According to a study commissioned by Highways England, only one in six drivers have thought of checking their tire pressure before setting out on a long trip. Yet one in five motorway breakdowns are caused by worn or improperly inflated tires, and nearly a third of drivers admitted that they were not sure to check tire pressure.
The roads are expected to be busy this summer as people leave for day trips and vacations in the UK and abroad (subject to travel restrictions). Plus, reduced vehicle use after months of locking out and / or working from home in many cases means essential pre-trip checks have never been more important.
Siobhan Wares, traffic manager for Highways England, which patrols the M25 and other major roads, said:
You are more likely to have a breakdown or a collision if your tires are improperly inflated or in poor condition. It only takes a few minutes to check your tire pressure before going on a day trip or vacation this summer, and it could save you time and money in the long run. Help you and your family reach your destination safely by checking your vehicle before you leave.
Highways England’s advice is simple; check your tire pressure and the condition of your tires, including the spare tire, before setting out on a long trip. Watch out for cuts or wear and make sure the tires have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit. To check your tire pressure, visit most gas stations and gas stations, which have an air machine to check and inflate your tire pressure.
If you are stopped by the police and found with illegal tires, you could be fined £ 2,500 and 3 penalty points per tire.
Driving with under-inflated or over-inflated tires can lengthen the braking distance and make driving more difficult. Properly inflated tires are also safer and better for the environment – using less fuel, reducing your carbon footprint, creating less environmental pollution and reducing waste because tires wear out less quickly.
Stefan Hay, Managing Director of the National Tire Distribution Association (NTDA), said:
NTDA welcomes this excellent Summer Checks campaign and applauds the innovative and smart way Highways England is delivering such an important message to motorists.
Tires are the only thing that keeps a vehicle in contact with the road, and many vehicles have been idle for long periods of time during Covid-19 lockdowns and other restrictions. More than ever, it is essential that motorists regularly check their tires and if in doubt about their working condition, have them inspected by a professional tire technician.
RAC Breakdown spokesperson Simon Williams said:
As we head into what appears to be one of the busiest summers ever on the roads, it is essential that drivers check their vehicles before setting off, as this could prevent a very unwanted breakdown.
Tires should have good tread and be inflated to the correct pressure, and oil and coolant levels should be topped up if they are low. Our message to staycation drivers is: A few simple checks before you travel can dramatically reduce your chances of getting stuck on a busy road when you least want it.
Clare Egan, Engine Manager at Admiral, said:
It’s easy to forget to check that your car is ready for a long drive, especially if you haven’t used it that much recently. It is important to take some time before you leave to check your fuel, oil, coolant, windshield washer fluid levels, and most importantly, your tires.
A flat tire could be annoying at best and very dangerous at worst. If a tire bursts while you are driving, it makes your car very difficult to control and you could end up in an accident.
If you have problems with your vehicle and cannot exit the freeway, you should always try to go left – to an emergency zone, emergency lane, freeway services. or an emergency lane.
But if that is not possible and you have pulled over in a live lane or feel your life is in danger, you should stay in your vehicle with your seat belt and hazard warning lights on and call 999. at once.
Before leaving, check your tire pressure.
For more information on checking your tires, please visit our Tire Checking webpage.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England Customer Contact Center on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press service on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.