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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Tyres aren't treated with care

By unknown | Aug 01, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Imagine your favourite pair of shoes, then imagine them getting a regular beating from heavy walking or running, being scuffed and scraped against abrasive surfaces, and the soles wearing thin to the point that your feet start hurting and even walking becomes a painful exercise.

Some people are heavier on their shoes whereas others nurse and nurture them, getting use out of them for many years.

In much the same way, the tyres on our cars take a similar beating, with South African drivers tending to wear them out within two-and-a-half years.

Tyres are the only items that keep our cars connected to the road surface, yet many drivers are content to carry on motoring, oblivious to the care and attention that tyres need.

Whereas most car parts and components are checked, assessed and changed during regular servicing, the tyres are very much the responsibility of the driver - and the driver's budget.

Perhaps through misdirected marketing and other gimmicks, drivers tend to not view their car tyres as critical items ensuring safety.

Yet the condition, quality and design of tyres can have a significant effect on a car's overall ability to perform, including the use of advanced safety systems like ABS brakes and stability or traction control.

Bottom line: all the advanced safety and dynamic systems of a car are rendered useless if the tyres are of inferior quality or design, the wrong size for the car or simply worn through. Modern cars range from the conventional sedan and hatchback to the people carriers of MPVs and sport utility vehicles, each with specific purposes and requiring specific tyres.

Cars today are faster and give the driver a lot more feedback through handling, cornering and braking, again highlighting the need for drivers to understand the tyres - a critical safety element - fitted to their specific cars.

With technology and research, tyre construction and design have advanced as much as cars themselves. The increased use of electronics and management systems in our cars has resulted in advances on braking systems, traction control and anti-skid systems. Ultimately, it is still up to the tyres to ensure that all the advanced systems are able to function at their optimum and keep the driver and car occupants safe.


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