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Tyre tips to keep motorists safe this Heritage Day

Tyre tips to keep motorists safe this Heritage Day

Sep 16, 2015

As we celebrate Heritage Day this September, it’s important to keep safety as a top priority while on the roads. While the country is continuously working to provide the best transport infrastructure, what remains a challenge is the high number of road accidents.

These accidents can often be prevented, as more than 90 per cent of them occur when traffic regulations are violated. The Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA) would like to encourage all South Africans to change their behaviour and create safer roads.

Stacey Davidson, director at REDISA, says there are small habits that motorists can adopt to help remain safe on the roads. These include checking tyres regularly for punctures, cuts and bulges to ensure that they are in good condition for the road.

The failure to attend to tyre safety is a vital factor in thousands of road accidents every year. Research by the CSIR indicates that nearly 20% of accidents have tyre failure as a contributing factor. It does not help if you have the best brakes on the market, but your tyres are worn. When braking, the idea is to have sufficient friction between the road surface and tyre to bring the vehicle to a standstill. If the tyres are worn there will not be enough friction and the tyre will slide over the road surface, not stopping the vehicle.

REDISA believes that improving driving habits and tyre maintenance will go a long way towards saving lives and alleviating the environmental issue caused by the approximate 270 000 tonnes of waste tyres generated every year.

Well maintained tyres will hold your vehicle securely on the road, allowing it to stop, start and manoeuvre safely.  For your own safety and that of others, your tyres must be in good condition, properly maintained and appropriate for your vehicle.

Around the globe governments are enforcing stricter regulations on safe driving and vehicle protection. To meet these regulations and standards, businesses are increasingly looking at methods and technologies to reduce road carnage and the adverse impact it has.

REDISA has also released tyre tips to educate motorists on how to stay safe on the roads.

Tyre tips:

Check your tyre pressure on a cold start or before a long journey.

You’ll find the correct pressure for your vehicle in your operating manual. In most cases it’s either under your fuel cap, on the inside of your door or in the cubbyhole. Then check your tyre pressure on a cold start or before a long journey.

If your tyre’s side wall is damaged, replace it.

Check regularly for any signs of irregular wear, any sharp objects lodged in the tread and any cuts, tears, cracks or bulges. Check for damage or uneven wear on all four tyres, on both sides of the tyre and on the wheel rims.

Under-inflated tyres use more fuel, so check the pressure.

You’ll need an accurate pressure gauge. Take off the dust cap on the valve, fix on the pressure gauge and take a note of the result. If your tyre needs extra air, you should inflate it using an air pump at home. Under-inflated tyres use more fuel. If the tyre is over-inflated according to the pressure chart, you can allow air to escape whilst the dust cap is off.

Check that your tyre pressure is correct and equal.

Never rely on the eyeball method to gauge air pressure in tyres. Next to the vehicle’s brakes, the tyres are the most important safety parts of your car. If there is an imbalance in the tyre pressure there could be a risk when braking and negotiating corners. In addition to putting you in an accident risk, poor tyre pressure can also affect fuel economy, comfort and the life of the tyre.

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