October is National Tyre Safety Month, a whole month dedicated to raising awareness of tyre safety and the importance of correctly maintained tyres on reducing motor accidents across Britain.
National Tyre Safety Month was started in 2010 by Tyre Safe
, a registered charity that is committed to reducing the amount of tyre-related casualties on the roads.
Don't chance it, check it!
Tyres are such an important part of your car, they're the only part of the vehicle that is in contact with the road surface and they have a major impact on your car's acceleration, braking, steering and cornering so good care and maintenance is essential.
Treads are designed to give good grip on wet roads and the grip decreases as your tyre's tread pattern wears down (or as the depth of water increases).
The legal UK tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of tread and drivers who are found to have illegal tyres can be charged a fine of £2,500 PER TYRE and get a three-point penalty on their licence. On top of that, you'll also have an increased risk of being involved in an accident!
According to Tyre Safe, one in five drivers have never checked their tyres at all when really you should be checking your tyres once a month. It's important to check your tyres regularly to make sure the tread depth and tyre pressure are ok, and that there's no visible debris or damage on the tyre itself.
Is your tread depth ok?
The 20p test is an easy way to see if your tread might be below the legal limit. Simply place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyres and if the outer rim of the coin is completely covered by the tread, your tread depth is above the legal limit!
If you can still see the outer rim of the coin, your tread could be less than 1.6mm and you should take your tyres to a professional
to get them checked properly.
Part worn = part safe?
A tyre survey has found that 98% of worn tyres are being sold illegally and 34% of the tyres being offered had dangerous, potentially life-threatening defects!
Did you know that the braking distance on wet roads when travelling at 50mph is 25.9m with a new tyre at 8mm tread depth, but that distance is increased to 37.8m with worn tyres at only 1.6mm of tread.
While the price you pay initially might be lower for worn tyres, you'll end up replacing them much more often. The minimum legal requirement of tread on a part worn tyre is only 2mm whereas if you were to buy new you'd be getting 7-8mm of tread depth and a much safer tyre.
But remember, October shouldn't be the only month you focus on tyre safety! Tyre Safe recommend you check your tyres
once a month every month because safe tyres save lives!