Check your tyres before the rain says AA

The AA is encouraging drivers to check their tyres as research released during Tyre Safety Month reveals the risks drivers are taking by neglecting vital tyre safety checks.

Two-thirds of women (65 per cent) and a third of men (36 per cent) do not check their tyres regularly, instead relying on their garage to tell them when their tyres are worn out and need to be changed.

The research also shows the huge number of drivers risking an accident or worse because they rarely check the pressure, tread depth and condition of their tyres.

It’s recommended that drivers check their tyre pressure at two-weekly intervals, yet AA-Populus research, conducted amongst more than 18,000 drivers showed that fewer than half (43 per cent) do this. A quarter (25 per cent) leave a tyre pressure check for two months or more. And 3 per cent say they never check their tyres.

David Bruce, director of AA Tyres said: “Whether it’s because people don’t know much about tyre maintenance or they simply don’t have the time to check them, it’s clear that drivers aren’t paying enough attention to the condition of their tyres.

“It’s easy to forget that tyres are the only part of the car that touches the road, so if they’re worn, poorly inflated or damaged they can potentially be very dangerous.

“October is statistically the wettest month of the year so can present challenging conditions to drivers – especially if their car’s tyres are worn.  It’s a good time to take a few minutes out of your day to check your tyres are up to scratch – and replace them if needed.”

Bruce suggests that replacing worn or damaged tyres is often neglected simply because drivers can’t afford an hour or more off work or spare time to drive to a tyre depot and wait for the work to be carried out, so they put off the visit – sometimes until it’s too late.

“If you are stopped by police for any reason they are likely to check your tyres – and if they are worn, you could pick up a fixed penalty and three points for each tyre that’s below the legal limit,” Bruce adds.

Earlier this year The AA launched AA Tyres, a mobile tyre fitting service which allows customers to have tyres fitted at their convenience, whether it’s at home or at work. The service is available across most of England.

The AA recommends replacing tyres when the tread depth reaches 2mm (3mm for winter tyres).  Stopping distances are greater as tread depth reduces, especially in wet weather. The Association makes the point that some European countries have different legal requirements and suggests that motorists check the AA’s travel tips before driving abroad.

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