As the driver of a vehicle, you are responsible for ensuring the tyres are safe, legal and in a roadworthy state. Failure to comply with the minimum regulations can result in fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre. This could cost you your licence, or even worse, your life.
Tyre Tread & Tyre Pressure
Your cars tyres are the only part of the vehicle that makes any contact with the road surface. They play a critical role in the handling (such as the steering and braking) and safety of the entire vehicle. Therefore it’s essential that you know how to check your tyres for any defects or general wear and tear. Follow our guide below to make sure that you understand the legal requirements about your tyres and tread depth.
Winter Tyre Safety
Motorists can be presented with plenty of dangerous driving conditions, such as snow, ice, heavy rain and freezing temperatures, so ensuring that you have the correct tyres fitted is essential. TyreSafe (the UK's leading tyre safety organisations) advise motorists that winter weather tyres should be fitted throughout the whole winter period for improved grip and safety. These tyres really come into their own when the air temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius, which is normally experienced throughout the UK between October and March, and not just when the road is covered in snow or ice. To help motorists understand the importance of winter tyres, TyreSafe have created a Winter Tyre Safety video to demonstrate how wet roads, cold temperatures, snow and ice can all contribute to potentially dangerous slip ups such as loss of grip aquaplaning and longer stopping distances.
Watch the Winter Tyre Safety video below from TyreSafe
In the film, two driving manoeuvres are performed with a pair of almost identical cars, the only difference being that one was fitted with standard summer tyres and the other winter weather tyres. When carrying out an emergency stop at a speed of just 15mph, the car with summer tyres took four metres longer to stop – almost a full car length. In the cornering test, the car with standard summer tyres suffered massive under steer and ploughed through a set of cones which simulated the edge of the road. But, the car fitted with winter weather tyres stayed in complete control thanks to much higher levels of grip.
Top Winter Safety Tyre Tips
TyreSafe have created some top tips to help you stay safe on the roads this winter:
- Make sure your tyres have adequate tread depth to keep you safe and legal by taking the 20p test
- Ensure your tyres are properly inflated and checked at least once a month and before any long journeys
- Check the condition of your tyres by looking for any lumps, bulges or cracks and remove any objects embedded in the tread
- When checking the tread, pressures and condition, don't forget the spare
- Consider fitting winter weather tyres for the whole winter period. At temperatures below 7 degrees C they provide much better safety and grip
- Remove wheels or jack the weight off any vehicles' tyres that will not be used over the winter months such as caravans, horseboxes or motorcycles
- Visit your nearest participating tyre dealer for a free tyre safety check