Tyre Safety

posted on Oct 01 2009 by Jade Hensby

Tyre Safety

October is Tyre Safety month. After doing some research some of the statistics about the average car owner and their tyres is a little worrying.

  • 80% of cars have incorrectly inflated tyres.
  • 90% of drivers don't know their car's correct tyre inflation pressure.
  • 10% of all cars have at least one tyre with an illegal tread depth.

And I'm sure you're aware of the dangers, and additional costs, of running your car with incorrectly inflated or worn tyres. Driving with worn tyres increases your stopping distance, reduces your cornering ability and increases the chance of aquaplaning when it's wet.

According to tyre safe, the people behind Tyre Safe month, the easiest way to check your tyres are up to the job is with a 20 pence piece. "Inserting a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyres gives you a good indication of whether your tyres have sufficient tread depth. If the outer band of the 20p coin is visible when inserted into the tread, your tyres may be illegal and you should have them checked by a qualified tyre specialist. If the outer band is not visible on the coin, then your tyres have a tread depth well above the legal limit."

The current law states that tyres must have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its whole circumference. Drivers with tyres that fail to meet these standards face a fine of up to 2,500 and three penalty points per illegal tyre. Amazing to think the amount of money 20p can save you.

The story with tyre pressure is just as bleak. Running tyres at 80% of the recommended pressure can reduced the tyre's life by a quarter. If the pressure falls to 60% you'll only get a third of the tyre's potential life. And according to Tyresafe, driving on tyres just 10psi under the recommended pressure raises fuel usage by 25%. Checking your tyre pressure can't be done with pocket change, but from 2012 new European legislation will mean all new cars will have tyre pressure monitoring systems fitted to help you keep your tyre pressure correct.

Normally, our posts take you off to see some of the great car leasing deals we have available. But this time, I'm just going to pose you a question: Remember to the last time you checked your tyre pressures. Did you check the spare tyre?