Bridgestone South Africa: Safe tyres, safe journey—top tips for an accident-free festive season

Safe tyres, safe journey—top tips for an accident-free festive season
Willie Stander – Bridgestone

JOHANNESBURG, December 2023- The festive season is a time of togetherness and celebration, a time when we travel to see family or to go on holiday. But before setting out on the long journey home or on holiday, motorists should take the time to ensure their vehicles are safe. Particular attention should be paid to the vehicle’s tyres because, after all, it’s just that small area of rubber that keeps you on the road, says Willie Stander Bridgestone.

“Figures show that badly maintained tyres and rims are one of the main causes of road accidents in this country— before we embark on our festive-season travels, we all have a responsibility to ensure that our tyres are in good condition, for our own safety and that of others on the roads,” Stander says. “Making sure your tyres are in good condition and properly inflated could just be the best investment you ever make.”

Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) statistics show that of the major contributing factors to vehicle accidents, tyre bursts prior to crashing were the top one relating to vehicles. Tests by the Automobile Association show just how dangerous worn tyres are, and the association warns that South Africans just do not realise how important it is to ensure that their vehicles have sound tyres.

Here are some the actions all drivers should take to ensure their tyres are safe as we gear up for the festive season:

  • Check the condition of your tyres. Tyres are only as effective as the condition of their tread. Look at the manufacturer’s website to establish how its tread wear indicators work, and also inspect the tyres to see if there are any damages or cracks in the tyre surface. Any Bridgestone or Supa Quick outlet will be pleased to assist in this regard. An added issue is that tyres have a limited lifespan—as rubber ages its bonds to the tyre’s steel belts reduces. If your tyres are older than 10 years, they should be replaced regardless of how many miles they have travelled or their outward condition.
  • Rotate your tyres and get the alignment and balance checked. Regular tyre rotation every 5 000-8 000 kilometres is something that should be done to ensure they wear evenly. If you haven’t rotated yours regularly, get it done before you embark on a long journey. At the same time, ensure your tyres are aligned and balanced to get the most out of your tyres and ensure your road handling is optimal.
  • Ensure your tyres are properly inflated. Modern tyres are highly engineered to combine safety, performance and longevity. A critical part of the recipe is the pressure specified by the manufacturer. Regular weekly tyre-pressure checks are essential, and are particularly important before a long journey. Remember to do this when the tyres are cold. Bridgestone recommends moving to nitrogen as the gas for inflation as the molecules are larger than oxygen, and so naturally occurring pressure loss is minimised and ideal tyre pressure is maintained for longer.
  • Don’t forget to check tyres on your trailers or caravans. The same care should be taken with the tyres of anything that you are towing, such as a trailer or caravan. 

“We all have a responsibility to play our part in promoting road safety and ensuring that our tyres are in good condition is something we can and must all do,” Stander says. “Let’s work together to bring the number of road accidents down over this period of extra busy roads.”


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