Many drivers put a lot of money and effort into maintaining their vehicles, but sometimes, one of the most important components is overlooked - the tyres.
People often change their tyres when it gets to winter, as they prepare to drive in trickier weather conditions, but new research from the Department for Transport shows that the highest number of tyre-related road incidents actually happen in June and July.
This research highlights the necessity for drivers to check their tyres all year round, and as October marks Tyre Safety Month, we have compiled some of our top tips for making sure your tyres remain in optimum condition.
The main thing that drivers need to be regularly checking for is tread depth, which is essential to maintaining a good grip of the road, especially when they are wet.
One of the quickest ways to check tyre tread is to place a 20 pence piece in the groove at three separate points on the tyre, as well as along the circumference. If you can see the outer border of the 20 pence, the tyres should be checked by a professional to confirm whether they need changing.
If tyres with less than the 1.6mm minimum tread aren’t replaced, and a person is caught driving a vehicle with them, they can face three penalty points and a £2,500 fine per tyre.
As well as avoiding points and fines, checking tyres regularly enables drivers to also keep an eye out for any lumps, bumps or objects sticking in them before they cause a puncture.
Monitor tyre pressure
It is equally important to check that your vehicle’s tyre pressure is at the right level, to make sure the tyres handle the road effectively and to minimise the risk of sudden deflation. Tyre pressure should be checked at least once a month when tyres are cold as well as before embarking on a long journey.
Maintaining the right tyre pressure also helps vehicles be more fuel-efficient and decreases a driver’s chances of being involved in an accident, which are some of the reasons why many drivers choose to use a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
When using a TPMS, drivers are alerted to any changes in tyre pressure or temperature while they are driving, enabling them to investigate or address any issues as soon as possible and before they cause a bigger problem.
It is clear from the Department for Transport’s research that tyre checks are an important part of vehicle maintenance all year round, not just in the winter months, and we encourage all drivers to regularly check and monitor their tyres to minimise the risk of road accidents.