You’ll remember me saying on social media a few weeks ago after my post about homelessness that this blog wasn’t created to be all about clothes and fluff. I do, on occasion, want to talk about the serious and important stuff too.
It’s been freezing cold weather in Sheffield and it’s only getting worse. I started learning to drive a couple of months ago and I had my first lesson in bad, icy conditions recently. It was pretty damn terrifying. But what’s even more terrifying is the fact that one in four road users has illegal tyres – and without even knowing, you could be one of them.
So when Point S got in touch about sharing this important message on my blog*, I wanted in. It ain’t glam, but it sure is important – and that’s car tyre safety during the winter months.
I’m sure a lot of you drive to work every day and sure, it gets boring and monotonous. But please, please, please don’t forget the importance of the small stuff. It really can make or break (if you’ll pardon the pun) your safety on the roads.
Here’s some quick and easy solutions to the three main causes of unsafe tyres in the UK – low pressure, low tread and tyre damage.
1. Feeling the pressure?
Tyre pressure is essential to ensuring safety on the roads. Under-inflated tyres can have an impact on your handling and grip of the car whilst it’s in motion. They also require more fuel to move the car forward – why waste unnecessary money on fuel that could be better spent on shoes?
If you’re not sure what your ideal pressure should be, here’s a handy online tool to do the hard work for you – well, most of it anyway!
In case your tyres do not have the right pressure make sure you replace them – for that visit Point S and get your tyres online from their website. Similarly, other retailers like National Tyres offer an online service, too.
2. The 20p test
The legal minimum tread depth for cars is 1.6mm – an easy way to check your tyres’ tread depth is by doing the 20p test.
Place a 20p coin in the tread grooves of your tyre. If the outside rim of the 20p is hidden, congrats your tyres are above the legal limit.
If you can see any of the 20p’s rim, then you could be in trouble. Tyres that are below the limit could face up to three penalty points and a fine of up to 2.5k per tyre if you were to be stopped by the police. I know I certainly couldn’t afford that kind of a fine, for something that takes just five minutes to check.
Even more vitally, tyre tread is paramount to your safety on the roads. Low tread makes your car harder to handle and increases your stopping distance in wet conditions which could easily lead to accidents.
Do the test on at least three points around each tyre, and check them once a month minimum.
3. Check for damage
Last but certainly not least, be sure to check the overall condition of your tyres regularly. If there are any cuts, bumps or other damage, get them checked out by a professional immediately. The age old term “better to be safe than sorry” really couldn’t be more relevant here.
You wouldn’t run a marathon if there was anything wrong with your legs, right? Well, the same theory should be applied to your tyres.
So as I said – not the most glamorous of posts, but incredibly important nonetheless. The best thing about writing this is that I have learnt something new and I’m sure you have too.
By using these three simple tests, you can make the road safer for yourself, your families and your friends.
Until next time,