Monthly tyre checks

a must, says GEM

Bald tyre

ROAD safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging motorists to make monthly checks on tyres, to ensure tread depths are sufficient and pressures are correct.

Correct tyre pressure is not only vital for your safety on the road, it's also the best way to maximise fuel economy, according to GEM chief executive Neil Worth.

"Regular tyre safety checks reduce the risk of an incident while on the roads. However, an estimated one in five drivers never checks tyre tread - a startling number which rises to one in three among young drivers," he said.

"Checking and maintaining tyres also reduces the cost of motoring as underinflated tyres will wear quicker and cause the vehicle to use more fuel."

The question What's Stopping You? is the theme for this year's Tyre Safety Month, which runs throughout October.

The campaign is designed to remind motorists of the benefits and importance of tyre checks whilst also carrying the message that, as the only point of contact between the road and the vehicle, it is tyres which are crucial for safe and effective braking and cornering.

Inadequate tread or incorrect pressure mean the safety systems on your vehicle will not work as efficiently. That's why regular checks on tyre inflation and tread depth are so important.

There are severe penalties if you use worn or defective tyres. Each bald or defective tyre carries a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points.

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.

GEM recommends drivers to check tyre tread depth and pressure monthly - and preferably weekly through the winter - and to keep a minimum tread depth of 3mm (the legal minimum is 1.6mm), as this will disperse much more water from the road and will minimise your risk of skidding and losing control.

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