Its September and Better Tyres Tyre Safety month again. This is the month when we draw attention to the need for improved tyre safety in New Zealand and the simple action points we can all use to enhance our road safety.
Sure the recent extension of Warrants of Fitness from 6 to 12 months is saving motorists time and money, but it is also contributing to a significant decline in New Zealand road safety. “Experts” ensconced in ivory towers may claim there is no problem, but people in Tyre Shops and Workshops understand that many motorists only change worn out tyres when they fail a WOF. And the extended WOF’s mean that dangerous tyre replacement is now being delayed by an extra 6 months; a tyres condition can dramatically decline over 12 months. The Campaign for Better tyres contends such reduction in WOF frequency is detrimental to road safety and should be seriously reconsidered.
1. Check your tyres monthly to make sure they are correctly inflated, especially before long distance travel.
2. Also, check and adjust your spare tyres air pressure and make sure it is properly secured. (most space savers require 60 psi)
3. Make a monthly check of your tyres for lumps, cracks and bulges.
4. Look at your tyres treads, if they are wearing unevenly it is an indication that your vehicle may need a wheel alignment. The legal minimum depth of tyre tread is 1.5 mm but Better Tyres recommends it is safer to replace tyres when the tread depth is down to 3 mm. http://bettertyres.co.nz/?p=360 The tread on your tyre helps to evacuate the water from the contact patch between your tyre and the road surface so your car can grip the road properly. In wet conditions, tyres with a good tread depth can typically clear enough water from the road to fill a bucket in around 7 seconds! Without sufficient tread depth i.e. 3 mm or higher, your tyres may not be able to cope properly and you face an increased risk of aquaplaning.
5. Remove any objects like stones, wood and glass etc that have become stuck in your tyre treads.
6. Do not let a shaking steering wheel ruin your holiday season motoring; get your tyres checked and wheels balanced. Sometimes this vibration is caused by faulty tyres; it is never too soon to replace them!
But if you are unsure what to do, or do not have enough time, take your vehicle into a Tyre Shop and have your tyres checked out. Most tyre shops are happy to give a free tyre safety and tyre pressure check.
September Tyre Safety Month is a good time to get your car ready for the busy holiday motoring season; summer is almost here!