Faulty tyres cause thousands of crashes every year - here’s how to stay safe

Published Apr 24, 2023


Johannesburg - South Africans love road trips, and why not?

With yet another long weekend coming up, many South Africans will either be heading to their different home provinces or using the opportunity to get some much-needed rest at various holiday destinations.

According to Arrive Alive, the South African government’s biggest road safety campaign, the failure to attend to tyre safety is a vital factor in thousands of road accidents every year. Further research by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) indicates that nearly 20% of accidents involving minibuses have tyre failure as a contributing factor.

Marcus Baffoe-Bonnie, Managing Director and Vice President at Michelin Sub-Saharan Africa says, “With the peak traffic season coming up, we encourage South African motorists to thoroughly inspect their tyres before taking any long trips. Well maintained tyres have a huge impact on safety, comfort and fuel economy.”

Here are some tips from Michelin that will ensure your tyres safely get you to your destination:

Before heading off on any trip, take a quick walk around your car and properly check the condition of your tyres – look out for signs of wear or damage such as cracks or cuts in the sidewall or damage to parts of the tread band.

Check your tyre pressures at least once a month using a reliable, calibrated gauge. The recommended pressures are quoted in your car’s manual or on a sticker usually attached to the door frame or fuel cover. To be safe, check your remaining tread depth while you attend to the pressures, the legal limit is 1.6 mm. Remember to check the spare wheel!

Rotate your tyres every 10 000km to even out the wear. A wheel balance and alignment check at this time will also help maximise the lifespan of your tyres, ensure safer driving and comfort.

Always fit the correct tyre type and dimension for your vehicle. Not sure? Then a quick visit to a reputable tyre dealer for the right advice will help. Michelin’s website also offers a list of recommended tyre dealers around the country.

Check and understand the load and speed capabilities of your tyres, respect these and do not exceed them.

Remember to stay alert and avoid or drive safely over potholes if you cannot avoid them! Potholes are a common hazard and can have a significant impact on your tyre's health.

“Also, stop and take a rest – grab a coffee or water and stretch your legs,” concludes Baffoe-Bonnie.