Millions of people in the U.K. will be out in their cars this bank holiday weekend, heading off for a holiday or visiting family and friends. And with the Spring bank holiday leading straight into the May half term for most schoolchildren, even more families will also be using the road networks for week-long staycations or journeys to airports for trips abroad.
Estimates say that somewhere between 14 and 18 million people will use the UK’s road networks this weekend alone. To help avoid any unwanted delays, and to keep you and your loved ones safe as you take advantage of the extended break, TyreSafe – the UK’s tyre safety organisation – advises that you use its quick tyre safety tips.
“Punctures and tyre-related incidents are the second most common cause of breakdowns according to the AA,” said TyreSafe chairman Stuart Jackson. “We’re advising drivers to use these tips because we know anyone travelling this weekend will want to arrive safely and on time.”
Tyres form one of the most important parts of a vehicle, in terms of safety, but they are the most at risk on account of their vulnerability on the road surface and the very nature of what they do.
TyreSafe, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of correct tyre maintenance and the dangers of defective and worn tyres, have produced this handy guide of tips to help you stay a little safer on the roads.
Check your tyre pressure:
- Check your recommended pressure using the owners’ manual. It can also be found on a sticker in the fuel flap or inside the driver or passenger side door
- You can check your pressure and inflate your tyres at your local petrol station
- Remember: if you are carrying more passengers or luggage, the manufacturer’s recommended pressure will often change
Check your tread depth:
- You must have at least 1.6mm across three-quarters of the tread around the entire circumference of the tyre
- Insert a 20p coin into the main tyre grooves at several places around the tyre
- If the outer band of the coin is visible your tyre may be illegal and you should have it checked by a specialist
- Remember: if your tyres are illegal you can face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre
Check the condition:
- Inspect the tyre for signs of wear or damage such as cuts, lumps, bulges, exposed cords or sidewall damage
- Remove any stones or other items embedded in the tread
- If you spot any wear or damage to your tyres you should have them checked by an expert
Check your spare:
- If you have a spare wheel don’t forget to check its pressure, tread and condition
- If your spare tyre is for temporary use only, remember that speed restrictions will apply
- Remember: if you have a spare and intend to change it yourself, make sure you have a functioning jack and tyre brace
For more information about how to perform pre-travel tyre safety checks, including a range of easy-to-understand advice, videos and animations, visit www.tyresafe.org or download the Tyre Safety Companion App.