TyreSafe Issues Stark Warning to Motorists Ahead of Wettest Summer on Record

With the Met Office forecasting the wettest summer on record, including 50 days of rain over the next three months, TyreSafe is urging drivers to take proactive steps to ensure their safety on the roads. The anticipated weather conditions, characterised by short, sharp torrential downpours leading to flash flooding, are set to create extremely hazardous driving environments, especially on motorways and dual carriageways.

TyreSafe, the UK’s tyre safety charity, is emphasising the critical role of tyre maintenance in these conditions, particularly the importance of adequate tread depth in preventing aquaplaning and ensuring shorter braking distances.

Aquaplaning occurs when a layer of water builds up between your tyres and the road surface, causing your tyres to lose traction. This phenomenon can happen during heavy rain or when driving through puddles, significantly increasing the risk of incidents.

New tyres can disperse up to 30 litres of water per second at 50mph, but as tread depth decreases below 3mm, the risk of aquaplaning increases dramatically, along with diminished braking performance. You can watch TyreSafe’s aquaplaning video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxuYOI_uruU

In addition, the summer months pose further risk on the roads due to the build-up of oil, debris and diesel, during periods of dry weather, which when subject to heavy downpours, create even more treacherous surfaces on the roads.

Motorists could be at unnecessary risk, particularly as a recent study by the charity revealed over 6 million tyres on the UK’s roads have illegal tread at any given time, putting those motorists at risk of a tyre related incident, fine and/or penalty points on their license.

Key Safety Tips for Heavy Rain:

  • Slow Down: Reduce your speed and allow extra following distance between you and the car in front.
  • Avoid Puddles: Steer clear of driving through puddles or standing water whenever possible, provided it is safe to do so.
  • Maintain Tyres: Regularly check your tyre tread depth and ensure your tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure.

Stuart Lovatt, TyreSafe Chair, said: “With the UK set to face an unprecedented amount of rain this summer, it is imperative that drivers take charge of their safety. Proper tyre maintenance is not just a legal requirement but a critical factor in ensuring you and your family remain safe on the road. Adequate tread depth, correct tyre pressure, and cautious driving in heavy rain can make all the difference.”

Highlighting the dangers, statistics from the National Highways campaign “When it rains, it kills” show that people are 30 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the roads in rain than in snow. Furthermore, it generally takes at least twice as long to stop on a wet road compared to a dry road.

As many prepare to travel for their summer holidays, TyreSafe reminds all drivers to carry out essential tyre checks before setting off. This simple step can prevent incidents and save lives during this particularly wet season.

For more information and tips on tyre safety, visit www.tyresafe.org.

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