posted 5 years ago

Tyre Safety For Winter 2011

Tyre safety may not be the most thrilling subject in the world, but it is important.

Tyre safety may not be the most thrilling subject in the world, but it is important. Those four black circles are, after all, the only parts of your vehicle in contact with the tarmac – and they need to help steer, brake, and accelerate in a variety of challenging conditions. Here are the key facts. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm across 75% of the surface. However, according to Ring Automotive, a car travelling at 50mph – with 1.6mm of tread – takes a further 8 metres to stop than a car with 3mm. The stopping distance increases further in the wet - and cars with poor tread depth are more likely to aquaplane.

However, there is little merit in having brand new tyres if they are poorly inflated. Ring Automotive say that around 6% of fatal accidents are due to incorrect pressure. In fact, low pressure can cause the tyres' side walls to move excessively, increasing heat and leading to blow-outs. Over or under inflation also affects the handling and prematurely wears the rubber. The correct pressures for your car can be found in the handbook, and on a sticker near the driver's door or inside the fuel flap. While checking pressures, it is wise to look for cracks and tears too. These checks should help keep you safe this winter.