According to recently released figures, drivers are failing to carry out the necessary precautions to make sure their tyres are in a safe and legal condition.
Figures obtained by tyre safety charity TyreSafe show that more than 170 motorists were convicted every week in 2012 for driving on defective or even dangerous tyres.
It is important to check tyre tread depth and pressure on a regular basis, especially as we move towards winter.
Tyre size, tread and maintenance will depend on the type of model - be it 4x4 cars such as the Honda CR-V, hatchbacks, saloons, estates or sedans.
As well as practicing good tyre safety, drivers are also advised to ensure they’re prepared for a breakdown with assistance cover.
Recently, Hondacare Assistance was named the best vehicle breakdown cover by drivers in an annual satisfaction survey by the consumer group Which?
An unusually dry summer may have lulled some motorists into a false sense of security, but as the heavy rain starts to fall over the coming months those who neglect their tyres are at a greater risk of having an accident on the roads.
A total of 10,228 drivers were taken to court over their tyres last year, but in many cases this could have been avoided if the motorists had taken the time to perform a few simple checks on their tyres.
The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre. Tread depth is essential, creating space into which water can be squeezed out from underneath the tyre.
Demonstrations have shown that while a tyre with 3mm of tread can still cope reasonably well with the most dangerous ‘aquaplaning’ scenarios, tyres at the legal limit simply cannot.
Tyres that are left to run right down to the 1.6mm legal limit could therefore pose a greater risk in wet weather.
In terms of tyre pressure, each car is different.
The manufacturer of your vehicle will specify the suitable tyre pressure, and it is your responsibility to make sure that the pressure is checked and corrected on a regular basis.
The correct tyre pressure keeps the tyre pressed evenly against the road surface, making full use of the tread pattern to clear water and increase grip.
“These latest figures are incredibly worrying and reflect the ongoing challenge that we have in terms of raising the awareness about the importance of driving on safe and legal tyres,” said Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe.
“Regular checks, which only take a few minutes to complete, should be made at least once a month, yet it’s clear from these latest figures that many drivers are simply not taking these precautions, risking not only prosecution through the courts but more importantly, their safety on the road.”
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.