Bridgestone South Africa

Check Tyres Before Easter

Apr 01, 2011

Tyre maker Bridgestone SA has called on motorists to exercise restraint and drive with caution during the upcoming Easter holidays. Drivers are also urged to ensure that their tyres are properly checked before departing on Easter journeys.

Bridgestone PR Manager, Mandy Lovell, said many holiday crashes and fatalities were related to incorrect tyre maintenance. "There are many ways in which tyres can cause crashes if they are not properly maintained," she commented. "The most familiar problem is when a tyre's tread has worn down below three millimeters or so. Even though the tyre may be legal, it can no longer disperse water on the road properly, and this could lead to a loss of traction in heavy rain."

Motorists are reminded that a tyre which is fitted with a tread wear indicator (TWI) is considered illegal if the TWI is level with the rest of the tread. Such a tyre simply doesn't have enough tread left to cope with wet roads and a traffic official can issue a fine for a tyre in this condition.

Tyres with bulges on them are also illegal, and potentially dangerous. A bulge usually results from an internal cut caused when a tyre impacts with a pothole, rock or other road obstacle. Air leaks through this cut to the outer layers of the tyre, causing the bulge. "A bulging tyre could fail at any time and should be replaced as a matter of urgency," she said.

Cuts longer than 25mm or ten percent of the width of the tyre also make a tyre illegal and motorists are advised to check all tyres thoroughly for damage. "We recommend you take your car to a tyre fitment centre to have your tyres checked, because damage may have occurred to the inside sidewalls of the tyre and won't be seen unless a car is inspected on a lift or over an inspection pit," Mandy explained.

Of course, a tyre may be free from damage, but it won't provide proper roadholding unless it's correctly inflated. Over-inflated tyres have reduced roadholding and are less resistant to damage from road obstacles, while under-inflated tyres may overheat and fail suddenly.

Bridgestone urged that proper tyre maintenance should be foremost in motorists' minds ahead of the Easter break. A roadworthy vehicle with an alert, cautious driver at the wheel is the best recipe for preventing crashes.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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