The data of the Motor Transport Institute clearly indicate that most road accidents take place in good weather conditions – in nice weather, in daylight and on dry surfaces. Then drivers feel more comfortable driving and develop significant speeds – which in the event of an accident often has tragic consequences. These events most often take place in the summer months – that is, in June, July and August.
Road safety is also affected by the technical condition of vehicles. Last year alone, 16.2% of all defects recorded by traffic officers concerned tyres  - and this is a rather cursory statistic that does not examine the real impact of tyres, for example, on serious accidents. In the holiday season, characterized by high temperatures, tyres take on special importance, especially since their temperature – even during normal operation – often reaches over 80 ° C.
"In winter conditions, vehicle tyres have little chance of warming up to temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius. It is completely different in summer, when their temperature – as a result of everyday use – can easily exceed 65 ° C. This is the normal operating temperature of properly operated tyres at a speed of about 120 km / h. However, an under-inflated tyre in the contact area between the tread and the side of the tyre reaches over 100°C – because the inner layers heat up excessively in the absence of adequate stiffness < provided by the air in the wheel. The longer the route in these conditions, the easier it is to approach the 125°C limit – where the rubber layers separate from the metal belt, causing the tyres to weaken critically and explode. Since tyres are the only point of contact between the vehicle and the road, the surface of which, in addition, does not exceed half the surface of the A4 sheet, their condition and quality determine whether the car brakes in an emergency situation and whether it does not slip – explains Piotr Sarnecki, General Director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association (PZPO).
Proper operation of tyres, i.e. in accordance with the 3P principle: Decent tyres, Professional service, Correct pressure – this is a guarantee of safety throughout the year, also during holiday travels. In order for the holiday journeys to run smoothly, you need to take care of the condition of the tyres, m.in. Polish The Tyre Industry Association advises you on what to look for before you hit the road.
1. We check the condition of tyres and rims – bypassing the car around and seeing the wheels, their possible damage will take 2 minutes – and it can save us from oppression during the journey. Of course, this activity can also be entrusted to specialists, e.g. workshops holding the Tyre Certificate of the Polish Tyre Industry Association. A list of such specialized workshops can be found on the www.certyfikatoponiarski.pl
– Remember that potential mechanical damage, cuts, cracks and tread losses are often minor, and greatly increase the risk of an accident – the more so because at highway speeds the wheel rotates up to 1000 times per minute. Deficiencies in the condition of the wheels can lead to tragedy on the road. The verification should also cover the rims – damage to the edges and poor balance make the wheel "beat", which worsens driving comfort and leads to accelerated wear of suspension elements – adds Piotr Sarnecki.
2. Proper tyre pressure is the key to safe driving and economy. Proper – that is, as it is in the manual of our car or on the sticker on the pillar at the driver's door. In each model it is different. There is no universal pressure of the type 2.2 Bar – as poor professionals sometimes say in poor workshops. We measure the pressure cold – that is, before the ride and after loading with luggage and the holiday team. We use a blood pressure monitor, not verification "by eye" – because with current tyres with profiles of 55 and less we will only detect a pressure loss of 30-40% "by eye", and these are critical life-threatening values – when the tyre bursts while driving on the highway. Even when we have decent tyres, installation in a professional service – we have to take care of the tyre pressure ourselves. Too low causes more deformation of the tyres, worse grip and skid resistance, more noise and generates high resistance. A loss of 0.3 Bar means a 6% increase in rolling resistance, and at a pressure lower by 1 bar – as much as a 30% increase and a few percent increase in fuel consumption. Higher fuel or energy consumption is one thing. Worse, however, in driving with under-inflated tyres is a high risk of destroying their inner layers during operation. Simply, the inner layers, when the tyre is underinflated, work much more and overheat – which can lead to the separation of the reinforcing layers from the rubber and weaken the tyre, leading to its destruction. In the conditions of holiday trips with luggage and high temperatures, such simple neglect brings a tragic harvest. Too much inflated tyre is also worse grip – because the tyre touches the road only with the middle part of the tread and additionally load the suspension system or engine shock absorption. Therefore, tyre pressure should be regularly checked and maintained at the right level. Its improper value can lead to many negative effects, such as:
" Proper tyre pressure is one of the most important factors affecting safety and driving comfort. We recommend that you check and replenish your tyre pressure regularly – especially before a longer journey. In case of doubt or inability to perform this activity yourself, it is worth using the services of a specialist in vulcanization. We verify the pressure at least twice a month, before going on the road, when the tyres have not gained temperature – advises Piotr Sarnecki.
3. We measure the tread depth – if we have been driving on these tyres for several seasons, preferably in 3-4 places on the tyre tread, using a depth meter (depth gauge or caliper) or simply using, for example, a PLN 5 coin. The regulations prohibit the use of tyres with a tread height lower than the wear indicator specified by the tyre manufacturer as safe. If it is not there – the tread must have min. 1.6 mm. However, in practice, often tyres with a 3-4 mm tread no longer provide safe driving in the rain.
4. We remember about the stock – if it is equipped with the car or about the assistance service if there is only a repair kit. A spare or access wheel is also a tyre in which the pressure condition should be verified. You never know when you'll need it. The correct pressure level in the access wheel is described exceptionally on the side of the tyre.
5. In the summer we use dedicated tyres – driving on winter tyres in the summer is dangerous and uneconomical. Technical research and journalistic tests show that depending on the temperature and driving style, fuel consumption in the case of winter tyres used in summer can be higher by up to 20-30%, and the braking distance longer by 8-9 meters and only at a speed of 85 km / h!
"The biggest threat is the reduced grip of winter tyres in summer temperatures. This reduces safety, because driving on winter tyres at high temperatures makes the tyre overly plastic. This impairs grip – especially in corners and dangerously extends braking distances. Tests carried out by TÜV SÜD at a temperature of 23 degrees Celsius showed that a vehicle driving at a speed of 85 km/h on summer tyres, on wet roads, will stop 8 meters earlier than on winter tyres. These are two lengths of a medium-sized car! If there is a sudden braking of a vehicle using such tyres – e.g. at motorway speeds, where the braking distance is an exponent of speed – it may mean "to be or not to be" for the driver – alarms Piotr Sarnecki.
Experts recommend that for the summer season use summer or all-season tyres, which provide good grip and control of the vehicle. Changing tyres before the summer season is not only a matter of road safety, but also saves costs and protects the environment.
The fact that a tyre is the only element of contact between the vehicle and the road surface makes this piece of vehicle equipment particularly important in the context of road safety. The contact of the tyre with the ground is, more or less, the size of a postcard. However, it is the quality of this contact that determines the braking distance and grip, and thus our safety. All information about tyres and interesting reports and videos from the tests can be found on the www.oponymajamoc.pl.
By choosing the right tyres, entrusting their assembly or repair to specialists and properly servicing them, we are more sure that our car will drive as we want and safely stop before the obstacle. So let's choose a certified service. Polish The Tyre Industry Association together with the independent certification company TÜV SÜD has introduced a system of evaluation and distinction of professional services based on an independent audit of the equipment and qualifications of technical personnel. A map of workshops that have undergone an independent audit of equipment and skills and received the Tyre Certificate can be found on the certyfikatoponiarski.pl website.
The Tyre Certificate® is a three-stage audit of tyre workshops. It is available to all tyre service providers – network, independent and ASO. The application form is available at: https://certyfikatoponiarski.pl/form.php.
If you would like more information about the importance of tyres, purchase, service and operating tyres, please visit:
More information at akademiaoponiarska.pl, certyfikatoponiarski.pl, information campaign: www.oponymajamoc.pl
Always wishes safe journeys PZPO!
Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association