Driving is an essential skill that gives us the freedom to travel and to take charge of our own destinies. But with this freedom comes a responsibility you should never shirk. Car maintenance is something all drivers should be taking seriously, particularly this October now that we’ve officially entered Tyre Safety Month.
What is Tyre Safety Month?
Tyre Safety Month is an initiative promoted by TyreSafe which serves as a crucial reminder to all motorists about the importance of maintaining their tyres. It’s a time when we should all take a moment to reflect on the condition of our tyres and the key roles they play in promoting overall road safety.
And, of course, remember that investing in the safety of your tyres not only keeps you and your passengers (as well as everyone else on the road) safe but also saves you money in the long run.
Why Tyre Safety is Important
Tyre safety involves a range of checks and measures that, if neglected, can lead to accidents and costly repairs.
Air Pressure Underinflated tyres can lead to reduced handling, longer braking distances, and an increased risk of blowouts, whereas overinflated tyres can lead to increased wear and tear, leading to a reduction in traction and stability. Driving on low tyres also reduces fuel efficiency, costing you more at the pump. Thankfully, checking your tyre’s air pressure is as simple as heading to your local garage or service station and using a tyre pressure gauge. Refer to your car’s manual to determine the recommended pressure and then use your local air pump to bring it to the right level.
Tread Depth Adequate tread depth helps your tyres maintain grip on wet and slippery roads, which is especially important in October when the weather is generally wet, windy and (often) icy. To check the tread depth, you can use a tread depth gauge or, if you’re looking to save some money, there’s always the “20p test.” Simply slot a 20p coin into the tread grooves, and if the outer band of the coin is visible, your tyres may be close to the legal minimum limit of 1.6mm. Insufficient tread depth can result in hydroplaning and poor handling, especially in adverse weather conditions. To improve your tread, you can get your tyres rotated, check the alignment or have your wheels professionally balanced.
Condition Finally, checking the overall condition of your tyres should be the final step before giving yourself (and your car) the all-clear Check for signs of damage, such as cuts, bulges, or punctures, as damaged tyres can lead to serious accidents, particularly in bad weather. So, if you notice that your car tyres are in need of upgrading, book them in with a local garage sooner rather than later.
So, remember to take the time this October to prioritise your tyre safety. A lot of it is honestly just common sense, of course, but you’d be surprised how often that falls by the wayside.