Yesterday we shared a story titled “N3 Taxi tyre blow out causes crash” on the Accidents Blog. Terence Teixeira from the Matrix Road Safety Association, said nine of the occupants of the taxi sustained moderate to severe injuries and were transported to hospital. No other vehicles were fortunately involved in the collision.
Teixeira warns motorists that tyre pressure is a major cause of accidents on South African roads. “Many drivers are not aware that there are TWO different tyre pressures for vehicles, one when unloaded (driver only) and higher pressures when the vehicle is loaded with passengers and luggage. Failure to increase pressures before a trip with a loaded vehicle could very easily result in a blow-out. Under-inflated tyres are the biggest cause of tyre failure in South Africa and drivers often get a fright when this happens resulting in sudden braking. This could easily cause the vehicle to slew sideways and end up rolling as was the case on Friday. What drivers should do if they have a blow-out is to concentrate on the steering and keep the vehicle going as straight ahead as possible and stay away from the brake pedal, just let the vehicle decelerate normally.”
We decided to share some info from the Arrive Alive road safety website on tyre safety and more specifically the check-list for tyre safety:
Inspecting the tyres / Driver Checklist for tyres
Tyres should be inspected often, and the following list highlights some of the faults to focus on:
- Check tyres regularly for punctures, penetrations, cuts and bulges.
- Cuts in the tyre could permit damp to reach the casing plies. This is harmful for both textile and steel casings and will affect safety and tyre life.
- Wheel alignment – misaligned wheels will lead to excessive tyre wear.
- A worn steering mechanism, ball joints and wheel bearings will also reduce tyre life.
- Consult your vehicle manual for the proper size and speed rating. Some tyres are now marked with letters to indicate their speed ratings. Tyre speed ratings do not imply that vehicles can be driven safely at the maximum speed for which the tyre is rated, particularly under adverse road and weather conditions, or if the vehicle has unusual characteristics.
- One-sided wear. This takes various forms. A regular smooth band of wear all around the tyre on the inside or the outside of the tread is a sign of incorrect camber. Too much toe-in causes irregular one-sided wear.
- Tread-centre wear. Regular wear of this kind is normally a sign of high tyre pressure. Driving fast for long distances may cause this on low-profile tyres, because traveling at 120 km/h wears a tyre out twice as fast as travelling at 70 km/h.
- Inner- and outer-edge wear. If both inner and outer edges are worn, it usually implies that the tyres have been run at too low a pressure at normal speeds.
- Irregular bald spotting. Known as cupping, this is usually caused by worn shock absorbers, worn suspension bushes, or even loose wheel bearings.
- Missing valve caps should be replaced, since they are there to prevent dirt from clogging the valves, which could cause a loss of air pressure.
- Torque wheel studs /nuts to correct setting when mounting new tyres – check for loose or missing wheel nuts.
- Check tread depth on all tyres and replace well before they reach regulatory minimum depth of 1.00 mm to reduce the risk of aquaplaning on wet roads.
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