Tread Carefully - Tyre Safety and Top Facts You Need To Know

posted on Dec 13 2016 by Karen Liggett

Tread Carefully - Tyre Safety and Top Facts You Need To Know

More than half of motorists can't remember the last time they checked their tyres and a third had no idea what the correct pressure was for their car types.

Those were the results of research undertaken by the RAC Foundation in the run up to the launch of the Tyre Industry Council's Tyre Safety Campaign. Welcoming the campaign, Kevin Delaney, RAC Foundation's Head of Traffic and Road Safety commented: "Tyres can play a significant and sometimes even lethal part in road traffic collisions. Their condition can, in some circumstances, mean the difference in life and death of a driver and his passengers."

The amount of tyre in contact with the road at any time is no greater than a human footprint. Tyres which are worn below 2mm are less likely to be able to maintain contact with a wet road surface and are more likely to aquaplane in heavy rain. At 1.6mm of tread, a tyre is much more likely to puncture as pieces of broken glass, nails, tacks or other debris come into contact with it.

Other tyre facts include:

- There may be as many as 6 million illegal tyres (less than 1.6mm depth) on Britain's cars. - As many as one in four motorists interviewed by the Foundation admitted that they may have a defective tyre as a spare.

- The most likely reasons for not checking tyre tread depth were people didn't know what the minimum was, they didn't have anything to check it with or didn't know how, or they leave it until the car goes in for a service.

- Tyres are an essential part of a vehicle's suspension, absorbing road shock. Worn sidewalls can badly affect road holding and are more likely to 'blow out', causing a sudden loss of control.

- Excessively high or low pressures, or pressures which vary widely between tyres on the same axle, can also badly affect road holding.