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Most seasoned drivers will check that everything on their car is functioning properly on a regular basis. Maintenance that drivers can – and should – undertake on their vehicles includes checking the oil and water levels, and keeping an eye on their tyre tread. Younger drivers don’t always recognise that simple checks ensure that their vehicle will run smoothly. If oil and water levels are not checked every couple of weeks, or tyre treads are worn, this is not only bad for the vehicle, it could result in an accident.
Young Drivers and Tyres
Recent surveys show that around one in five young drivers never think to see if there is a problem with the tread on their tyres. Those younger drivers who did check their tyre treads only did so once every few months. Ideally, checking the levels of oil and water in a vehicle, and checking tyre treads and pressure, should be undertaken at least once or twice a month.
Government and the motor industry all recommend that drivers should always check their tyre treads before embarking on a long journey, as well as on a regular basis. A recent survey showed that of drivers in the 18-24 age group, 14% checked their tyre pressure ten times or more in a year, and 8% never checked their tyre pressure. Among those who took part in the study however, more than 60% said that they were quite sure that they knew how tasks such as checking tyre pressure and tyre treads should be undertaken.
Road Traffic Accidents
Figures show that low tyre pressure and worn tyre treads are a significant feature in many road traffic accidents. Accident figures could be greatly reduced if drivers just took a small amount of time to make regular checks on the state of their tyres. More recent figures for the Department of Transport estimate almost a thousand road traffic accidents a year are caused by drivers’ failure to check their tyres for pressure and worn treads. It has to be said, however, that accident figures due to faulty tyres have fallen compared to studies undertaken in the previous couple of years. Nevertheless, driving a vehicle with faulty tyres is an offence. Any driver who is found to be doing so faces a penalty of three points on their licence.
Tyre Health Tips
It doesn’t take long to check your vehicle’s tyres using pumps at garages or using your own foot pump. You should know the recommendation for tyre pressure for your vehicle. If you don’t want to be the cause of an accident, or have points on your licence, check the pressure and the tread.
Legally, the tyre tread should be over 1.6mm, this can be checked with a gauge. Check the pressure regularly to make sure that it corresponds with the car manufacturer’s recommendation. Follow these simple steps and not only will you extend the life of your vehicle, they will make you a safer driver.