To help drivers be more tyre safe, small rubber moulded inserts, called Tread Wear Indicators (TWIs), can now be found in the tread grooves on all passenger and SUV vehicle tyres on South African roads. TWIs are a useful tool to help drivers determine the amount of remaining tread on their tyres.
The TWI enables motorists to visually compare their tyre tread depth to the legal minimum tread depth of one millimetre. Once the tyre tread and the TWI are level, it is time to buy new tyres. Carlo Baldocchi, manager of tyre sector at the South African Tyre Manufacturing Conference (SATMC), says: “Driving on worn tyres is a huge safety hazard for you, your passengers and other road users.”
“Cars with low tyre tread experience increased braking distances, have less traction on wet surfaces and are more susceptible to punctures, which can lead to sudden blowouts. Tyre safety has often been ignored while addressing other road safety messages; however, tyre safety is one of the most important factors to be aware of at all times,” he continues.
“Tyres are what keep a driver and their passengers off the tarmac. At any given time, there is very little tyre actually on the road – four hand-sized contact areas to be exact! We urge drivers to check their TWI and keep themselves, their loved ones and other road users as safe as possible.
“It is illegal to drive on tyres that could pose a danger to other road users and insurers will often reject accident claims that result from a faulty tyre. Add in the horrendous injuries you, your family and other road users could sustain as a result of a balding tyre and one quickly realises that checking your tyres could prove to be a life-saver,” concludes Baldocchi.