Officials: Keep tyre safety in mind

Tyres are an important but often overlooked element of motoring safety, the Department of Vehicle and Drivers Licensing pointed out at a recent driver education presentation.

The presentation was part of the National Road Safety Strategy initiative held at the department last month, hosted by the department’s assistant manager, Stephen Quinland, and Royal Cayman Island Police Service staff.

Mr. Quinland related how many people are unaware of the importance of tyre maintenance, and how worn or incorrectly inflated tyres can jeopardise their safety.

During the slide presentation, a few questions were asked of Mr. Quinland about fatal accidents and whether police carry out checks to see if tyres were the cause. Police representatives said that they had not been doing so but were going to take it into consideration.

Also highlighted was how tyres can go bad due to heat and other atmospheric conditions just by cars being parked. The question was asked about vehicles that were parked in used car lots and not sold for years and if the Licencing Department was checking these cars’ tyres when they came in for inspection. Mr. Quinland said when it was noticeable on a vehicle, the owners were told to have the tyres replaced, but there is nothing in the law that stated they have to do so.

Common questions

Mr. Quinland also highlighted tyre questions

people ponder from time to time, such as: Do I know my tyre size? Does my mechanic know which tyres my car requires? And what do all these number on my tyres mean?

“We should know about the tyres we use on our cars, the date of manufacturing, maximum inflating pressure, traction, maximum load capacity of tyre, speed rating, tyre size and inclement weather driving tips, department officials advise.

If we use expired tyres, these are likely to burst and result in a very serious or even fatal accident,” said Mr. Quinland.

“It would be good practice for motorists to check their tyres and make sure thy have not passed their expiration date,” he said.

Another important point touched on was proper tyre pressure. On the side of the tyre you will find the maximum allowable inflating pressure for that specific tyre. It is an acceptable practice to have your tyres a few pounds below the maximum allowable pressure but not too much, officials said.

Tyre traction and tread wear were also discussed by Mr. Quinland.

Traction is a tyre’s ability to stop on wet pavement. A higher grade tyre should allow you to stop your vehicle on a wet road in a shorter distance than a tyre with lower grade. Regarding tread wear, this number will give you the rate at which the tyre wears out. The higher the tread wear, the longer it should take for the tyre to wear out. Hence a tyre graded at 400 should last twice as long as a tyre graded at 200.

Mr. Quinland also advised: Don’t forget the spare tyre.

The Roadcraft programme will run every month until December. An upcoming driver education presentation on roundabouts be announced later.

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