As we head into the warmer months perhaps our types need some TLC. These vital parts of our vehicles take on constant contact with the roads, touching uneven road surfaces, speed bumps and perhaps potholes.
Our tyres are created from rubber which has a tread pattern within. The grooves from the tread create traction with the road surface, which helps your vehicle to stick to the road and move in the direction that you are instructing. Rubber is not a forever material, so regular checks are advised or even replacements to maintain your safety and to stop yourself from gaining a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 points on your licence.
What is the legal tyre depth?
When it comes to your tyres it’s advised to check them as often to avoid putting yourself in danger. Usually, when a tyre is purchased from brand new the tread is around 8mm. For your tyre to be within the legal minimum then it will need to be 1.6mm over ¾ of your tyre. If it’s below the minimum then your car will not be providing enough traction, which can make you more prone to a car accident.
However, some people consider 1.6mm too shallow and recommend having 3mm at a minimum.
Safety risks from unsafe wheels.
You risk many problems when it comes to worn tyres with putting yourself at risk of an accident and with getting in trouble with the law.
Here are a few safety risks that could affect you:
- Hot tyres – when your tyre grooves create the movement of air that keeps the surface cool, losing that will ultimately reduce the passage of air so when the tyres head increases, the heat goes up and creates the risk of failure.
- In the colder periods, when there might be ice or snow on the ground, tyres are there to act as a protection to increase traction but with worn tyres, your traction will be lost, making you at risk of losing control of your vehicle.
- Risk of a blowout – When you are driving with worn tyres objects like nails or glass will be more likely to puncture your tyre leading you to a blowout. These blowouts can cause unwanted recovery bills or losing control over your vehicle.
Checking your tyres, safely and correctly.
There are a few different ways you can test your tyres to ensure your safety and it’s up to you which is more suitable. It’s recommended that you test your tyres every 2 weeks or once a month.
- Purchase a depth gauge, these tools will give you a more in-depth measurement of your tread and are quite cheap to purchase.
- The 20p test, insert a 20p into the groove of your tyre, if the outer band isn’t visible then your tyres are fine, however, if the band is visible then your tyres need replacing.
- Probably the more expensive way but take your vehicle to a specialist, they will be able to tell you straight away if your tyres are legal.
How to reduce the risk of frequent tyre changes?
Having to change your tyres often can be expensive, but if you find you are constantly having to make these pricey costs, then it must be something to do with your driving. Here are a few habits that lead to tyres changes more often:
- Avoid harsh braking as when this happens you are creating bare patches on your tyres, which bring down the tyres traction.
- Try to avoid high acceleration and high-speeds, as you will create both unnecessary distortion and high heats to your tyres.
- Maintain frequent tyre checks, as you will be setting your tyres with correct tyre pressures, helping to provide legal tyres.
For more information either get in contact with a local garage or contact us, we would love to help.