Damaged or Worn Tyres can Kill

Most drivers take their cars tyres for granted. They assume that these chunks of rubber will do the job they were designed to do, no matter how old, or how many times they mount a pavement or scrape the kerb.  Engines breaking down rarely lead to death, but bald or worn tyres have contributed significantly to the accidents and the death toll on UK roads.

This circular piece of rubber is the only contact your car has with the road, in fact, when the car is moving only a small proportion of the overall tyre ever touches the road. We rely on this small piece of rubber roughly the size of paperback to dispel water and to provide maximum grip to steer the car at alternating speeds and in differing weather.

The Right Tyres for your Car

For most people the word tyre is synonymous with grip. The humble tyre is in its self-an incredible piece of engineering, which is why Motor car manufacturers carefully choose the tyres for their vehicles. If you watch motor racing, you will note the importance tyres play in the success of Formula One teams.

Unlike motor racing where they change tyres according to weather conditions (Wet and Dry tyres). Car manufactures rely on the tyres to produce enough grip in all weathers, this is why car design engineers give much thought to the size and profile of tyres they use. These tyres must match and perform to the speed rating and load carrying capabilities of the cars they design. For the safe operation of the cars they produce, car manufacturers stipulate the type of tyre to be used and recommend tyre pressures that give the best grip suitable for the ride and handling characteristics of their vehicles.

For your safety and that of other road users; it is important that the level of tread on your car is above the 1.6mm legal minimum. This 1.6mm depth of tread should spread across at least three-quarters of the tyre tread, from the inner to outer rim, running the full circumference of the tyre. There should be no cuts, cracks, bumps or gouges in the tyre wall. It is the tread pattern that disperses the water away as we drive on wet roads. If the tread pattern on the tyre is worn or damaged the tyres ability to disperse water is greatly compromised and could cause your car to Aquaplane (See Tips and Advice Article No 64 ) in wet conditions which is highly dangerous and very frightening. RoadDriver believes that 1.6mm tread is too low and would recommend you consider replacing your tyres at a depth of 2.5mm to avoid loss of grip.

Check your tyres weekly for wear and tear and regularly check your tyre pressures as recommended by the tyre or car manufacturer.

Damaged or Worn Tyres can Kill - Tips and Advice No 32 RoadDriver 2010

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