Tyres ‘critical to a vehicle’s safety’

off-my-wheelsBrian Joss –

Research indicates that badly maintained or damaged tyres are among one of the most widespread factors contributing to accidents in South Africa, said Goodyear.

Tyres are undoubtedly the most critical safety component on a vehicle as it affects traction, handling, steering, stability and braking.

As you and your family prepare to depart for various holiday destinations, you are encouraged to check more than just the weather forecast. Checking the condition of your vehicles’ tyres is very important and will not take much time.

A Goodyear employee measures tread depth on a tyre. Picture: QuickPic
A Goodyear employee measures tread depth on a tyre. Picture: QuickPic

Apart from checking for under or over-inflated tyres, you should also check the tread depth of your tyres. The tread consists of grooves which make up the pattern on the tyre. This is particularly important for the car’s performance on wet roads. Check if the tread is worn evenly or if parts of your tyre including the sidewalls are damaged. The tread and the sidewalls are key to the performance and safety of a tyre.

If you hit a pothole and you notice a vibration afterwards or if the steering wheel doesn’t centre properly or it pulls to one side, get the car checked immediately, as faults such as steering damage can lead to later expense or even an accident. Also physically check your tyres as damage may not be immediately noticeable. Watch for the development of bulges on the tyre sidewalls which indicates serious internal damage. In this case, change the tyre immediately, Goodyear said.

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