October is National Tyre Safety Month and Tyresafe, one of the UK’s leading tyre safety organisations, is focusing this year’s campaign on the need to carry out monthly checks to ensure that your tyres comply with legal requirements – reinforcing it with the message that £600million is wasted yearly on fuel costs by driving with under-inflated tyres.
56.8 per cent of car tyres in the UK are at least 4psi below recommended pressures and 35 per cent of tyres are being driven at least 8psi below the vehicle manufacturers’ recommendation. Three per cent more fuel is used when pressure is 6psi below recommended inflation and, for every ten per cent by which a tyre is under-inflated, its wear can increase by ten per cent.
A previous survey showed that one in five motorists had never checked their tyres. Tread depth has a decisive influence on the way your vehicle accelerates, brakes and corners, especially in bad weather conditions.
Safe tyres with legal tread depth will reduce the risks all round, whereas driving on tyres with illegal tread depth not only reduces safety on the road but also risks a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.
The legal tread depth limit for car tyres is 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre, and many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacement at 3mm.
At 1.6mm in wet weather, it takes two car lengths (eight metres) longer to stop at 50mph than if your tread depth were 3mm.
For motorcycles of over 50cc, the legal tread depth limit is 1mm and for those up to 50cc the law requires that all grooves of the original tread pattern are clearly visible.
To find tyre dealers in the area participating in the campaign, visit www.tyresafe.org
• The Selden Neighbourhood Panel meets at 6.30pm on Tuesday, October 17, at the East Worthing Community Centre, Pages Lane.