ERJ staff report (TP)
Essex, UK − After the worst winter storms to hit Britain for two decades, TyreSafe is reminding drivers about the need for more regular tire checks.
The tire safety organisation said with its potential to cause aquaplaning, standing water remains a major hazard in many parts of the UK, while damaged road surfaces also presents a different tire related challenge. However, by taking just a few minutes to inspect tires regularly, the impact of these issues can be reduced.
"Although floods in many areas are starting to subside, motorists are still faced with a couple of serious tire related challenges which can be minimised if they spend a few moments regularly checking their tires," advises Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.
"The checks are incredibly easy to make, but they could make the world of difference to your safety on the road."
TyreSafe said: “While driving through deep flood water has a wide range of associated risks and should be tackled with extreme caution, smaller areas of standing water may be less easy to avoid but equally dangerous.
“On vehicles equipped with tires that have insufficient or low levels of tread depth, water between the tires and the road surface may not be removed quickly enough. This layer of water builds up in front of the tires until the tire loses contact with the road surface. This loss of traction, or aquaplaning, causes the wheels to slip and prevents the vehicle from responding to steering, braking or acceleration. As a result, the vehicle can lose control, starting to skid or spin dangerously.
“To reduce the risk of aquaplaning, drivers are advised to check the tread depth of their tires. New tires often have a tread depth of around 8mm, far greater than the legal minimum requirement of 1.6mm, which makes them much more efficient at removing water and able to cope with standing water.
“Any drivers unfortunate enough to suffer from aquaplaning should heed the advice of organisations such as the AA [Automobile Association] who recommend holding the steering wheel lightly and lifting off the throttle until the tires regain grip.
“Meanwhile, damaged road surfaces and potholes caused by the recent wet weather also present another significant tire safety hazard. When tires hit large potholes, they have the potential to be suffer internal damage which could cause the tire to fail catastrophically, leaving the driver unable to control the vehicle.
“Consequently, drivers are being advised to inspect the condition of their tires at least once a month, and even more frequently if they know they've hit a pothole. In particular, drivers should look for cuts, lumps or bulges in the tire and also check the tire pressures regularly in case the wheel rim itself has been damaged.”
"Checking your tires may see like an unnecessary or daunting task, but in the current conditions it's even more important than normal," said Jackson. "Of course, if you're not sure what to do then simply pop into your local tire professional who will be able to inspect things properly and advise you of any issues."
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Press release from TyreSafe