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The dangers of under inflated tyres: How often do you check yours?

Research shows many drivers are not getting their tyres checked - how important is it really to get your tyres regularly checked?

It is important to check your tyre pressure as often as once a month to decrease fuel costs and keep you safe on the road

It is important to check your tyre pressure as often as once a month to decrease fuel costs and keep you safe on the road

I am going to admit myself, being a new driver with my first car, I have no idea what my tread level or tyre pressure is supposed to be, nor how to check and resolve a thinned tread or deflated tyre. Thus, I had no idea what the dangers associated with under inflated or bare tyres were…until I started to research it and the results were eye-opening.

Throughout 2012, Bridgestone carried out free tyre checks across the country, totaling at over 28,000 vehicles. Results showed a massive 78% of those tyres checked were under the recommended pressure level, and over 25% of the tyre treads were also worn below the legal limit.

Drivers are not realising the dangers that having under inflated or thinned tyre treads can cause when on the roads. Steering can be altered causing vehicles to be pulled from side-to-side, which results in the stability of the vehicle being decreased and causes breaking distances to be greatly increased.

Driving with under inflated tyres can make your trips to the pumps more frequent, costing you more money than necessary! According to Denna Bowman of etyres, tyres have an increased rolling resistance, meaning the engine must work more in order to make the vehicle move and gain speed, resulting in increased fuel costs.

With fuel prices constantly rising and the increased popularity of the second hand car market, it is proving beneficial to check your tyre tread and pressure as often as once a month, not only to decrease fuel costs but to keep yourself and others on the road safe.

How to check the tyre tread

  • The legal minimum tread is allowed to be 1.6mm, but this is in the red danger zone for breaking distances.
  • The ideal tread for most for 75% of vehicles is 3mm.
  • You can simply use a ruler with the correct unit of measurement to indicate the tread.

How to check the tyre pressure

  • The handbook provided with the vehicle will state what the recommended pressure for your vehicle will be.
  • Fuel and service stations often provide use of a tyre pressure gauge in order to check what your tyre pressure currently is at and use of a pump will also be provided if necessary to be pumped up again.

About the Author

Camille Wallace

Staff writer at Arnold Clark