East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Students...Study your tyres!

Date : 19 September 2019


The coming weeks will see many students taking the leap and driving off to University for the first time or heading back after the long summer break.  Whilst a lot of time will have been spent ensuring that they have those all-important student necessities and promises of regular calls and updates to parents, a pre-journey tyre check is often missed. 

Shocking statistics

A recent TyreSafe survey revealed as many as one in three young drivers have never checked their tyres and a recent survey carried out by Highways England has revealed six out of ten students will carry on driving while their vehicle is overloaded.

Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe Chairman said: “The journey to university can be a long drive in a vehicle crammed with all the luggage and personal items students need to see them through the term.  Whilst parents can help with a tyre check before they leave, it’s a good opportunity to make sure their children are capable of carrying them out themselves.  The journey to university should be a fond memory for students, not a cause of stress, so ensure the vehicle’s tyres are roadworthy before you set off.

Did you know…?

  • When this maximum load in a vehicle is exceeded, it will be more difficult to control the vehicle, making an incident more likely.
  • Vehicle manufacturers detail how much weight a car or van can carry in the owner’s handbook.
  • Overloading a vehicle also results in more weight being placed on the tyres than they were meant to carry.
  • If tyres are already in poor condition, this additional stress may lead to an increased likelihood of sudden and catastrophic failure when driving.
  • Whether a vehicle is overloaded or not, all drivers should be paying close attention to the tyres’ air pressure. To accommodate extra weight, it’s likely the inflation settings will need to be increased. If the tyre pressure is incorrect for the load, it will increase wear, fuel-consumption and the potential for an incident.
  • Carrying out routine checks before a long journey can mitigate many of the issues drivers can suffer.

Tyresafe checklist- Use this checklist before you set off

  • Air pressure- Correct tyre pressures are shown on a sticker in your car door, filler cap or owner’s manual.  Use an accurate pressure gauge to ensure they are right for the load as part of your pre-journey planning. 
  • Condition- If stones or other objects caught between grooves in the tread can be removed without damaging the tyre, drivers are advised to do so.  Bulges, cracks, cuts and embedded objects are a cause for concern and need to be checked by a professional. 
  • Tread- If you don’t have access to an accurate treat depth gauge, a 20p coin can be used to see if your tyres’ tread depths are approaching the 1.6mm minimum limit.  Insert the 20p at several points across and around each tyre.  If you see the coins outer rim at any point the tyre may be illegal and you should seek advice from a professional. 



Subscribe to our occasional newsletter

Find us on Twitter and Facebook and retweet or share our posts.

Please rate this page, was it:
Please rate this page!