While winter is the perfect excuse for staying indoors and cosying up with a good book and your favourite scented candle, it’s also the ideal time for hitting the road. When the festive season rolls around, it’s time to swap the daily work commute for something a bit more exciting. Maybe it’s a weekend away to a log cabin in the woods or a roadtrip to visit some family or friends that you don’t get to see enough throughout the year.
Whatever your reason for getting behind the wheel during the chilly months, it’s essential that you’re always putting the safety of yourself and your passengers first. While picking out music playlists and planning your route is heaps of fun, you do need to put your sensible head on and make safety a priority.
A major part of good road safety is the condition of your vehicle tyres. In fact, there are lots of laws in place which make tip-top tyres an absolute necessity so I thought I’d share my advice with you. Companies like TyrePlus offer a great mobile service if you need your tyres replacing but to avoid the extra expense of brand new wheels, here are some things you can do to keep your tyres in good nick.
Check your tyre treads regularly
One of the most important things to maintain when it comes to car safety is the tread around your tyres. The law requires you to have at least 1.6mm of tread on each tyre and if your wheels have anything below that, you could be facing a hefty fine of up to £2,500. If all 4 of your wheels have insufficient tread depth, the penalty could be raised to a whopping £10,000 and you may even lose your license.
The 20p Tread Test
One of the best ways to #TestYourTreads is to use the simple but effective 20p Tread Test. You may or may not have heard of it but all you need to do is pop a standard 20 pence coin into the groove of each tyre and if you can see the outer band of the coin, your tyre hasn’t got enough tread. Simple! Go and try it out once you’ve finished reading my blog post.
Keep your air pressure topped up
Another important safety feature is the amount of air in your tyres. Each vehicle will have its own air pressure requirements which you can find in its unique handbook so it’s essential to check these levels regularly. You can do this for free at most petrol stations and it will only take a couple of minutes of your time and reduce the risk of any unnecessary and potentially fatal road accidents. Wheels with insufficient air pressure have lessened grip on the road, meaning the driver also has limited control of the vehicle. This is particularly worrying when the road surfaces are icy and wet, there are fewer hours of daylight and the driving conditions are much harsher.
Keep an eye out for any lumps and bumps
When you’re testing your tread depth and making sure your air pressure levels are sufficient, give each wheel a once-over to check for any lumps, bumps or cracks in the surface of the rubber. Keeping an eye out for any little ruptures means you can get them repaired much earlier and hopefully not have the face the expensive and frustrating process of dealing with a flat tyre. Checking signs of wear and tear also mean you can spot any foreign objects stuck in your tyre much sooner.