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Safe tyres can prevent accidents


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It is important to check your tyres regularly.

Your tyres are your vehicles only contact with the road, so in order to drive safely it is imperative that all your tyres are in good condition.

They affect the steering, acceleration and braking of vehicles.

They should be checked at least every two weeks for having the correct tyre pressure, for a safe level of tread and any visible damage.

The correct tyre pressure will optimise fuel economy, prolong the life of your tyres, which in turn will save you money, and help the environment by reducing CO2 emissions, and by reducing the load caused by old tyres on landfill sites. 

The correct tyre pressures for your vehicle can usually be found in the vehicles handbook, on drivers door frame or on inside of the drivers door.

Tyre pressures should always be taken whilst the tyres are cold, even the shortest journeys can warm the tyres.

As tyres wear away the grip is reduced, this will adversely affect the vehicles handling, particularly braking and increase the risk of vehicle accidents.

The legal minimum for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm in a continuous band around the middle three quarters of a tyre. Most tyres have tread wear indicators, usually small ribs across the bottom of the tread grooves. When the tread surface is level with these ribs, the tyre is about to become illegal.

It is recommended that tyres are replaced before the tread has worn down level to the rib indicators. If in doubt find a reputable tyre retailer and ask them to check.

It is illegal to have: -

A cars tyre tread worn below 1.6mm;

Under or over inflated tyres;

A mixture of radial and cross ply tyres on the same vehicle;

Damaged tyres with tears, cuts, lumps, bulges or bald patches;

Incorrect tyres fitted to a vehicle.

New tyres should meet European Standards for load and speed performance; this will be shown by an 'E' or 'e' on the tyres side wall. Retread tyres supplied in the UK must meet British Standard 'AU144e' and show that code.

This signifies that they have been tested and meet the same performance standards as new tyres. Second hand tyres will display 'part-worn' next to the European or British Standard mark indicating the have been correctly checked for faults.

Recent DfT figures show that under inflated or faulty tyres are responsible for over a third of all road accidents resulting in injury. Research by TyreSafe indicates that over 10% of company cars and vans have at least one faulty tyre and that another 12% have a tyre tread between 2mm and 1.6mm, which is the legal minimum.

It is estimated that some 70% of drivers are unaware of the legal minimum tyre tread depth

Tyre Safety month



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