Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Tyre Safety - How much do you know?

What do you know about tyres?

I'll be honest.  I don't know a lot.

I know that they are expensive to buy, that you need the right type for your car and that the pressure has to be checked occasionally.

I also know that it is important to maintain your car tyres properly.

At some point in the next few months we are going to need a couple of new tyres on our family car.  This makes me sad because with the money we've saved for this purpose I'd rather spend it on a meal at a swanky restaurant or a day out at Alton Towers for the family or some sort of equally fun treat.  Family safety comes first though, especially when you bear in mind how many people our car carts around, so tyres are what we're spending the money on.  Sometimes being a sensible grown-up is necessary but a little bit boring.

My husband is the one person in this family who usually checks our car tyres at the start of every autumn/winter (more often than not as part of a general tidy up and polish of the cars), he also checks my mum's tyres too.  I don't think either me or my mum would be confident in checking the tyres ourselves which is bonkers as our names are on the documentation as registered keepers.  We really should know more about doing it ourselves.

I was rather unsurprised when I was recently sent the results of a survey conducted by Michelin and Mumsnet which stated that there was still a discrepancy between genders with more men taking responsibility for tyres than women.

The infographic below shows the main findings from the survey.

I probably am guilty of leaving everything to DH when it comes to car related matters.  As I say, I am not as knowledgable about things like tyres as I perhaps should be.  

Having said that, after DH had our tyres checked recently he did tell me that it isn't just the tread depth that is the one reason for replacing car tyres.  We hardly do any milage at all (less than 2000 miles per year in my car) and yet despite having plenty of tread left on the tyres the two oldest at the rear of the car need to be replaced because they have started to perish.

We have already started looking around for good deals at all the local garages and also with some online retailers.  I am particularly keen on some of the mobile retailers that come out and fit the tyres at home as this would offer us greater convenience.  We are looking at all the major brands too - DH likes a quality brand when buying tyres.  As Michelin themselves say, "not all tyres are the same...".

You can even have a look at the video below to find out how Michelin are improving their products by understanding driving usage and behaviour.

One thing we have not considered is a set of winter tyres.  I was surprised to read that winter tyres can significantly reduce breaking distance compared with regular tyres - even in temperatures of between 4 and 6 degrees centigrade.  That's about the temperature that it is now when I'm driving the children to school in the morning - it isn't even icy!

Until reading the results of this survey I didn't even know that tyre labels include a rating for wet braking stopping distances - did you?

In fact, this survey really opened my eyes to all the different aspects of choosing tyres and tyre maintenance - especially now that we are about to spend some of our cold hard cash on new ones.  

Tyre safety is so very important - I'm going to make it my job at the very least to learn how to check my tyre pressure and tread depth in future.

This post was written in collaboration with Mumsnet and Michelin.  I have not received any payment for this, however by taking part I will be entered into a prize draw, the winner of which will receive new tyres. 

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