- October is Tyre safety month
- GEM recommends regular checks of tread, pressure and condition
- Warning of big fines for defective tyres
Taking care of your tyres keeps you safer on the road and saves money on your motoring, according to breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist. As Tyre safety month gets under way, GEM is encouraging drivers to make regular checks of tyre pressures, tread and overall condition to ensure they do the best possible job.
GEM chief executive Neil Worth explains: “Tyres provide the only contact between your vehicle and the road. That’s why correctly inflated tyres with good levels of tread ensure all the other safety systems can function effectively.
“In a sudden emergency this could be significant in determining the outcome and protecting those involved.
“Under-inflated tyres reduce your vehicle’s ability to grip the road, and also compromise handling. This can result in unpredictable vehicle behaviour, and increases the risk of a tyre blowout, where sudden rapid deflation occurs.
“On the other hand, over-inflated tyres have a smaller contact area with the road, leading to increased stopping distance and reduced grip. There’s likely to be a lot more wear across the central part of the tyre, leading to a shorter lifespan.
“So please take a few moments to check your tyre pressures, condition and tread depth.”
GEM is as usual supporting Tyre Safety Month, which runs nationwide until 31 October 2023.
GEM’s tyre safety checklist
- Use an accurate gauge to check that the air pressure is at recommended settings. If you don’t know the correct pressures for your own car’s tyres, you can check easily by putting your registration number into the TyreSafe pressure calculator.
- Check to ensure your tyres are in good condition. Lumps, bulges, cuts or cracks indicate damage to a tyre – and increase the risk of a blowout.
- Ensure tread depth is above the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm. If you don’t have a gauge, use a 20p coin as a guide to how close your tread is to the limit.
- Anyone unsure about how to check tyres should check out the short videos published by GEM. They demonstrate how simple a task it is to make sure your tyres are in good condition and advise on what to do if you come up against any problems.
- There are heavy penalties for drivers using worn or defective tyres on their cars. Each bald or defective tyre carries a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points.