Be safe and check those tyres

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As the warmer weather approaches, caravans, classic cars, horseboxes, motorhomes and many other vehicles will be coming out of winter storage for the first time this year.

TyreSafe, the UK’s tyre safety charity, is appealing to all owners to take time to carry out tyre checks before hitting the road for the 2017 season.

As the only point of contact with the road, tyres are crucial for safety. Whether the vehicle has been stored in a garage or outside, all tyres should be checked for correct pressure, general condition and tread depth.

Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, said: “There are a number of factors that can affect tyres stored on vehicles for several months, even if they are in a garage over winter. Tyres deteriorate with age as well as with mileage, and uneven weight distribution in use and during storage can lead to uneven tyre wear. Tyres will deteriorate faster if they’re stored outdoors, especially in direct sunlight.

“All of these circumstances can lead to unsafe tyres, which is why checks are so important at the start of the season and monthly throughout it.”

Essential pre-season tyre checks:

Overall condition – Give all tyres a thorough visual inspection. Remove visible stones and other objects from the tread. Cracks in the sidewall may mean the tyres are beginning to deteriorate and should be checked by a professional along with any cuts, cracks or bulges which could signify internal damage.

Air pressures – specific vehicle pressures can be found in the owner’s manual or use TyreSafe’s unique car and caravan tyre pressure calculators on www.tyresafe.org

Tread depth – this should be above the legal minimum of 1.6mm across the central 75 per cent of each tyre’s width and its entire circumference. Use the outer rim of a 20p coin as a guide to how close a vehicle’s tyres are to this limit.

TyreSafe has created an animation to help people perform these checks, viewable on YouTube.