Research among students at the V Festival has found that a fifth of these young drivers never check the condition of their car's tyres while just one in four made this vital inspection within the last month.
Consequently, TyreSafe, a not-for-profit body dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of well-maintained tyres, is urging students gearing up to return to university, to check that their tyres are in good condition.
As tyres are the only part of the car keeping it on the road, the organisation is encouraging young drivers to look at the condition, pressure and wear levels of their tyres, before heading back to university; a particularly important message given these findings and the fact that drivers aged 24 or under make up a quarter of those killed or seriously injured on the roads.
Being a safe driver isn’t just about sticking to speed limits and ignoring your mobile phone. There’s also a host of other important responsibilities such as making regular checks and carrying out basic maintenance on your tyres.
Only one in four drivers said that they had inspected their tyres within the last month – the recommended maximum time between making checks. Furthermore, one in ten believed that it was their parents’ responsibility to keep their car’s rubber safe and legal, regardless of who was driving.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe said: “Being a safe driver isn’t just about sticking to speed limits and ignoring your mobile phone. There’s also a host of other important responsibilities such as making regular checks and carrying out basic maintenance on your tyres.
“When going back to university, it’s likely that the car is heavily laden or travelling a long distance, making it perhaps more important than ever that these checks are completed.”
TyreSafe recommends that young drivers carry out three basic checks. First of these is making sure that the tyres, when cold, are inflated to the car manufacturer’s recommended pressures, which can be found in the vehicle handbook, on the door sill or inside the fuel filler cap.
Secondly all tyres should have at least 1.6mm of tread. Drivers can inspect this by placing a 20p coin in the tyres’ grooves. If the outer band of the 20p coin is visible it may be below the legal minimum limit. Finally drivers should make sure that there are no cuts, lumps or bulges in the rubber.