October’s annual Tyre Safety Month is just around the corner and once again, as a proud member of TyreSafe, AlignMyCar is supporting the national safety campaign to educate and encourage Britain’s drivers to take good care of their car’s tyres. Ahead of this year’s campaign, we’ve added a new ‘tyre safety and facts’ section to our website, where you’ll find a wealth of useful information about how to keep your tyres in tip top shape.
After the wettest winter on record in 2013, this year’s Tyre Safety Month is focusing on the theme of tyre tread depth. Having enough tread on your tyres is absolutely vital to staying safe and secure on wet roads in particular. The grooves help to shift water on the road surface away from the tyre, meaning the tyre can grip the tarmac and you can stop, steer and go with confidence.
If the tread grooves become too shallow you’ll be at risk of aquaplaning – when the grooves can’t clear any more water and the water lifts the tyre out of contact with the road. If it’s ever happened to you then you can probably remember what a frightening experience it is.
Having your car’s wheels correctly aligned can help the tyre tread grooves to last longer by ensuring they are adjusted the way the manufacturer intended, minimising any uneven or excessive wear. And that’s not all: accurate alignment will also improve your car’s driving characteristics, making it more predictable and reassuring to drive, especially in poor weather.
So how can you make sure your wheels are aligned and your tyre tread depth is safe? The best way is to visit your local AlignMyCar centre. During October’s Tyre Safety Month many will be offering free alignment and tyre safety checks – find your nearest by using our online locator and look out for the silver pins on the map.
Of course you can easily check your tyre tread depth yourself by taking TyreSafe’s simple 20p test. Just take a 20p coin and insert it into a main tyre groove. If the outer band of the coin is obscured then your tread groove is above the legal minimum depth of 1.6mm, which must be across the central three quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference. If it’s visible then your tyres could be illegal and you should head to your AlignMyCar centre and ask one of our qualified professionals for their advice.
Don’t forget also to check your tyre pressures at least once a month according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which can usually be found in the handbook, behind the fuel filler flap or inside the driver’s door, and regularly inspect your tyres for any signs of damage such as cuts, bulges or objects embedded in the tread.
After all, tyre safety is for life and not just for Tyre Safety Month!