With Easter just around the corner, it’s a good time to think about doing a tyre safety check especially if you’re planning a long-weekend road trip. However, even if you’re just going to stay local – like taking a drive down to the beach, to the park or shopping centre with the kids to pick up some hot cross buns, when was the last time you checked your tread and tyre pressure? Here are a couple of tips to help you stay safe and make the most of your holiday weekend.
- Tyre pressure for optimum grip, handling and fuel efficiency
Having the right tyre pressure goes a long way to ensuring your tyres have good grip, handling and it can even ensure you get the best possible fuel efficiency. Both under- and overinflated tyres can pose a risk to safety – so it’s vital to get your pressures right. You’ll find this information on the inside of the driver’s door – or in your vehicle owner’s manual. Also remember that the best time to check your tyre pressure is while the tyres are still cool, before setting off on a journey.
- Tread carefully
Tyre tread has a big impact on their ability to grip the road safely. In Australia, the minimum legal requirement is that your tyres have a 1.5mm tread, however, it is highly recommended that you have at least 3mm. While you will probably be able to see at a glance if the tread is beginning to wear – when the tread indicators (the small rubber blocks across your tyres) are level with the rest of the tyre (or coming close), your tyres will need to be replaced. If you’re in any doubt, visit a tyre specialist who will be able to do an exact measurement.
- Don’t ignore cuts and signs of damage
Acting quickly on any signs of damage, cuts or evidence of a nail or other sharp object (such as a stone) that may have become embedded in the rubber – is not only vital for your safety on the road, but can also save you money. Sometimes you don’t get any warning of these unfortunate events, however being able to get any damage repaired before it becomes a flat (or worse) may minimise the necessity to replace the tyre and save you money and inconvenience.
- When did you last check your spare?
There’s often a bit of an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude about our spare tyres! However, if your vehicle does have a spare tyre, make sure you include this in any checks you do so that it’s ready for use when you really need it — sometime you’ll be really glad you did!
- Towing a caravan, boat or trailer?
If you are towing or your vehicle is just carrying a heavier load than usual (which is often the case when you’re heading off on a long weekend) – your tyre pressures will need to be adjusted accordingly. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for details.
- Keep to the speed limit in the interests of safety and your back pocket!
You probably don’t need to be reminded that keeping to the speed limit is a vital part of road safety! Plus, with Double Demerits (and associated fines!) operating in some states over long weekends and holiday periods, this is another extra (and very good) reason to keep a close eye on your speedo!