the road. By inspecting your tyres regularly, you should be able to spot any sharp objects. These visual checks will also enable you to identify other signs of damage, such as bulges or cracks in the sidewalls.
If you do see any problems, make sure you get your tyres checked out and if necessary replaced.
When it comes to tyres, there’s no room for taking risks – so it pays to be in the know about this element of car safety.