Brits clueless about car tyre testing

Caroline Cassidy
Brits clueless over car tyre testing
Brits clueless over car tyre testing

Pic: Getty

Despite the fact that they're the only thing keeping us in contact with the road, a third of British motorists believe that kicking a car tyre is a good indication of whether it is properly inflated.

In a poll conducted by Halfords Autocentres, 42 per cent of men admitted they still use the method of tyre pressure testing, compared with 30 per cent of women.

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Nearly one in four drivers confessed they did not know how to check whether the tyre tread was legal, and one in eight have no idea what type of spare wheel they have in the boot.

Nevertheless, two thirds of drivers said they had skidded on the roads last winter, and 194 Britons were killed or seriously injured as a result of accidents caused by illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres. Only 14 per cent had considered fitting winter tyres during the bad weather season.

Rory Carlin, of Halfords Autocentres, told the Daily Mail: "It's surprising how many people actually use this test but unfortunately kicking a car tyre will tell you absolutely nothing about its roadworthiness.
"Whether you drive a Ford or a Ferrari the only thing keeping you in contact with the road is your tyres. So it's vital that they are given a thorough visual inspection at least once a month to check for damage or objects embedded in the tread as well as tread depth and correct inflation."

For those in the dark about tread depth, the legal minimum is 1.6mm throughout the central three-quarters of the tyre width, which, as Mr Carlin explained, can be easily measured against the depth of the border on a 20p coin.

Do you still kick your car tyres to test the pressure? Leave your comments below...