TyreSafe supporters will today provide expert tyre advice to motorists participating in Highways England’s Stop4T activities. They will join the emergency service and Highways England officers at 19 service stations along the M6 corridor who are providing potentially life-saving road safety advice as part of its on-going campaign to reduce the number of casualties on Britain’s roads.
While Britain’s motorways are among the safest in the world, the number of accidents could be reduced further if drivers improved their driving habits and carried out regular maintenance checks.
TyreSafe, the UK’s charity dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of correct tyre maintenance and the dangers of defective and illegal tyres, recommends motorists check their tyres at least once a month and before long journeys. At present, all evidence implies a poor attitude among Britain’s drivers towards tyre safety.
Those checks should include ensuring the vehicle’s tyre pressures are in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended settings and this is typically different when fully loaded than when being driven with one or two occupants. The correct pressures can be found in the owner’s manual, fuel filler cap, door shut and sometimes on a sticker in the glovebox. Driving with the correct pressures is crucial to the way the vehicle will perform yet the government estimates 12.5% of tyres on the road are dangerously underinflated while a survey by Wheelwright with Highways England found it was as high as 25%.
Tread depth is equally important to safety and equally often overlooked by vehicle owners. A tyre’s tread ensures the vehicle stays in secure contact with the road, especially in the wet, and as it wears down the vehicle braking distances increase and the steering response becomes less effective. Despite drivers facing a potential £2500 fine and three penalty points on their licence, a recent survey by TyreSafe in partnership with Highways England found over 27% of tyres were already illegal when they were replaced across the UK.
A tyre’s condition should also be checked as lumps, bumps, cracking and scuffs increase the chances of a catastrophic tyre failure, in particular when driving at motorway speeds.
To help inform drivers of these risks and the importance of tyre maintenance checks, Micheldever/Protyre, GITI Tire UK, Westgate Tyres and Chris Hardy Tyres will have teams of experts on hand at all the Stop4T venues. Equipped with TyreSafe materials and a wealth of experience and knowledge, they’ll answer any questions the drivers may have and check the air pressure, condition and tread depth of motorists wishing to take part.
Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe, said: “Highways England’s Stop4T activity is an excellent initiative and offers motorists the opportunity to learn from experts how they can improve their safety on the roads. TyreSafe is delighted to be able to offer tyre-specific expertise, thanks to the passion and commitment of its supporters to help educate drivers and keep them as safe as possible. TyreSafe wishes all involved and participating in Stop4T an enjoyable and educational day.”