TyreSafe 20p pledge encourages tyre tread safety checks

21st September 2012

In case you aren't aware already, October is Tyre Safety Month, and as part of this TyreSafe has launched a special rubber-related campaign on its Facebook page.

The '20p pledge' will encourage visitors to check their tyre tread depth using a 20p coin within the next seven days. By taking the pledge they're making a personal commitment to motoring safety, and their action will be shared with their Facebook friends with the call for them to do the same.

"The 20p pledge is a great way for drivers to check their tread depth and ensure that they are safe and legal as we head towards the wettest months of the year," said Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe.

"Adequate tread is essential in providing better grip and shorter stopping distances in the wet, as well as helping to reduce the risk of aquaplaning. Those taking the pledge are demonstrating their commitment to safer driving, which hopefully might help reduce the number of tyre related accidents on our roads."

As TyrePress points out, sufficient tread depth is highly significant for safe motoring. A tyre's tread grooves are designed to keep the tyre in contact with the road and remove water from the surface the car is driving on. Poor grip and traction is the result of inadequate tread grooves, leading to longer stopping distances, reduced handling and increased possibility of aquaplaning.

Many drivers will understand just how dangerous aquaplaning is, but may not know how it happens. A layer of water between the wheels and the road surface results in a serious loss of traction that means the vehicle can't respond to control inputs from the driver. This effectively amounts to your vehicle becoming an uncontrolled sled, sliding straight forward or to either side depending on which tyres aquaplane.

Tyre tread wear, underinflation and having the wrong type of compounds can all lead to this phenomenon, and while most modern cars allow drivers to quickly regain control should it happen, the potential consequences could be lethal.

Thankfully for motorists, the 20p test is quick and easy to perform. Simply insert a 20p coin into the main grooves of the tyre to check the tread depth. If the outer band of the coin is visible when inserted, the tyre may not have sufficient depth and should be checked by a qualified specialist as soon as possible.

Tyresafe has even added a short animation to its Youtube feed to demonstrate how the test is best done.

As previously reported, TyreSafe warned last month that around a third of cars on British roads are estimated to have dangerously underinflated tyres – another critical cause of aquaplaning in wet conditions.

Businesses and fleet owners are encouraged to implement a strict tyre maintenance policy, while drivers must ensure they keep an eye on their pressures and visit a repair centre or garage if they are concerned with any aspect of their rubber's health.

Seeking tyre help and advice? Look no further than ATS Euromaster.

Posted by Danielle Barge