Ageing Tyres and Road Safety
A recent survey carried out for the RAC Foundation in the UK has revealed that although nine out of ten drivers understand the link between tyre age and road safety, up to an estimated three million in the UK- do not.
According to the research, owners of low-mileage cars, vintage and classic models, caravans, motor homes and trailers need to be aware of the risk of tyre fatigue. The spare tyre is also at risk of age-related deterioration, as it is often unused even though other tyres may have been replaced over the years.
Simplifying the checking process could be one answer to the problem, as seven out of ten motorists said they would like to see the current age coding system replaced by an easy-to-read ‘year of manufacture’ date on the tyre.
The Foundation was also concerned that 45% of drivers questioned did not know the minimum legal tread depth for car tyres and among women drivers, this figure rose to 60 %.
Although it is quite easy to check a tyres’ age from the sidewall code it only tells you when the tyre is made, not its physical condition.The danger signs of ageing can include:
– cracks or crazing on the sidewall
– tread separation, cracks or bulges
– deformation of the tyre carcass
– discolouration and fading of the rubber
In response to these findings the UK RAC and the UK National Tyre Distributors Association have launched an eight-week tyre safety campaign urging drivers of low-mileage vehicles to get their tyres inspected.