Woeful winter weather making tyre safety checks vital, experts warn

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 10:00
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WOE: Do you check your tyres?

Drivers must regularly check their tyres following Britain’s recent weather woe or face potential disaster, TyreSafe have warned.

This winter has brought the worst storms for two decades, with standing water remaining a major hazard in many parts of the UK.

TyreSafe insist motorists must combat such risks as aquaplaning and damaged road surfaces by inspecting their tyres on a regular basis.

Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, said: “Although floods in many areas are starting to subside, motorists are still faced with a couple of serious tyre related challenges which can be minimised if they spend a few moments regularly checking their tyres.

“The checks are incredibly easy to make, but they could make the world of difference to your safety on the road.”

While driving through deep flood water should be tackled with extreme caution, smaller areas of standing water may be less easy to avoid but equally dangerous, TyreSafe claim.

On vehicles equipped with tyres that have insufficient or low levels of tread depth, water between the tyres and the road surface may not be removed quickly enough.

This layer of water can build up in front of the tyres until the tyre loses contact with the road surface.

The loss of traction, aquaplaning, causes the wheels to slip and prevents the vehicle from responding to steering, braking or acceleration.

As a result, the vehicle can lose control, starting to skid or spin dangerously.

TyreSafe advise drivers to check the tread depth of their tyres, to ensure they are above the legal minimum requirement of 1.6mm.

Meanwhile, when tyres hit large potholes, they have the potential to be suffer internal damage which could cause the tyre to fail catastrophically.

Consequently, TyreSafe claim drivers should inspect the condition of their tyres at least once a month, and even more frequently if they know they have hit a pothole.

In particular, drivers should look for cuts, lumps or bulges, and also check the tyre pressures regularly in case the wheel rim itself has been damaged.

“Checking your tyres may see like an unnecessary or daunting task, but in the current conditions it’s even more important than normal,” added Mr Jackson.

“Of course, if you’re not sure what to do then simply pop into your local tyre professional who will be able to inspect things properly and advise you of any issues.”

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