Essential tyre checks for safer driving
by Yellow 876 Days
Tyres are the only part of your vehicle that touches the ground. They provide grip, stability, ride comfort and enable safe braking. In other words, they are a vital aspect of your vehicle. Regardless of whether you drive a car, van, truck, ride a bicycle or motorcycle, your tyres need to perform at their best each and every time you're on the road.
Ensuring your tyres are safe and roadworthy takes only a few minutes, yet could potentially save your life. Proactive tyre checks can also save money and should be a part of your regular vehicle care routine.
Check tyre wear
The more you use your vehicle, the more conscious you need to be of tyre wear. The rubber is worn by the road surface and will degrade over time. When new, tyres have deep grooves which help displace water, providing grip in adverse conditions. Those grooves flex in dry conditions to hold the road which also provides grip.
As your tyres wear these grooves become shallower and can displace less water and grip the road less, reducing grip.
Regularly checking tyre is the best way to stay safe on the roads. Ensure that the depth of tread is consistent across the width of the tyre and replace the tyre when the tread is too worn. Always replace tyres in pairs and make sure they are of the same tread pattern to ensure safe braking.
Check tyre pressure
Tyre pressure is often overlooked when checking tyres but plays an essential role in vehicle safety. A tyre with low pressure doesn't offer as much grip in the wet and increases fuel consumption. It can also cause uneven tyre wear. A tyre set at too high pressure can be too rigid and also not provide the levels of grip you would expect. They can also deliver a harsher ride and vague steering.
The correct tyre pressure will be listed on the side of the tyre. The pressures on each side of the vehicle should be identical. There may be differences between front and rear, but as long as each side is the same and the pressure meets the manufacturer's specifications, it's perfectly safe.
Check tyre condition
Tyre condition refers to the general state of the tyre. Is it old? Cracked? Does it have nails or debris stuck in it? Does tyre wear look uneven? Are there bald spots or areas where tread depth is lower than usual? All these things can be quickly picked up with a tyre check.
Your vehicle tyres are its most effective safety device. Spending five minutes a month checking them can save time, money and your life. Don't ignore it!