Checking your tyres before you travel

TyreSafe is urging drivers to check their tyres before travelling this Easter as part of a national advertising campaign from Highways England and THINK!

Nearly a quarter of all breakdowns attended by Highways England are caused by tyre problems and – according to the Department for Transport – tyres account for 40% of fatal or serious injuries caused by vehicle defect-related incidents.

Advice from TyreSafe is to ACT


A – Air Pressure

Correct tyre pressures are shown on a sticker in your car’s door shut, filler cap or in the owner’s manual. Use an accurate pressure gauge to ensure they are right for the load as part of your pre-journey planning

C – Condition

Stones and other objects in the tread should be removed. Bulges, cracks, cuts and embedded objects are cause for concern and need to be checked by a professional

T – Tread depth

Use a 20p coin to see whether your tyres’ tread depths are at least 1.6mm. Insert the 20p at several points across and around each tyre. If you can see the coin’s outer rim at any point the tyre is illegal and must be changed immediately.

Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman, said: “With 15 million cars used over the four-day Easter holiday, and the inevitable congestion, taking time to check your tyres is an investment well worth making. Before any long journey, and regularly once a month, motorists should ACT responsibly, that is check Air pressure, Condition and Tread depth. If you don’t do this routinely, it’s time to change your behaviour.

“Drivers also need to inspect the condition of their spare tyre or space saver tyre, or if they don’t carry a spare be aware of how to use the repair kit provided by their car manufacturer. However, if they are unfortunate enough to suffer a tyre issue while on the motorway, they should stand away from the vehicle in as safe a place as possible after they’ve pulled over and should not be tempted to change their tyres in this dangerous situation. Instead, alert your breakdown recovery service and await their help or that of a Highways England traffic officer.”

Richard Leonard, Head of Road User Safety, Highways England, said: “Highways England’s traffic officers deal with thousands of breakdowns on their patrols every year. Frustratingly, nearly half of those incidents were caused by poor vehicle maintenance and being driven with defective tyres, insufficient oil or not enough fuel. With a few simple checks, drivers can overcome the risk of an incident and we can all enjoy a safer and easier journey this Easter.”