1 in 5 people have never checked their tyres – when did you last check yours?

Throughout October, Buckinghamshire Council’s road safety initiative, Travel Safe Bucks, will be focusing on the importance of tyre safety.

According to stats from TyreSafe, almost 1,000 drivers are killed or seriously injured in accidents every year due to tyre-related problems. If that statistic wasn’t shocking enough, TyreSafe also revealed that 2.2m people fail their MOTs every year due to tyre defects. One thing is clear; we are simply not paying enough attention to our tyres.

So when you’re checking your tyres, what should you be looking for?

Tread depth

Current UK law states that a cars tyre tread should be a minimum of 1.6mm, around its entire circumference. This can be checked really easily, with the help of a 20p coin! All you need to do is place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured, then your tread is fine. If the outer band of the coin is visible, your tyres may be unsafe – and illegal – so you should get them checked by a professional immediately.

When doing this ‘20p test’, make sure you check at least three different parts of your tyre. Complete this check at least once a month to make sure your tyres are safe and legal.

Tyre condition

Even if you drive carefully, nothing will stop your tyres suffering wear and tear because they are in constant contact with the road. That’s why it’s so important to regularly check the condition of them.

A tyre should never have bumps or lumps in them. They also shouldn’t have any objects embedded into or sticking out of them. If they do, you should get the tyre inspected by a professional, as lumps or bumps in a tyre can indicate internal damage. When inspecting your tyres, if you see stones or other objects embedded in the tread, you should carefully remove these yourself. However, if you are unsure, always seek advice from a professional.

You should check the condition of your tyres regularly.

Tyre pressure

If your car does not have the correct tyre pressure, it may not be safe to drive. Tyres that are both over and under inflated can cause handling and grip to worsen, which can lead to an accident. Check the pressure of your tyres regularly.

If you’re unsure of what the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle should be, you can find this information in the vehicle handbook, inside the fuel filler cap or the drivers door sill. You can also check online, on the TyreSafe website; all you need to do is enter your registration details.

With winter fast approaching, we are sure to be experiencing heavy rain, frost and maybe even some snow very soon. In adverse weather conditions such as these, it’s more important than ever to make sure we are travelling safely – and that includes keeping our tyres in good condition.

Cabinet Member for Transport, Steven Broadbent, said: “Tyre safety is so important. As a driver, if you have a broken indicator or a damaged windscreen, you wouldn’t be driving because it wouldn’t be safe. In a similar manner, if a tyre is damaged, it’s not safe to drive with. Checking our tyres is something that can very easily slip our minds, so I would urge everybody to take this as a reminder to check your tyres today! Set a reminder on your phone or write it on your calendars to take five minutes at least once a month to check them over and make sure they’re safe – and legal – to drive with.”

For more information about how to check your tyres, visit the TyreSafe website or visit Travel Safe Bucks on Facebook or Twitter.