Are you ‘tyre-safe’?
This article was published on Cornish Mutual's guest blog on 31 October 2014.
October is tyre safety month and you may be surprised to learn that in 2011 there were 1,200 road casualties in the U.K. resulting from accidents where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a factor.
It is always important to make sure you regularly check your tyres but with the winter weather approaching and road conditions becoming more hazardous, ensuring that your tyres are safe can make a huge difference to your safety.
Most of us are aware of our legal obligations, at least with regards to ensuring that tyres have the minimum legal tread (1.6mm). Whilst there are times where a tyre malfunctions through no fault of the driver, these cases are in the minority and more needs to be done to reduce accidents caused by poor tyre maintenance.
It sounds obvious but tyres play a crucial role in road safety, as they are the only point of contact a car has with the road. Basic checks, such as inspecting the air pressure, checking the tyre tread levels are above the legal limit and regularly inspecting the tyre's overall condition, can make a big difference to safety, as well as car performance.
If you are found to have tyres below the legal tread limit you are not only increasing the risk that an accident may occur but you could also face incurring criminal penalties such as 3 penalty points and fines of up to £2,500 per tyre.
Whilst safety is paramount, properly maintained tyres can also reduce fuel bills and the tyres themselves will have a longer life. This means that becoming 'tyre-safe' can also help to improve your finances as well as keeping you safer on the road.
Tyre safety is simple and fairly easy but it still remains an area that is overlooked by many drivers and organisations. A large proportion of the accidents that occur could have been avoided by just a few simple tyre checks (as mentioned above), by the individual driver or the organisation they represent.
Tyre safety is the responsibility of everyone, whether it is an individual driver or the business they may work and drive for.