As well as spending plenty of time this Christmas holidays lounging in front of festive films, indulging in a little too much good food and opening all our gifts, we’ll also be travelling far and wide to visit our favourite family and friends. This means long journeys in the car in often less than desirable weather conditions.
It’s always important for our family cars to be in good working order, but it seems even more so in the winter months when bad weather, dark afternoons and icy roads make driving more hazardous than usual. We might not have been too hot on checking our cars so often pre-kids, but now we have two extra little lives in the back seats of our cars, car safety is more important than ever.
Luckily there are several checks we can do ourselves on our cars to ensure our tyres are in good working order. TyrePlus have created the easy-to-follow infographic below to guide us through ensuring our tyres are roadworthy, safe and even legal. Yep, as car drivers we have a legal responsibility to ensure the tread of our tyres, for example, is the correct depth.
If we’re found to be driving a car with a tyre under the legal tread requirement, we could be faced with a £2500 fine. This fine is per tyre, so a £10000 fine if all four tyres are too low. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t happen to have a spare ten grand lying around. It’s not just the fine that’s the worry though, it’s our safety. If the tyres don’t have enough tread then the chance of an accident is higher. Any insurance claim will also be invalidated if the tyre tread is not legal.
Here are some quick and easy ways to check the safety of your car tyres by yourself:
- Tread: the minimum legal tread is 1.6mm, though this low may not be safe enough in wet conditions so you may want to replace the tyres once they are below 3mm. A tyre tread gauge will measure the exact depth or check the infographic below to see how to use a 20 pence piece.
- Pressure: A quick check online will tell you the correct tyre pressure for your car. The front and back wheels usually have a different pressure. We have a portable pump which we can keep at home or in the car boot, but you can also get air for free or for a small fee at most petrol stations.
- Wear and Tear: If your tyres look old and worn, they probably are! Pop into your local true shop to ask for their advice and get a new tyre if need be.
- Punctures: Make sure nothing is stuck in your tyres too. We recently had to change one of Ben’s tyres as a nail had punctured it and it was slowly going down.
When did you last check your tyres? Perhaps it’s time to #TestYourThreads!