With the King’s coronation and bank holiday weekend fast approaching, TyreSafe is urging drivers to make sure they’ve carried out the necessary checks to ensure their vehicle, and in particular its tyres, is in a condition fit for a King.
No matter what a driver’s plans, whether they’re eager to take advantage of the warmer weather and extra day off with outdoor sports or are planning a getaway, BBQ, afternoon tea or garden party with friends or family, these checks are especially important when travelling longer distances or driving with vehicles loaded with people and luggage.
With a rise in staycations and an increase in traffic on the roads over the bank holiday, coupled with predicted unsettled conditions by the Met Office, drivers are urged to mitigate the risk of a tyre related incident by performing vital checks by remembering to ACT – air pressure, condition and tread.
Air pressure: find the tyre size on the sidewall; it will be in this format XXX/XX/RXX, for example, 195/55/R15. Look up the air pressure for your vehicle either in the handbook, filler cap or on the door sill. Cross reference the size of tyre with the recommended pressure, and bear in mind you will likely have two values displayed: one for a fully loaded vehicle and the other with minimal occupants.
Condition: Cracking of the tyre’s sidewall indicates the ageing process has made it lose its suppleness and may be beyond its safe lifespan. It should be checked by a professional if you see this ‘crazing’ effect as you will also need to do if you see any lumps or bulges. If a tyre has a ‘flat spot’ it is likely to be felt by a vibration through the steering wheel when driven, and again needs to be examined by a professional. Remove any stones or other foreign objects from the tread and have any damage examined by a tyre professional.
Tread depth: The minimum tread depth for vehicles under 3.5 tons is 1.6mm (1mm for motorcycles and scooters over 50cc). Ideally it should be checked with an accurate tread depth gauge but if you do not have one, insert a 20p-piece into the central grooves of your tyre and at several points around its circumference. If you can see the border at any point, it might be illegal and should be checked by a professional.
Stuart Lovatt, TyreSafe Chair, said: “This is a big moment for the nation, and set to unite friends and families to mark the occasion across the country. Which means people will be taking to the roads en masse, to either staycation or to celebrate. We want to help drivers and their passengers have an incredible weekend and not have their trips cut short by an avoidable tyre related incident. Our message extends to drivers of vehicles of all kinds, from motorhomes and caravans through to motorcycles and vans. In all cases, tyres are the only point of contact between the vehicle and the
road. Performing three simple checks could be the difference between a jolly good knees-up and a right royal disaster. ACT to avoid unnecessary risks and make sure your car is fit for a King.”
To find out more about the tyre checks which will help you reduce the risks of a tyre-related incident out on the roads, visit tyresafe.org.