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Motoring

Check your tyres: Don’t let tyres ruin your summer festival plans

Drivers should perform vital checks on their tyres before setting off for festivals to avoid compromising their summer party, a charity dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of correct tyre maintenance and the dangers of defective and illegal tyres urges.

According to Statista, the number of people attending festivals in the UK in 2019 was over 5 million, almost doubling since 2012, and with their long-awaited full return, that number could be even higher.

Which means more cars on the road, longer journeys with friends and fully loaded vehicles.

TyreSafe say drivers should regularly perform checks on their tyres throughout the year, as they are the only point of the car in direct contact with the road, to ensure they are in good condition.

However, when travelling to festivals with a fully loaded vehicle, drivers should be even more vigilant about the air pressure, condition, and tread (ACT) to make sure they, and their friends, arrive safely.

Driving with air pressures below the recommended settings makes them more vulnerable to a catastrophic failure or ‘blowout’, even with just the driver on board.

When extra luggage and passengers are added, the likelihood of an incident increases if the pressures are not adjusted.

All cars have at least two recommended settings: one for when the car has a light load; the other when it is carrying multiple passengers and their baggage, such as ruck sacks and tents.

The correct tyre pressure settings can be found in the owner’s handbook, in the door shut or fuel filler cap, or online via pressure look-ups.

Drivers should use an accurate gauge to check all four tyres.

If you’re loading up with luggage and fellow ticket holders, you may need to adjust your tyre pressures accordingly.

Drivers should also check the tread depth of their tyres.

How to check tyres

The minimum legal tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm, but if your tyres are approaching or below 2mm, is it worth considering a change, particularly as the ‘Great British Summer’ can present heavy rainfall and changeable weather.

Drivers can use a 20p piece as a guide by inserting the coin at different points across the tread pattern and around the circumference.

If any of the coin’s rim is visible, have a professional check the tyre.

Finally, drivers are advised to perform a thorough visual inspection on all four tyres, looking out for cuts, lumps, or bulges, which could indicate internal damage and should be checked by a tyre professional.

Drivers are also advised to carefully remove stones or foreign objects stuck in the tyres’ grooves.

Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe Chairman, said: “The return to mainstream events and the promised sunshine is likely to make the festivals this year even more popular than ever.

“Nobody wants those plans to be ruined, so before you set off, please take a few minutes to check your tyres aren’t going to spoil the party.

“It could be the difference between making wonderful memories or having a nightmare. What’s stopping you?”

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