ACT now before it is too late

ACT now before it is too late

05 Oct

By Gwyn Fennell

After months of putting life on pause during lockdown and not being able to see friends and family, it’s safe to say that this has been a year that many of us would want to forget. We’ve turned our living rooms into fitness studios, dining tables into classrooms, and swapped office wear for lounge wear. Even birthday parties have turned digital and been held on Zoom. But as the wet weather begins to pull to a close and the dark nights draw in don’t let your tyres become another forgotten aspect of 2020.
 
Given that tyres are the only point of contact between your car and the road, they are arguably the most important factor when it comes to ensuring the safety of yourself and other road users. Worn tyres not only have a higher risk of experiencing a blowout, but they also considerably hinder your stopping distances.
 
That’s why October is Tyre Safety Month, brought to you by the leading tyre safety charity, Tyre Safe. This October, drivers are being encouraged to carry out checks to make sure their tyres are Ready for ACTion:
 
  • Air pressure – over-inflated tyres are just as dangerous as under-inflated ones
  • Condition – tyres should be free from cracks, bulges, and damage
  • Tread – legally, there should be at least 1.6mm of tread across the central three-quarters of the tyre
 
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 At any given time, the area of a tyre that’s in contact with the road is roughly the size of your smartphone. Considering how tyres are designed to remove sufficient levels of water from the road to help provide you with the essential grip needed to keep control of your vehicle, carrying out these checks regularly is vital. We recommend doing so every two to four weeks, and certainly before any long journeys.
 
Continental Tyres has put together this helpful video alongside motoring expert / TV host, Jonny Smith, to show you how to check your car tyre tread depth.
 
 
 
The quickest and easiest way to measure your tread is using a single 20 pence piece. Simply position the coin in the tread grooves that run along the length of your tyre – if the band of the coin is totally obscured then chances are your tyre is above the legal minimum, however if you can see any of the coin’s band your tyres may be illegal.

Repeat this test at various points around the tyre to gain a broader set of results.
 

 
Many modern tyres have Tread Wear Indicator (TWI) bars / blocks moulded into the tread grooves, but not every manufacturer includes these. Continental has them as standard on their series 5 tyres or higher – such as the ContiPremiumContact™ 5 and PremiumContact™ 6 – as they strongly believe in drivers being able to make informed choices.
 

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If you’re unsure about the 20p method and if your tyres don’t have TWI bars as standard, you can purchase what is known as a tyre tread depth gauge. This is a purpose made tool that can accurately measure the depth of an individual tyre groove.
 
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According to UK law, a tyre should have at least 1.6mm of tread left on it to be deemed legal, however at Protyre we recommend purchasing new tyres once you’ve reached a tread depth of 3mm. This is simply because time and time again independent braking tests have shown that it can take as much as two additional car lengths to come to a complete stop on 1.6mm of tread compared to 3mm. On occasions where you may need to break suddenly, those two car lengths could make all the difference.
 
A tyre with 3mm of tread is deemed to be 78% worn, and a tyre with 1.6mm of tread is 94% worn – that’s just 6% of the tread remaining, would you feel safe using 6% of a seatbelt, for example?
 
Our team of highly experienced tyre technicians are always on hand to help, so if you’re still unsure about the tread on your tyres, or if you’d rather speak to someone about it, you can visit your local Protyre centre today. We offer an array of free vehicle checks, including free tyre checks, to help give you peace of mind motoring whatever the weather.
 

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