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Stay safe this wet season

Driving during wet weather presents unique challenges and hazards, making it imperative for vehicle owners to prioritise tyre safety. As your point of contact with the road, tyres play a crucial role in ensuring your vehicle can effectively navigate through rainy conditions.

Understanding the Risks of Wet Weather Driving

Wet roads reduce the grip of your tyres, which can lead to longer stopping distances, reduced handling, and an increased risk of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when your tyre encounters more water than it can scatter or displace, causing the tyre to glide on the water's surface and lose contact with the road. This can be a scary experience and often leads to loss of control.

The Importance of Regular Tyre Checks

Regular checks can significantly mitigate these risks, ensuring that your tyres maintain optimal contact with the road, even in adverse weather conditions. Here are some specific checks recommended by David Galea Mechanical:

Tread Depth: Tread depth is paramount in wet weather conditions. Tyres with inadequate tread depth cannot efficiently channel water away, increasing the likelihood of hydroplaning. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, but for optimal safety in wet conditions, tyres should be replaced well before they reach this minimum. A simple way to check this is the 20 cent piece test. Insert a 20 cent piece into the tread groove; if the tread doesn't reach the bill of the platypus, it's time for a new tyre.

Tyre Pressure: Incorrect tire pressure not only affects the vehicle's handling and fuel efficiency but also compromises the tyre's ability to displace water. Checking your tyre's pressure should be a regular habit, with checks performed at least once a month and before any long trips. Always refer to the manufacturer's recommended pressure levels.

Tyre Condition: Regularly inspect your tyres for signs of damage, such as cuts, bulges, or cracks. Any damage can weaken the tyre, increasing the risk of a blowout, especially under the stress of wet weather driving.

Timely Tyre Replacement

Timely replacement of tyres is non-negotiable for maintaining safety during wet conditions. Worn-out tyres significantly decrease your vehicle's performance and safety, particularly on slick roads where grip and braking efficiency are paramount. Even if your tyres haven't reached the minimum tread depth, if you notice any signs of uneven wear, sidewall damage, or if they are aged (over six years old), it might be time for a replacement.

Specialised Advice for Adverse Weather Conditions

Our Rural View workshop emphasises the importance of adapting your driving habits along with maintaining your tyres. During wet conditions, increase your following distance, reduce your speed, and avoid sharp turns or sudden brakes to help mitigate the risks. Additionally, investing in high-quality tyres specifically designed for wet weather can offer enhanced safety and performance.

By incorporating these tyre safety checks into your routine, you not only protect yourself and your passengers but also contribute to the safety of all road users. Remember, your tyres are the only point of contact your vehicle has with the road, making their maintenance and condition critical for safe driving, especially during the challenges posed by wet weather.

Stay safe, and keep those tyres in check. If you have any concerns or require professional advice, don't hesitate to contact our helpful tyre experts. Your safety on the road is our top priority, rain or shine.

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