With summer approaching, UAE drivers are advised to perform a proper check to the car tyres. Thus, they must ensure means to protect them from the heat and safety before getting on the road.
Experts in road safety have studied statistics from the Abu Dhabi police. These statistics pointed out that 28 accidents, 14 deaths and 7 critical injuries were caused by rapid tyre pressure loss. The report was for 2016. No data from 2017 has been made available yet. However, about 5% of all accidents in the UAE are caused by tyre failure. The Abu Dhabi police said that, with temperatures rising, the risk of road accidents caused by broken tyres is increasing.
Thomas Edelmann, Founder and Managing Director of a UAE-based road safety company said: “High temperatures can become a serious problem for tyres, especially if they are not properly maintained. Incorrect inflation pressures, poor wheel balance and alignment also contribute to a reduction in tyre life and safety”.
Michelin Commercial Director about tyre maintenance
Motorists have been advised by the GCC commercial director of Michelin, Daoud Helmi, to look for “any visible signs”.
He noted: “It is important to regularly check the tread depth at several points on the tyre and consult a specialist, in case of any doubt. The minimum legal tread depth required is 1.6 mm for passenger car tyres”.
Helmi said tyre pressure should be checked at least once a month. He advised drivers to perform the check when the tyres are “cold”. This means that the car must not have been driven for the last two hours or for more than 3km. This way, the measurement can be precise. He explained that, if tyres are checked while “warm”, 0.3 bar should be added to the recommended level. The checks must be performed on all four tyres and the spare wheel.
Tyre safety experts said that high temperatures can be a serious problem, especially if tyres are not properly maintained. A tyre’s life and safety can also be reduced by incorrect inflation pressures, poor wheel balance and alignment.
Tyre replacement was recommended by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority to be performed no later than five years. If the remaining tread depth is below 1.6 mm at any tire tread band part, replacement should be done earlier. Also, they must be replaced in case other signs of wear or damage appear. For example, they must be replaced if cracks or cuts appear in the sidewall and tread band are partly damaged.
Matthew Davidson on tyre maintenance
“You can tell the age of a tire easily by checking the four-digit code stamped on the outside wall which is the date of manufacture” said Matthew Davidson, Head of Motors Services at a UAE-based car website.
He advised drivers not to hit the brake hard if a tyre blows while driving. He explained: “Ease off the accelerator and lightly apply the brakes until the car comes to a stop. If possible and it’s safe to do, drive the car to the side of the road and apply the hazard warning lights. Mostly all car insurance policies include a recovery service, so call and get the recovery driver to get you to the nearest garage to change the tire”.
Advices for tyre maintenance
To properly maintain the car’s tyres, Daoud Helmi advises drivers to perform a series of checks.
First of all, drivers must regularly check the state of all four tyres at the same time. They must pay attention and look for signs of obvious or abnormal wear and tear.
The recommended inflation pressure appears near the door latch on the driver’s side or in the car’s manual.
Drivers must make sure that tyres are properly balanced and have the tyres’ alignment checked by a professional.
In case of a flat tyre, the car must be taken to a reputable tyre dealer for examination.
The tyres must be rotated in accordance with the recommendation of the vehicle manufacturer.
Drivers must carefully watch the tyres’ suspension and must never overload the vehicle.