What risk are you taking behind the wheel of poor quality tyres?
No matter how good a driver you are, if your tyres aren’t up to scratch you’re putting your life in danger. More importantly, you’re putting other people’s lives at risk. Poor quality tyres includes partly worn tyres, even if they were once high quality.
A survey in Australia last year found that almost half of all drivers did not know if their tyres were legal or not. Nearly a third of drivers quizzed in the survey admitted that they drove on worn tyres they thought were illegal.
In this post, I’ll look at some of the dangers of driving on part worn tyres that are, in fact, illegal. You’ll also discover how to ensure easily that your worn tyres meet the legal requirements.
Women are more at risk than men
The Canstar Blue survey questioned 1,600 drivers in early 2015. It found that:
- 40% of Australian drivers don’t know the law on tyre safety standards
- 29% believe they have driven on illegal tyres
- 25% don’t know what the correct air pressure for their tyres is, or where to find their tyre pressure guide
- 20% don’t know how to check their tyres for wear
Perhaps most disturbingly, female drivers are:
- two times more likely to not know about tyre safety standards; and
- three times less likely to know how to check their tyres are safe and legal.
What job do tyres do?
Your tyres are an essential part of your car. They help you stick to the road in all conditions. A good tyre properly inflated will reduce fuel consumption and improve the driving experience. In wet weather, they push water away and stop you from aquaplaning.
If you’re driving at 100 kilometres per hour, each of your tyres might have to expel as much as nine litres of water every second in wet conditions. If they didn’t do this, you’d feel like you were driving on ice.
It’s the tread and tread depth which enables the tyre to cope with this amount of water on the road. If you drive on a worn tyre, the grip is destroyed. You might as well be driving in the Arctic. You can imagine the devastation a 100 kilometre-per-hour crash causes. And all because you didn’t know how to check your tyres.
What is a legal tyre, and how do you check on wear?
Under Australian law, you must have at least 1.5mm of the tread where the tyre contacts the road. We used to check this with coin edges. Not very scientific, and not very accurate. Fortunately, most tyres now have tread wear indicator bars. When the tread has worn down to the limit, the tread bar will be level with the tread.
Tyre wear is caused by a range of factors. The roads on which you drive and the weather conditions in which you drive are two of the things that you have little to no control over. But excessive speed, late and violent braking, and driving corners too fast all add to tyre wear. Driving poorly not only increases the possibility that you’ll have an accident, but it also increases the cost of driving.
Don’t stop at checking tread
Tyres have a limited life irrespective of how you drive. Excessive heat or sunlight will deteriorate the rubber. Every time you rub the sidewall against the kerb when parking, a little bit more damage is caused to your tyre.
Tread wear is easier to spot than sidewall wear or other damage. Don’t forget that a spare tyre might not be roadworthy, even if it has never been used before.
Whenever you have your tyres replaced, get the spare checked. And if you’re not sure how to check your tyres to see if they are part worn, bring your car to us, and we’ll show you how.
Don’t be embarrassed that you don’t know the legal limits or how to check your tyre for wear – you’re in the company of almost half of all Australia’s drivers. Getting your tyres checked regularly will put you into the elite driver category – those who make sure their tyres are legal and that road safety is a priority.
Contact Darra Tyres today on (07) 3333 5510. We’re here to serve.