Are your tyres safe?Which? supports the launch of Tyre Safety Month.

29 September 2007

Review the tread depth of your car tyres regularly

By law tyres must have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm across the centre

Do you ever stop to think that tyres are the only point of contact between your car and the road - or that patch of slippery mud, ice or wet leaves?

Many drivers never do, which is probably why the largest ever tyre pressure and safety study undertaken in the UK, has revealed that almost three quarters of all cars on the country’s roads have tyres that are under-inflated.

The findings of the industry-backed TyreSafe survey also showed that a quarter of these vehicles have at least one tyre that is either illegal, having a tread depth below 1.6mm, or badly worn.

The impact on road collisions of these figures is reflected in recent government figures which indicated that under-inflated or defective tyres are responsible for more than a third of all road crashes resulting in injury.

Under-inflated tyres and bad driving practice are equally costing motorists over £2 billion in extra fuel, and release 5.5 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

We name best tyres

Monday marks the start of Tyre Safety Month - which runs throughout October. We’re delighted to support this national event by making our Best Buy tyres report available free-to-view for all visitors to www.which.co.uk during October, containing results for 82 different makes and models.

Richard Headland, Which? Motoring Editor, said: ‘Tyre Safety Month is an excellent idea, designed to raise drivers’ awareness of the importance of regularly checking their tyres. Our Best Buy report will help all drivers choose the safest possible replacement tyres - those which have proved themselves in our exhaustive, independent testing - and at the best price.’

Check your pressures online

According to TyreSafe, 90 per cent of motorists do not know the correct inflation pressures for their car. Having the correct pressures will save fuel, reduce CO2 emissions and potentially prevent a serious accident.

So TyreSafe has launched an online tyre pressure check facility, allowing motorists to check the tyre pressures for their vehicle quickly and easily. Motorists can log on to the Tyresafe website, key in their vehicle registration number, and the tyre pressures for both front and rear tyres will be displayed.

This free pressure check facility is being provided to motorists throughout October. Look out for car and tyre dealers, many of whom will also be offering free tyre pressure checks during the month.

If you want to know more about how to check and maintain your tyres, read our report on care tips for tyres.