The condition of your tyres is critical for braking, acceleration, steering and cornering. As the driver you are responsible for making sure tyres are legal and roadworthy.
Here are 5 handy tips to help keep your vehicle safe – and you on the right side of the law.
Check your tread depth
Anything under 3mm can compromise performance and safety. Check the tread depth on all four of the tyres in various points along the tyre and the inner, outer and centre.
This can be done using a tread gauge or the built in tread wear indicator.
The legal limit of the minimum tread is 1.6mm. See the handy 20p test further down in this blog.
Check your pressure
Having the correct inflation pressure is essential; tyres naturally lose pressure over times so it is important to refill them regularly
Check for damage
Give your tyres a close inspection for cuts and cracks, which can lead to slow punctures or cause the steel wires in the tyre to rust.
Don’t overload your vehicle
Overloading has the same effect on tyres as under-inflation, causing premature tread wear and in extreme cases a sudden blowout.
Extra caution in wet conditions
You’re twice as likely to have an accident in wet weather as in dry weather.
The stopping distance of a tyres with 1.6mm of tread is double that of a new tyre with 8mm.
Would your tyres pass the 20p test?
A quick and easy way to see if your tyre tread exceeds the minimum legal tread depth, as used by many road based professionals, is to take the 20p test.
Simply place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre.
If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit.
If the outer band of the coin is visible, then your tyres may be illegal and unsafe and should be checked immediately by a qualified tyre professional.
When you perform the test, remember to check at least three locations around each tyre. As the test is so quick and easy, stay safe by checking your tyres at least once a month.
Failure to comply with the legal minimum standards can result to fines of up to £2500 and 3 penalty points for each illegal tyre.
UK law requires car tyres to have a minimum of 1.6 of tread across the central three quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference.
For further information, visit www.tyresafe.org