Focus on driver tyre awareness

Focus on driver tyre awareness

DSC_0078Getting more New Zealanders to check their tyres is the focus of New Zealand’s first ever Tyre Awareness Week from April 7-13.

Tyres are the only source of contact between a car and the road. Many drivers check them rarely – if at all. This is why a range of government agencies, motoring industry businesses and the AA have joined together to support this week long initiative.

The focus of the week will be encouraging drivers to regularly:

Check the depth of tread and condition of their tyres

Make sure their tyres are at the correct air pressure

“It only takes a few minutes once a month to check your tread depth and air pressure,” says AA Motoring advice manager Andrew Bayliss.

tyresafety.org.nz shows the simple checks every driver should be doing to keep them and their family safe. Tyres are the only contact between a vehicle and the road.”

Tyres without much tread left or that are under-inflated will have less grip on the road and take longer to stop in wet conditions.

NZTA road safety director Ernst Zollner says the agency is supporting tyre awareness week as part of a long-term effort to encourage drivers to make sure their vehicles are safe for every journey.

“Properly inflated tyres with good tread depth are a ‘must have’ for your vehicle to be safe. No driver is perfect, and safe tyres can help prevent small mistakes from resulting in serious crashes. We all need to step up and take a more active role in keeping our vehicles safe,” says Zollner.

Keeping tyres at the correct tyre pressure is also vital for safety – and it extends the life of the tyres and improves fuel economy, too.

“Under-inflation increases rolling resistance, meaning that more fuel is needed to turn your wheels”, says Energy efficiency and conservation authority transport manager Joern Scherzer.

“A monthly top-up of air could mean savings of 4% – that’s like saving 8c a litre at current petrol prices. If everyone in New Zealand kept their tyres correctly pumped, New Zealand would save enough fuel to fill 1500 petrol tankers – and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by almost 70,000 tonnes.”

Drivers are responsible for maintaining their vehicle in a roadworthy condition at all times, including checking their tyres to ensure they haven’t worn out the tread, lost air pressure or been damaged.

“We see cars with bald tyres, tyres with objects sticking out of them or tyres that are significantly under-inflated,” says Technical and product manager for Goodyear & Dunlop Tyres (NZ) Bill Prebble.

“Some drivers have been driving with no idea that their tyres were at risk of significantly increased stopping distances in the wet, or even suddenly deflating. If people think there could be any issues with their tyres they should get them checked by a tyre professional straight away.”

For information on how to check tyres or to go in the draw for several sets of new tyres being given away for Tyre Awareness week, people can go to tyresafety.org.nz

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