ROAD safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging car owners to make monthly checks of air pressure, condition and tread on their tyres.
GEM's call comes at the start of Tyre Safety Month in October with its key safety message urging drivers not to ignore their tyres, and to check them once a month.
GEM chief executive Neil Worth said: "Correctly inflated tyres with good levels of tread allow all the other safety systems on a car to work effectively. In a sudden emergency this could be significant in determining the outcome and protecting those involved.
"Under-inflated tyres reduce your vehicle's ability to grip the road, and also compromise handling. This can result in unpredictable vehicle behaviour, and increases the risk of a tyre blowout, where sudden rapid deflation occurs.
"Over-inflated tyres have a smaller contact area with the road, leading to increased stopping distance and reduced grip. There's likely to be a lot more wear across the central part of the tyre, leading to a shorter lifespan.
"So please don't ignore your tyres. Check air pressure, condition and tread depth on a monthly basis."
GEM recommends the following:
1. Use an accurate gauge to check that the air pressure is at recommended settings. Check the vehicles owner's handbook if you're not sure.
2. Check to ensure your tyres are in good condition. Lumps, bulges, cuts or cracks indicate damage to a tyre - and increase the risk of its failing in a critical situation.
3. Use an accurate gauge to ensure tread depth is above the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm. If you don't have an accurate tread depth gauge, a 20p coin can be used as a guide to how close your tread is to the limit.
There are heavy penalties for drivers using worn or defective tyres on their cars. Each bald or defective tyre carries a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points.