A cautionary reminder has been given to motorists that it’s in the summer months when there are more tyre-related incidents reported. TyreSafe, the UK’s charity dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of correct tyre maintenance and the dangers of defective and illegal tyres has launched a campaign.
Department for Transport data in the UK surprisingly for many shows, on average. July has the most tyre-related incidents, closely followed by August and then June. It is probably not much different here in Ireland.
TyreSafe is using its popular ‘Adventures in Tyre Safety’ video, book and images to alert British motorists to check their tyres regularly, at least once a month, and always before any long journey.
On average, across all road types in Britain, August is the busiest month, with some of the popular tourist routes through the countryside increasing by 25 per cent.
Stuart Jackson, Chairman, TyreSafe said: “A combination of factors come together to make the summer months the worst for reported tyre-related incidents. Summer in this part of the world doesn’t necessarily mean consistently good weather and the variations in road conditions may well be catching out unsuspecting drivers.
“When drivers take to the busier roads, they may be travelling longer distances than they normally would in fully laden cars, which puts their tyres under extra stress. Under these conditions, an underinflated tyre, or one with a defect, is more vulnerable to damage and potentially catastrophic failure. It really is vital that all drivers check their tyres are in good roadworthy condition to minimise the risk of an unwanted disruption to their summer get-away.”
Being tyre safe before any journey does not need to take long. Start with a visual check, looking at the overall condition of each tyre to see if anything might have penetrated the tread, such as nails or other objects. If any of these objects, cracks or bulges are present, the driver should refer immediately seek professional advice.
The air pressure of each tyre should also be checked using an accurate gauge. Typically, car manufacturers recommend two different tyre pressures, one for light loads and another for when the vehicle is fully. It’s essential that drivers adjust the pressures to accommodate the load they are carrying. These settings can be found in the vehicle handbook, on reputable internet tyre pressure charts such as the one at tyresafe.org, and often in the vehicle’s fuel filler cap or door sill.
Such simple checks could save motorists the cost of an average tank of fuel because under-inflated tyres wear more quickly and increase fuel consumption.
Finally, drivers should check the tread of their tyres to ensure they are above the UK the legal tread depth minimum of 1.6mm. Ideally an accurate tread depth gauge should be used but if this is not available, a 20p coin can be used as a guide. Insert the 20p into the main sections of the tyre and at various points around the circumference – should you see the outer rim at any point, you need to have the tread depth checked as it may be illegal.
Motorists will find all this advice is included in TyreSafe’s Guide to Summer Motoring campaign, which takes an informative yet informal approach to tyre safety. With an engaging video available to view and the Adventures in Tyre Safety booklet available to download from tyresafe.org, motorists can get in the holiday spirit in the knowledge they have reduced their risk of an incident on the roads.