3 things you need to know about your car tyres
You might not normally give your car tyres much thought, but these pieces of kit are essential when it comes to keeping you and other road users safe.
To help ensure drivers are clued up on this aspect of vehicle safety, experts TyrePlus recently produced a ‘Get to Grips with Your Tyres’ eBook setting out some important facts and tips on this topic. Here are just a few that you should be aware of.
- The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm
Did you know that if the tread depth on your tyres gets below 1.6mm, you’re breaking the law? This is the legal minimum in the UK, and it applies around the entire circumference of each tyre and the central three-quarters of the tread. If your tyre tread is found to be too worn, you risk being fined £2,500 and given three penalty points on your licence – and this is per tyre.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that while 1.6mm is the legal minimum, many safety experts advise replacing tyres once their tread wears down below 3mm.
- You can use a 20p coin to check your tread
You don’t need a fancy piece of kit to test the tread on your tyres. In fact, all you need is a 20p piece. You simply insert one of these coins between the grooves on your tyres. If the outer band of the coin is visible, the tread has worn down below 1.6mm, meaning you’ll need to replace it.
If you’d prefer, you can use a special depth gauge to do this job instead. These simple pieces of equipment can be bought online or in most garages.
- Failing to keep tabs on tyre pressure can put you at risk
Especially if you often find yourself in a rush, it’s easy to forget to keep tabs on your tyre pressure. However, overlooking this safety check could put you at risk on the roads. Under-inflated tyres flex more when you’re driving, causing them to become hotter and increasing the risk of blowouts. Too little pressure can also mean that tyres fail to keep their proper shape, which affects cornering and braking. Meanwhile, if your tyres are overinflated, less of the rubber will be in contact with the road, reducing your grip and making handling and braking more difficult.
With this in mind, it’s well worth taking the time to check your tyre pressure on a regular basis.
Making an effort to understand tyre safety issues like these will help you to stay safe on the road and allow you to drive with added confidence.