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SA tyre safety week - how safe are yours?

2014-10-15 10:32

WHAT’S KEEPING YOU ON THE ROAD? This Tyre Safety Month, the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference is putting pressure on all road users to ensure that their tyres are safe and reliable. Image: SATMC

The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC)* encourages all South Africans to ensure that their tyres are safe and well maintained - October 2014 is SA’s Road and Tyre Safety month.

According to the SATMC, proper tyre pressure, complying with the subscribed tyre and vehicle load limits, inspecting tyres for any damage (including cuts, air bubbles and irregularities) are crucial to avoid tyre failure, breakdowns and potential crashes.

The SATMC said: “Tyre failure could lead to tread separation, tyre blowouts and flat tyres that could cause fatal crashes, thousands of Rands in  damage or leave the driver in a compromising situation, should tyres fail while traveling along dangerous or secluded road.”

'ONLY CONTACT ON THE ROAD'

Sadly, most road users underestimate the importance of well-maintain tyres and regular maintenance.

Dr Etienne Human, chief executive officer of the SATMC, said: “Tyres are the only contact between you and the road and each tyre only touches the road surface on an area that is approximately the size of a postcard.”

Regular tyre maintenance has the added benefit of improving vehicle handling, reduced fuel consumption and increases the life-span of your tyres.

The SATMC warns that having safe tyres begins at the point of purchase. In this market you get what you pay for and low-cost or second-hand tyres do not constitute safety or quality.

SECOND-HAND TYRES A DANGER

Human said: “It is estimated that the majority of all tyre blow-outs can be attributed to defective second-hand tyres fitted or tyres improperly repaired.”

One of the most critical safety features on a vehicle is its tyres, since they have to bear the burden of the full weight of the vehicle, while at the same time providing grip during acceleration, steering and braking.

Human said: “Some very low priced imported tyres do not hold to the same performance levels than those of our members, which can greatly compromise safety, results in a shorter lifespan of your tyres and lead to poor road performance.

“Locally manufactured tyres are specifically designed for the South African road and climate conditions, which make them safer and more durable.

Well maintained tyres will “hold your vehicle securely on the road, allowing it to stop, start and manoeuvre safely, while worn-out, incorrectly inflated or unsuitable tyres could put the lives of all road users at risk”.

For more information about the SATMC, visit www.satmc.co.za  or email.

*The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference members are Apollo (formally Dunlop), Bridgestone, Continental, Sumitomo and Goodyear.

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