October is Tyre Safety Month, and officers from the Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Team are backing a campaign to encourage drivers to get into the routine of regularly checking their tyres.
Organised by charity TyreSafe, the annual campaign highlights the importance of adopting good tyre safety habits, and gets drivers to check their tyres’ condition, tread depth and pressure on a regular basis.
Look Who’s Talking and the supporting strapline Don’t Ignore Your Tyres, aims to address the issue of more than half of UK motorists drive on poorly maintained or defective tyres.
This increases fuel consumption, tyre wear and the risk of an incident on the road, resulting in the UK’s drivers wasting at least £600 million annually on fuel, while nearly 170 are killed or seriously injured in tyre-related incidents.
Driving without the correct amount of air in tyres makes a vehicle more difficult to control and reduces the amount of grip it has on the road. It also increases fuel bills, tyre wear and the risk of being involved in an incident.
Lumps, bumps, cracks and cuts are a sign your tyre many be dangerous and need replacing. All tyres should have a tread depth above the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm to ensure the tyre remains in contact with the road in the wet.
PC Dave Lee, of the Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Team, said: “As a Force, one of our key policing priorities is to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads.
“Working with our partners from the Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance, this campaign provides us with another opportunity to focus on this, and highlight the importance of tyre safety.
“We cannot stress enough just how vitally important it is to get in to the habit of routinely checking the condition of your tyres. Ideally, to keep you and other road users safer, checks should be carried out at least once a month.”
Research by the charity has shown that more than 27 per cent of tyres are already illegal when they are replaced and more than 70 per cent of tyres are below 2mm when replaced.
As part of your routine tyre checks, motorists are advised to:
• The 20p test is a quick way to check tread depth – place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves at three points across the tyre then repeat around its circumference. If the outer band of the coin is visible, the tyres may be unsafe or illegal and should be checked by a tyre professional
• Most manufacturers display a vehicle’s correct tyre pressures inside the filler cap or driver’s door pillar as well as in the owner’s manual. Different figures are given for normal loads and when fully laden
• While you’re checking pressures, look at the tyre’s condition. If you see any lumps, bumps or objects stuck in your tyre, you need to get the tyre inspected. If objects like stones are wedged in the tread, remove them if you can
For more about TyreSafe and Tyre Safety Month visit www.tyresafe.org