Tyre checks can avoid Bank Holiday breakdowns


Millions of drivers are expected to be hitting the roads this Spring Bank Holiday weekend but those failing to check their tyres before heading off risk motoring misery.

That’s the warning from TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation, as the country gears up for an extra-long Bank Holiday weekend, giving many a well-earned opportunity to visit family, friends and loved-ones.

“We want people to enjoy their holidays and arrive safely at their destinations, so that’s why we’re urging them to do a few simple tyre checks before they head off and this includes the spare wheel as well. The great news is that these inspections are quick and simple yet pay real dividends,” said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.

The three key aspects of TyreSafe’s advice are checking the tyre’s Air pressure, Condition and Tread depth (ACT).

It is vitally important to make sure the tyre has the correct air pressure to avoid a potential sudden rapid deflation, reduced tyre life and higher fuel bills, among other things. To help, TyreSafe has developed on online tyre pressure guide, available at www.tyresafe.org. Drivers simply need to input their vehicle registration number and the correct tyre pressure settings for that car are displayed.

A visual inspection of the tyre is also needed to check its overall condition. Any objects which have become embedded in the tread should be removed. If any cuts, lumps or bulges are found, drivers should get a professional to check the tyres immediately.

Meanwhile, adequate tread depth is vitally important for improved grip and shorter stopping distances in the wet and it can be easily checked with the use of a 20p coin. Drivers simply need to insert the coin into the main grooves of the tyre. If the outer band of the 20p is visible when inserted, then the tyre may not have sufficient depth and should be checked by a qualified specialist.

TyreSafe’s safe motoring advice isn’t just limited to car drivers but also caravanners, who will also be keen to make the most of the later than normal Spring Bank Holiday.

Caravan owners should ensure that loads are spread evenly around the caravan and as low down as possible to maximise the stability and safety of the car and caravan combination. This helps to avoid putting too much pressure on any one tyre.

“Caravan tyres are placed under a high level of stress, so it is essential that caravan owners inflate their tyres to the correct pressure and do not overload them,” said Jackson.

Caravanners should also inspect the separate spare caravan wheel tyre, which should always be the same size, load index and speed rating to those already fitted to the caravan axle. The spare tyre and wheel assembly from the towing vehicle must not be used on the caravan, even in an emergency situation.

For some, it might also be the first time they have taken the caravan out this year. It is essential that the tyres are thoroughly inspected prior to re-use during the spring and summer as prolonged periods of storage can lead to sidewall cracking or them becoming misshapen

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