Safe tyres are the key to a happy driving holiday


30thJune09With an increased volume of traffic expected on the roads this summer as more families opt for a UK-based holiday, TyreSafe is encouraging all motorists to check their tyre pressure, tread depth and general tyre condition before they set off on holiday.

Driving on correctly inflated tyres with sufficient tread depth is fundamental to both driver and passenger safety. Motorists can significantly reduce the risk of causing an accident or having to change a tyre mid-route by factoring in time to check their tyres and act on any problems well in advance of their departure date.

“By making tyre safety a priority when planning a driving holiday, motorists can help to ensure that they experience a safer, trouble-free journey,” comments Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.

“TyreSafe is advising families to make sure their tyres are inflated to the correct level, as indicated in the manufacturer’s handbook, and to remember that when the car is fully laden with passengers and luggage, it may be necessary to increase the pressure to the recommended level for the vehicle when fully loaded.

“It is also important to check that a tyre’s tread depth is at least 1.6mm, the UK’s legal minimum, as driving on tyres with illegal tread has a substantial effect on stopping distances in the wet.”

Driving on under-inflated tyres causes motorists a number of difficulties, including premature tyre wear, erratic handling and reduced fuel economy. More significantly, the extra heat build-up inside the tyre when under-inflated can lead to a sudden rapid deflation, potentially causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Tread depth is essential to safe braking in the wet. As tyre tread wears down, it gradually loses the ability to evacuate water from the road surface, increasing the risk of aquaplaning. Drivers can incur fines of £2,500 and three penalty points per illegal tyre.

“Checking the general condition of tyres is also vital to safe driving,” continues Jackson. “Taking a few minutes to remove any stones or foreign objects from the tread and check that there are no cuts or bulges in the tyre sidewall could prevent roadside misery at a later stage.

“Motorway gridlock is a common sight in the summer months and one that could be avoided if more motorists made time for straightforward tyre safety checks and replacing illegal or damaged tyres. If in any doubt over the condition or legality of your tyres, we would recommend that motorists contact their local tyre professional for expert advice.”

For further information on tyre safety, please visit

TyreSafe is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of the dangers of defective and worn tyres. TyreSafe has campaigned consistently to underline the importance of tyre safety for more than 15 years and was rewarded with the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2001.

TyreSafe receives positive support from many major tyre manufacturers and retailers, and has been credited with reducing the number of defective tyres in the UK over the past decade from 18% to 12%.

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Katharine Earley
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