Ensure correct tyre pressure to avoid accidents
UNDER inflated tyres carry a significantly higher risk of bursting due to excessive flexing of the tyre's sidewall and its internal components which can result in overheating.
Safety consultant Calvin Lo, who has over 20 years experience in the tyre industry, told The Brunei Times yesterday that road users can dramatically reduce the risk of a tyre blowout while driving by making sure the air pressure is no less than 30 pounds per square inch (psi).
“The most general prescription is that the tyre pressure should be not lower than 30 psi, and drivers should check their pressure at gas stations or workshops at least once per month,” said Calvin.
For more specific directions, Calvin said drivers should look for a sticker, commonly placed on the inside of the driver's door or on the chassis of the driver’s seat, for the manufacturer’s recommendation.
He claims that with cars sporting increasingly complex systems – engine, transmission, steering, suspension, brakes and electronics – most drivers tend to overlook that tyres are the “single most important safety feature on our cars”.
“The only point of contact between a vehicle and the road is the tyre. When you consider that the contact surface of a single tyre, on an average sized car - on the road at any point in time - is only the size of a quarter of an A4 size paper, it become immediately apparent that you need to make sure your tyre is safe,” he said.
He pointed out that tread count, rubber patterns on the tyre circumference - universally the most popular method used by the public to judge the health of a tyre - could be easily misconstrued if judged only by the naked eye.
“Most people will just see if the tyre looks bald, then it is time to change. Legally in other countries, the depth of tread must be 1.6 millimetres, but it is advisable for when it is less than 3 mm to change,” he said. The lower the tread count, the proportionately longer the breaking distance of the car, he said. When comparing the breaking distance for tread depths of 6 mm and 1.6mm, a car with the latter takes approximately 10 additional car lengths to stop.
He also said that owners should not purchase tyres older than five years from their manufacturing date, and should replace tyres once every three years, regardless of manufacturing date or accumulated milage.
“Tyres with higher mileage are at a higher risk, but even if the car is used less often, it is still subject to environmental factors that can corrode the rubber,” he said.
He encouraged those shopping for new tyres to look at the tyre’s sidewall for four numbers which precede or are in the same line as the letters DOT.
“These four numbers represent week number and year, so 2515 will be the 25th week of 2015,” he added. Calvin, who is the manager of CDL enterprise, briefed students at Politeknik Brunei's (PB) School of Science and Engineering in Lumut last Saturday, to give them the lowdown on the basics of tyre safety, and offer an avenue for any concerns to be raised on tyres.
“Many of these students are commuting daily from Lumut to Bandar, so it is important for them to have this avenue to learn and raise any questions about tyre safety,” he said.
The briefing and discussion was organised by PB and the Land Transport Department (LTD).
Director of Land Transport Dr Hj Supry Hj Awg Ladi, as well as senior officers from PB and LTD also attended the event.
The Brunei Times