Don’t let the rain put a dampener on Bank Holiday travel

26thMay11With rain showers forecast across much of the UK this coming Spring Bank Holiday weekend, TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation, is encouraging drivers to check the condition of their tyres before setting off on daytrips or away on a mini-break. Drivers should ensure that their tyres have adequate tread depth to grip potentially slippery road surfaces and are properly inflated to carry any additional loads such as luggage or extra passengers.

“After the recent prolonged dry spell, the rain showers which are forecast for much of the UK this coming weekend, are likely to make the roads extremely slippery,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “As the only contact point between a vehicle and road surface, it’s essential that drivers make sure their tyres are in a suitable condition to cope with the potentially hazardous conditions. By taking just a few moments before setting off, drivers can significantly reduce the risk of a weekend ruined by an unnecessary accident.”

To cope properly with wet conditions, drivers should check their tyre tread depth as the tread pattern helps to remove water from the road surface, allowing the tyre to grip the road properly. Tyres without adequate tread depth may suffer from a loss of grip or traction leading to longer stopping distances, reduced handling and an increased risk of aquaplaning.

Current UK law requires car tyres to have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its whole circumference. Drivers found to be in breach of these regulations, not only risk their own safety and that of other road users, but they can also face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.

However, to make tread depth checks easy, TyreSafe is reminding drivers they simply need to take the 20p test. To take the test, drivers need to insert a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of their car’s tyres. If the outer rim of the coin is covered by the tread, this indicates sufficient tread depth to be safe and legal. If the outer rim of the coin is visible, drivers should have their tyres inspected by a qualified professional. For more details of how to take the 20p test, visit www.YouTube.com/user/TyreSafe.

As well as checking the tread depth, drivers should ensure that their tyres are properly inflated to cope with any additional load being carried. Vehicle manufacturers’ often specify different pressure settings for laden vehicles. These recommended levels can be found in the vehicle manufacturers’ handbook, on a plate on the driver’s door sill, or inside the fuel filler cap. Drivers can also find out their correct pressure settings by downloading the TyreSafe iPhone app or using our online pressure checker facility.

By inflating tyres to the correct pressure, drivers can reduce their fuel bills, make their tyres last longer and help to avoid sudden rapid deflations and other tyre related accidents.

“I would strongly encourage all drivers heading out or away this weekend to take just a few moments before setting off to check the condition of your tyres,” concludes Jackson.

This article was posted on 20th July 2011 in Car Tyres

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