Every time we step into our cars, we place an inherent amount of trust into them. With seat belts buckled and mirrors adjusted, we drive with the almost inherent knowledge that our cars are going to get us where we need to go without a hitch.

But what if there was a hidden danger we were overlooking?

Well, if our recent data is to be believed, then that is certainly the case for a large majority of us. In fact, 3 in 4 drivers (75%) don’t check their tyre pressure enough, according to Swansway Motor Group data.

It’s a staggering figure that puts a lot of UK drivers in the high-risk zone for loss of control, and therefore begs the question: Are we doing enough to ensure the safety of ourselves and our fellow drivers? 

The importance of tyre safety

For many drivers, the significance of tyre safety might seem exaggerated. But given that they are the main point of contact with the road, tyre safety seems to be woefully undervalued amongst UK drivers. This is something that we want to raise awareness on as part of this year’s Tyre Safety Month.

Tyre safety is vital for a handful of reasons, all of which contribute to your safety and that of your fellow road users. Tyres grip the road and allow your car to turn, accelerate, and brake effectively.

If worn-out or under-inflated, tyres can lose this grip, leading to skids, longer stopping distances, and ultimately, a higher risk of collisions.

In fact, a tyre that is too damaged, worn out, or under-inflated is at risk of blowouts, especially at higher speeds. A blowout can result in a sudden loss of control of your car, putting you and everyone around you at risk.

Put into perspective, this makes the shocking 9% of drivers who don’t check their tyre pressure at all even more sobering. That’s right, nearly 1 in 10 of drivers are cruising the road without a clue on the state of their tyres.

Outside of personal safety, tyres also contribute to your car’s fuel efficiency, with underinflated tyres forcing your engine to work harder to move the car, burning more fuel in the process.

Technician checking tyre tread depth

An easily solvable problem

Luckily for drivers everywhere, checking for - and fixing - tyre issues is easier than ever. Just under a quarter of respondents in our survey (23%) check their tyres every month, but this is a simple lifesaver that many of us could benefit from.

And if your car alerts you to under-inflated tyres at any point, there are air pumps with pressure gauges in petrol stations across the country, so you’ll never be caught out for too long.

So, what about tyre tread?

Well, although 1 in 10 drivers admit to never checking their tyre tread, this can be easily done. There are bespoke tools like the Tread Depth Gauge that can tell you the precise measurement of your tread depth in millimetres.

However, you don’t even need to splash out on one of these tools to get an accurate grasp of your tread depth. In fact, all you need is a 20 pence coin to hand.

Insert the coin into one of your tyre’s grooves, and if it is visible, your tyre might be close to - or even below - the legal limit, and should be checked.

Tyre Tread check with a 20p coin

Knowledge is power this Tyre Safety Month

Making sure you have the best tyre health isn’t just another box to tick off in your car maintenance checklist, it’s a necessary aspect of ensuring road safety for yourself, your passengers, and other road users. 

Regular monitoring and maintenance of your tyres makes sure that you’re staying within the bounds of the law, but are also ensuring a smoother, safer driving experience. 

So, the next time you’re heading out, spare a few moments for the unsung heroes of your car, those modest tyres that carry the weight of your every journey. Even just a little attention to them on a regular basis can make every trip a safe and pleasant one. 

Someone checking tyre pressures

Book your vehicle in for a free tyre check



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