CHECK THOSE TYRES! Your and your family's lives depend on them more than any other item on your car. Give them some TLC before head off for Easter. Image: Supplied
The South African Tyre Manufacturer’s Conference (SATMC) is urging all road-users to prioritise a safety check of their vehicle’s tyres before heading off on holiday this Easter weekend (April 3-6 2015).
Tyres, in conjunction with brakes, are vital to avoid or, at worst, mitigate the result of a driving error - whether yours or that of another driver. It doesn't matter who's in the wrong - the idea is to survive.
Conference MD Nobuzwe Mangcu emphasised: “At any given time only four patches of tyre, each about the size of the palm of a human adult, keep the car on the road. Having the right tyres, in good condition and correctly inflated, is vital to your safety."
TYRE FAILURE CAN KILL
Among Easter weekend trippers and other road travellers in South Africa over Easter 2014, 193 didn't make it home*.
Mangcu added: “Tyre failure is a significant contributor to crashes but better tyre maintenance will make sure they will perform as they should. Vehicle owners should commit to routine tyre-checks, especially during the peak travel seasons.”
Tyres made in South Africa are designed to handle South African road and climate conditions - make sure they are SABS-certified (theres a moulding on the tyre wall). All the information about a tyre can be found here.
Cheap tyres are not worth the apparent price-saving; only use retreaded tyres from reputable suppliers; NEVER EVER EVER buy a tyre from the stacks at the side of the road.
And remember, tyres don't last for ever - even if your car is used only for shopping or shipping the kids to school.
SEVEN YEARS - THEN REPLACE!
Weather, air pollution and particularly our hot African sunshine, will eventually degrades the rubber - how many times have you seen a caravan at the side of the road with a blown tyre!
Mangcu said any tyre should be replaced at least every seven years. Make a note of their purchase date in your car's logbook or service history book.
Before setting off for a long trip check your vehicle thoroughly: ensure fluid levels are correct, that brakes are in an excellent condition, that every tyre (including the spare) is roadworthy - ask a reputable tyre dealer to do the check and, if necessary, rotate they wheels from front to rear (ask the agent why!).
For more information on tyre safety or the tyre industry, contact the SATMC.