Storms are inbound and as in winter, but are the tyres on your car, jeep and tractor ready for the winter period?
For the whole of 2016, there were a total of 174 fatal road collisions and 186 actual fatalities on Irish roads. This makes tyre safety very important. Between 20018 and 2012 there were over 71 tyre related fatalities on Irish roads.
Tyres are of crucial importance in winter when bad weather and poor visibility means road conditions are often treacherous. Whatever about the things you cannot control, having a reliable machine under can you make all the difference in a split-second scenario.
According to a recent Garda study, Vehicle factors were found to have contributed to one out of eight deaths between 2008 and 2012, or 111 people. On top of this 30 people received serious injuries as a result of something wrong with their vehicles. Problems with brakes are believed to have contributed to 18 deaths and 6 serious injuries.
So check your brakes and your tyres, and if you need new ones bite bullet and get them. There's no point in trying squeeze the last miles out of bald tyres if you cannot stop when you need to.
Most Irish motorists have what are called summer-tyres fitted to their vehicles. Snow tyres are worth considering for winter driving. These are made of softer rubber which does not harden in cold weather, retaining its flexibility. They have different tread patterns designed to grip the road in snow and ice. There are also all-season tyres available, which are somewhere between summer and winter tyres.
If you are changing your tyre-type always replace all four at once. Otherwise, your steering may be impacted. Having a set of winter tyres to change into is worthwhile. You can change back to Summer tyres when Spring is in as winter tyres, with their increased grip, are less fuel-efficient and wear quicker in better driving conditions.
Read the below checklist of how to ensure your tyres are safe for use:
- Check tyres have the correct tread depth. A tread of 1.6mm or less in cars or vans, means the tyres need changing. Meanwhile, 70mm is the minimum requirement for a tractor.
- Check the tyres are inflated correctly, pressure should be between 30-32 in cars and vans and up to 23psi in tractors.
- Check the wheel nuts are firmly in place and tightened.
- Check the tyres are free from any tears, bulges or any damage.