Drivers 'must not tire of tyre checks'

By Giles Blair

MOTORISTS are being urged to make monthly checks on tyres – and even weekly during the winter – to ensure tread depths are sufficient and pressures are correct.

The call is being made by leading road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist, with boss Neil Worth pointing out that properly inflated tyres also maximise fuel economy.

He said: “Regular tyre safety checks reduce the risk of an incident while on the roads. However, an estimated one in five drivers never checks tyre treads – a startling number that rises to one in three among young drivers.

“Checking and maintaining tyres also reduces the cost of motoring as underinflated tyres will wear quicker and cause the vehicle to use more fuel.”

The question “What’s Stopping You?” is the theme for this year’s Tyre Safety Month, which runs throughout October.

It’s designed to remind motorists of the benefits and importance of tyre checks while also carrying the message that, as the only point of contact between the road and the vehicle, tyres are crucial for safe and effective braking and cornering.

Inadequate tread or incorrect pressure mean the safety systems on your vehicle will not work as efficiently. That’s why regular checks on tyre inflation and tread depth are so important.

Under-inflated tyres reduce your vehicle’s ability to grip the road and compromise handling. This can result in unpredictable vehicle behaviour and increases the risk of a tyre blowout.

Over-inflated tyres have a smaller contact area with the road, leading to increased stopping distance and reduced grip. There’s likely to be a lot more wear across the central part of the tyre, leading to a shorter lifespan.

GEM recommends a minimum tread depth of 3mm (the legal minimum is 1.6mm), as this disperses more water from the road and will minimise your risk of losing control.

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