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The Highways Agency - Tyre Safety

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Tyre Safety

See below for some handy advice from Tyresafe, the tyre safety organisation.

In the winter months it is essential that your tyres are well maintained. Cold temperatures, damp roads, snow and ice all reduce a tyre’s ability to grip the road properly, leading to longer stopping distances and a higher risk of an accident.

The safest option in these conditions is to fit winter weather tyres which are specifically designed to provide extra grip and improved levels of safety at temperatures lower then 7°C. The climatic conditions in the UK make winter weather tyres the safest option from October through to April when the roads are often damp and temperatures tend to stay in single figures.

Even if you don't switch to winter weather tyres, you can still carry out a number of checks for maximum safety.

In winter, tread depth should be checked to ensure it is well above the legal minimum of 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the tyre, around its entire circumference. TyreSafe has developed the 20p test for a simple and quick way to test your tyres’ tread depth.

Tyre pressures should be checked every two weeks and before a long journey. Pressures should be checked when the tyres are cold (i.e. travelled less than 2 miles) against the vehicle manufacturers recommended levels.

When checking tyre pressures, give the rest of the tyre a thorough visual inspection for any signs of damage. Look for any cuts, cracks or bulges or embedded objects. If you are in any doubt about the condition of your tyres, speak to a professional.

For more information about winter weather tyres or general tyre safety visit Tyresafe.org

For more tips on driving in winter visit www.highways.gov.uk/winter