When it comes to cars I have a love hate relationship. I like cars, I love cars in fact, especially fast shiny ones. More importantly though they get me places my feet can’t, keep me and my babies warm and they make Mr Tammy, and by proxy our family, a living. Yet, as much as I love them and as essential as they are to our lives I know all too well just how dangerous they can be and just how important safety on the road is.
In my former days as a lawyer I spent a lot of my time working for insurance companies defending injury claims. Injuries that were caused on the road, by cars. I am not just talking your average whippy claim, I am talking the type of accidents that caused life changing injuries. Injuries that result in 6, but more likely, 7 figure compensation claims. I am sure that it is this line of work that has put all the fear into me when it comes to the road especially when I am on it with my children. It is why I brought over priced and potentially unnecessary car seats, why I refuse to start the car unless everyone has their seatbelt on, and why making sure the car you do have is safe, is so important. This is especially important when the seasons change, when the cold, dark nights set in and the ice starts to cover the road.
Having family in Bristol, some 100 miles from where we live, I do spend a lot of my time on the road with the family, especially at Christmas and as such making sure the car is road ready is essential. One of the key areas for concern are the tyres, so here are a couple of the basic but potentially life saving safety checks that I, OK Mr Tammy, undertake:
- Tyre tread – the legal limit is 1.6mm. The legal limit is there for a reason, yawn I know boring lawyer talk, but anything less than that is dangerous. Simple as. You can use a tread gauge to check your tread, it takes seconds. Also,did you know that if you are stopped and your tyre is found to be under the legal tread limit you could receive three points on your licence and up to a £2,500.00 fine? PER TYRE!
- Tyre pressure – your car handbook, will tell you what it should be. For an accurate reading make sure you take the pressure when the tyres are cold. If the pressure is too high then it could result on poor vehicle handling, which coupled with ice covered roads could be incredibly dangerous. If the pressure is too low it can result in using more fuel – which is NEVER good.
Finally have you ever considered winter tyres? In some countries, such as Germany, these are a legal requirement. Whilst they are not here they certainly have their benefits and research has shown that winter tyres distinctly improve your stopping distance on wet roads, when the temperature is under 5degrees, which lets face it, is pretty often during the depths of winter. If you are thinking of using winter tyres or think it is time your tyres need to be replaced, then Point S have a wide range available at your fingertips. You are able to buy online tyres from high quality brands at Point S, including Continental, Firestone and Bridgestone. Point S also have some top tips for tyre safety, especially when travelling with a full car or heavy load, which is no doubt something many of do over the festive period.
I know I know tyre safety perhaps isn’t your top priority or at least interest. I get that and I don’t wish to preach. Yet such simple, quick, checks can potentially keep you, your family and others on the road just that little bit safer and we all know, when it comes to our family, safety comes first.
Disclaimer – this is a collaborative post.