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Tread Carefully: Keep Your Wheels Legal

Whether you’re a biker or just use a car for work, there are rules and regulations surrounding motoring that we should all be aware of, but many of us have forgotten.

When was the last time you check your wiper fluid? What about the oil? I’ve spoken to numerous drivers in the last few months, and an alarming number of people seem to think they can leave that to getting their annual service on the car carried out.

In extreme cases, drivers have been fined or even given penalty points on their licence for things a lot of us would consider menial. However the law is law, so even if the most likely outcome is that you’ll be told to top it up as soon as possible, having no water in the water bottle could potentially land you in deep, well…. water!

A more serious oversight is tyres. These are what separates your vehicle from the tarmac, and are responsible for your steering, acceleration, brakes and suspension all working as expected. There are three general things you should be checking regularly – firstly that there’s no visible damage, caused by impacts like kerbs or collisions with debris on the road

The second thing is tread depth. You’ll be given the reading at your most recent service/MOT test, but tread will reduce as you drive so you should be checking it regularly. The legal requirement is for 1.6mm of tread across the width of each tyre to remain legal, which is approximately the same as the border of a 20p coin.

Finally, you need to keep the pressures of the tyres to the required level. You can do this on a petrol station forecourt when you fill up with petrol, or alternatively invest in a portable compressor like you’ll find at this website.

It goes without saying that the failure of a tyre could cause catastrophic results – imagine losing control at 70mph on a motorway. We’ve all seen the TV shows with drivers gettin pulled over with bald tyres. It’s dangerous to the occupants of the car, but also to everyone around them. Worse still, those drivers are also more likely to be the kind of people who drive at 90mph in rain in heavy traffic – you can imagine too how long it would take them to stop – probably further than the car in front in an emergency situation.

We need those kinds of people off the road, so make sure you’re not one of them. It takes just a few minutes to check your wheels over to make sure they’re legal, inspect the tread and pump them up if required. Hardly a big effort and it could save your life too.