October is Tyre Safety month, and Bedfordshire Police is reminding motorists to check their vehicles and make sure they are ready for winter.
Simple winter readiness checks include ensuring tyres, lights and windscreen wipers are working and that oil and anti-freeze levels are correct.
Tyres are a vehicle’s only point of contact with the road so it is vital drivers check theirs are in good condition as the weather becomes colder and wetter.
A quick and easy way to check tread depth is to use a 20p. Insert the coin into the grooves of the tread on each tyre, including the spare. If the outer band on the coin is fully hidden in the tread, the tyres are above the legal limit.
If the band is showing, the tyres are worn and may need replacing.
Every year, over two million MOT failures are due to low tyre tread. Inspector Ed Finn, Force lead for road safety, said:
“Don’t wait until your MOT to get your tyres checked.
“It is important they are roadworthy year-round, and particularly as we head into winter. Stopping distances double in wet weather and in icy conditions they can be up to ten times more.
“Coupled with the darker evenings it can be harder to spot and react quickly to potential hazards such as children crossing roads on their way home from school. If you don’t stop and check your tyres now, you may find you can’t stop when it really matters.”
Motorists whose tyres are not roadworthy risk being fined up to £2,500 and receiving three penalty points for every defective tyre.
Many garages offer winter checks and petrol stations often have facilities where motorists can check their tyre pressures. Visit TyreSafe to find the correct tyre pressures for your vehicle.