THE May bank holidays are approaching rapidly and many drivers are planning a getaway break.
Apart from planning your destination, route and accommodation, don’t forget to plan vital checks on your car.
Drivers who forget to check their tyres before heading off could be risking significant roadside misery warns TyreSafe, which points to shocking statistics revealed by one of the UK’s biggest breakdown recovery organisations.
Last year alone, more than 12,000 drivers called the AA for a tyre related incident when travelling on a public or Bank Holiday. However, by carrying out just a few simple tyre checks before setting off, drivers can significantly reduce the risk of a tyre related incident and reach their destination safely advises TyreSafe.
“The high number of tyre related call outs attended by the AA last year on public holidays is quite worrying, especially when you consider that this is just one vehicle breakdown recovery organisation.
“Indeed, tyres that aren’t checked regularly or before any long journeys could be potentially hazardous, endangering the safety of the driver, passengers and other road users,” said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.
However, by ensuring tyres have the correct air pressure, motorists can help avoid becoming just another breakdown statistic.
Drivers should remember that tyres might need to be inflated to a higher pressure if carrying extra passengers and luggage, such as bikes and roof boxes, due to the increased weight. Failure to adjust the tyre’s pressure accordingly means they might be under-inflated causing excessive heat build up inside the tyre which can lead to a premature tyre failure. Details of the car’s correct pressure settings can be found in the vehicle manufacturer’s handbook, inside the fuel filler cap or on a plate on the driver’s door sill.
Meanwhile, tread depth should also be checked to ensure tyres are both safe and legal. Current UK law requires car drivers to have at least 1.6mm of tread across the central three-quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference. Drivers failing to comply with this law, not only increase their safety risk on the road but they can also face fines of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points for each illegal tyre.
A visual inspection of the tyres is also strongly recommended and drivers should remove any objects which have become embedded in the tread. If any tyre show signs of lumps, bulges or cuts then it should be checked immediately by a qualified tyre professional.
“Most drivers take the sensible precaution of checking their oil and water levels before a long journey and the same should also apply to checking the state of the tyres.
“After all, Bank Holidays are here to be enjoyed, not spent by the roadside waiting for a breakdown recovery van,” added Jackson.
Visitors to TyreSafe’s website — www.tyresafe.org — will find a host of tyre safety advice and tips on how to inspect their tyres for a safer journey.