Just under half of all young drivers only check their tyre treads between once and three times a year, with a fifth admitting to never checking them, finds a survey by tyresonthedrive.com.
Approximately the same amount of 18-24 year olds claim they only check their tyre pressure between once and three times a year, with 15% saying they never check it at all.
At a time when many youngsters are leaving home for university or starting work, they are putting their own safety and the safety of others at risk every time they drive unless they start regularly checking their tyres.
Despite safety recommendations stating that tyres should be checked once a month and before long journeys, only 8% of 18-24 year olds check their tyre treads more than 10 times a year, and only 14% check their tyre pressure more than 10 times a year.
However, 63% of young drivers said they were completely confident of how to check their vehicle’s tyre treads with the same amount saying they were completely confident of how to check their tyre pressure.
Worn or unsafe tyres can significantly increase the chances of road accidents, yet the majority of drivers aren’t doing the few basic checks necessary to ensure their tyres are in good condition.
Dominic Clark, CEO and founder of tyresonthedrive.com, said: “It’s concerning that so many young drivers don’t understand the importance of checking both tyre pressure and tyre treads regularly, or before they go on a long journey.
“Tyre safety is so very important and regular maintenance can prevent accidents, as well as saving money by being fuel-efficient.
“We hope our survey findings show how important it is for drivers to check their tyres regularly. We understand it’s easy to forget to do basic maintenance when we all have busy lives but the consequences of not checking far outweigh doing a two minute check.”
This October we’ve been working with safety group TyreSafe to promote Tyre Safety Month. October was chosen to highlight this issue as it is the wettest month in the UK. As tyre performance worsens during wet weather, this makes October the perfect month to really show people how vital it is that their vehicle tyres should be checked regularly.
Figures just released on September 25 by the Department for Transport found that there were 968 casualties in the UK caused by illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres in 2013, of which 18 people were killed.
This figure is down slightly from the 1,238 road casualties in 2012, caused by illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres of which 25 people were killed and 169 seriously injured.
Additionally, drivers face three penalty points on their driving licence for having defective tyres.
Here are our three quick tips for checking your tyres:
Tread depth – is the tread above the legal requirement of 1.6mm?
The average driver won’t have a tyre gauge to hand, so instead use the 20p test! The outer band of a 20p coin measures exactly 1.6mm, so place the coin between the grooves of your tyre and if the outer band is visible then your tyres need changing.
Tyre Pressure – are your tyres at your vehicle’s recommended PSI?
It’s incredibly quick and easy to measure your vehicles tyre pressure using a foot pump or a pump at a garage. Make sure you know the recommended PSI and check the tyre pressure every month or before you go on a long journey.
Overall health – have you noticed any significant changes to your tyres?
Can you see any bulging, cracks or discolouration? If so, get your tyres checked out immediately.