Safeguarding Your Journey: The Crucial Role of Tyres and Your Safety on South African Roads

South Africa's beautiful and diverse landscape and extensive road network offer endless opportunities for exploration and travel. However, we are responsible for ensuring that our vehicles are equipped to handle the demands of our roads. 

The condition of your tyres is critical to your safety on the road. Our South African roads are riddled with potholes, unfinished roadworks, missing manholes, and damaged sidewalks, and you haven’t even left the suburbs yet! We want to let you know how the health of your tyres is going to get you and your loved one’s home safely, and what you can do to keep and maintain your tyres for longer. 

The State of South African Roads

South Africa's road network is extensive, covering over 750,000 kilometres. However, our road network is not without its challenges. Potholes, debris, deteriorating road surfaces and other hazards are common, especially once you leave the main highways. These factors place immense stress on vehicle tyres, leading to accelerated wear and tear. There are only four points of tread not much bigger than the size of your hand that contact between a vehicle and the road surface. The condition of your tyres directly affects your safety. Properly maintained, quality tyres are essential for: 

  • Grip and Traction: Adequate tread depth ensures that your vehicle maintains a firm grip on the road, especially in adverse weather conditions. 
  • Handling and Steering Response: Well-balanced and aligned tyres contribute to smooth and responsive handling, reducing the risk of accidents. 
  • Braking Distance: Worn-out or improperly inflated tyres can significantly increase braking distance, posing a serious threat in emergencies.

The Impact of Neglected Tyre Maintenance

Neglecting tyre health can lead to a multitude of safety hazards, including: 

  • Increased Accident Risk: Statistically many accidents are caused by factors related to poor tyre maintenance, such as underinflated tyres, smooth tread, and improper repairs to tyres. 
  • Reduced Fuel Efficiency: Underinflation, or misaligned tyres can lead to increased fuel consumption, putting additional strain on your wallet. 
  • Premature Tyre Wear: Neglecting basic maintenance tasks like wheel alignment and balancing can lead to uneven tyre wear, which means you will be replacing tyres more often. 

Accidents from bad tyre repairs are unfortunately common. If your tyres aren't repaired or balanced correctly, it can make driving risky and wear out your tyres faster. To avoid this, trust certified tyre professionals to handle your tyre needs. Also, keep your tyre pressure just right – not too low or too high – to make your tyres last longer. 

A puncture does not have to mean the end of the tyre. Most tyre retailers can do a professional, permanent tyre repair for you with Chemvulc quality repair products. If you cut the sidewall of your car tyre, most tyre retailers will recommend replacing the tyre, we agree. 

How to maintain healthy tyres. 

To reduce the risks associated with South African roads, being proactive is best - especially when taking longer trips: 

  • Regular Tyre Inspections: Conduct thorough visual checks of your tyres for signs of wear, punctures, or bulges. Bulges on a tyre are very hazardous, this often occurs when you hit a pothole at speed. A bulge on the sidewall of your tyre is a blowout waiting to happen. Get to your nearest tyre retailer to replace this tyre ASAP. 
  • Tyre Tread Inspections: Never let your tread wear below 1.6mm, this is the legal limit for tyres. Anything below this is a smooth tyre, preventing you from stopping. 
  • Maintain Proper Tyre Pressure: Keep your tyres properly inflated to the manufacturer's recommended levels for improved fuel efficiency and longer tyre life. If you struggle to maintain tyre pressure, inspect for slow punctures or damaged rims. Don't forget to check both the outside and inside diameter of your tyres. You can find recommended tyre pressure information on the inside of your driver's seat door. [photo] 
  • Schedule Professional Maintenance: Regularly visit a certified tyre service centre for professional maintenance like wheel alignment, balancing, and repairs to ensure optimal road safety. If you've patched a puncture at a petrol station, it's crucial to get a proper, permanent repair from certified tyre retailers using high-quality Chemvulc products. 

In South Africa, where road conditions can be challenging, prioritising tyre health is not just advisable – it is imperative. This year, tyre manufacturers teamed up with JMPD and other metros to train 1000 Metro police officers on how to inspect tyres and to enforce safe tyres on the road this holiday season. 

Remember, the responsibility for road safety lies in the hands – or rather, the treads – of every driver. Visit your local tyre retailer to ensure your tyres, balancing and alignment are in top shape! 

Chemvulc quality rubber repair solutions and accessories for the tyre professional since 1977. 

Auto digital tyre inflation – Part 2
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