When driving, your tyres are the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, thinking of it in that way, which many of us don't - it is essential your tyres are maintained correctly.
Driving with illegal tyres is not only dangerous for you, but for all other road users around you. The legal limit for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm around 75% of the breadth of your tyre - however experts agree that the performance of your tyres dramatically deteriorates when your tread gets below 2mm.
Low tyre tread significantly affects driving performance; braking distance, steering, cornering and acceleration are all compromised when driving on illegal, bald tyres. If that doesn't scare you, how about a maximum fine of £10,000 and 12 penalty points (or a driving ban). Both of those can be enforced by Police if you are caught driving on illegal tyres. Not only that, if you are the cause of an accident and you’re driving on illegal tyres, your insurance can be void.
How to Check your Tyre Tread
Ideally, your tyre tread should be checked once a month. A quick and easy way to check your tyre tread is with a 20p coin.
Insert a 20p coin into the main grooves at several places around the circumference of the tyre and across its width. If the outer brand of the 20p coin is visible at any point on the tyre in which you check, your tread depth may be illegal. At this point you should visit your local HiQ Easy Tyre & Autocentres and have you tyres checked by a qualified tyre professional.
When checking your tread depth, give the rest of the tyres a visual inspection for any cuts or bulges and remove any stones or objects embedded in the tread.
Your Spare Tyre
When checking your tyres it is essential you don't forget your spare. Far too often we see customers with a puncture and a flat tyre, and their spare tyre is unable to be used as it hasn't maintained correctly.
Along with checking your spare tyre, ensure you have the correct wheel (lug) nuts.
Tyres don't have to look flat to be underinflated, it is advised by TyreSafety.org that you check your tyre pressure every 2 weeks. You should always check your tyre pressure when your tyres are cold, common practice is to wait 30 minutes after you have driven to let them cool down. If you are unsure about what PSI (pressure) your tyres should be consult your vehicle's manual.
It is not only your fuel consumption that will decrease when driving with under inflated tyres, your vehicles handling will be seriously affected and in some cases your vehicle may become unstable whilst driving.
Not sure how to check your tyre pressure or how to put air in your tyres? This TyreSafe video will show you.