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Families across the UK who are busy preparing their travel plans for the festive period are being reminded by tyre safety organisation TyreSafe about the importance of making sure their tyres are properly inflated before heading off.

With an increased vehicle weight from extra passengers, luggage and presents being carried to friends and family, many cars will need to have their tyres inflated to a higher pressure to maximise their safety, comfort and efficiency on the road.

Most cars require different tyre pressure settings depending upon the number of passengers or amount of luggage being carried,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “During the festive period many of us travel around more as a family or will be carrying extra loads. It’s therefore important that before heading off to see friends and relatives, drivers ensure that their tyres are inflated to the correct pressures.”

Under-inflation or over-loading can cause a number of problems for tyres including higher fuel bills, increased tyre wear as well as reduced safety. When the tyres are not properly inflated for the load being carried, excessive heat builds up inside the tyre which significantly increases the risk of a rapid failure, an event which is most likely to occur during prolonged periods of running at high speeds, such as on busy motorways or A-roads.

Checking your tyre pressures is a very quick and simple job,” continues Jackson. “By spending just a few moments before you travel, you could save yourself a whole heap of festive misery or unwanted expense.”

TyreSafe’s tips for checking tyre pressures:

  1. Check your tyre pressures at least once a month or before any long journeys
  2. Check the pressures against the vehicle manufacturers recommended level for the load being carried. This can be found in the vehicle handbook, inside the fuel filler cap or on a plate located on the driver’s door sill
  3. Check pressures when your tyres are cold (i.e. when you’ve travelled less than two miles)
  4. Ensure a reliable and accurate pressure gauge is used
  5. Check pressures in all four tyres and don’t forget the spare if your vehicle has one
  6. When checking pressures, give the rest of the tyre a thorough visual inspection. Remove any stones and other objects embedded in the tread and look out for any lumps, cuts or bulges in the tyre.
  7. If you are unsure on any aspect, visit your nearest tyre fitting centre and seek expert advice.

For more information about any aspect of tyre safety, visit www.tyresafe.org.

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